We’ve all heard Beyoncé sing about it but what does it actually mean to be an independent woman? Recently I’ve been looking in to women empowerment and what it takes these days for a woman to be a strong self sufficient woman. Now more than ever it’s a woman’s world and there are opportunity’s out there ready and ripe for our picking. I want to encourage woman to strive for equality, be a leader in their field, and feel great about doing it. Strong women have confidence in themselves and their capabilities. I want every woman to be that strong. Although some might find it more challenging than others. The great news is at whatever age you can take some easy steps in becoming a stronger person. I truly believe that women supporting each other will lead to greater opportunities for all of us. Women empowerment starts with empowering ourselves so that we can then in turn empower each other. I was thinking about some ways in which we can help ourselves to be stronger. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. What makes you feel empowered? How can we empower each other?

Putting yourself first

This is not about being selfish but rather knowing your own needs and trying to meet them. We all have needs and desires. It’s valuable to know yourself well enough that you can self diagnose. For example, knowing that you’re working incredibly hard on a project and yet you need a day of rest and recuperation before continuing to give the best of you. The greater the understanding of ourselves will mean we can express our feelings and emotions better. This will create great self confidence. To know you are mentally equipped to deal with a situation can guarantee success.

Don’t compare yourself to others

This is so important and yet so many of us fall guilty of this. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others. Whether it be your sister, a best girlfriend or indeed a Hollywood star. We have to remember the best thing about being you, is you! Take confidence from that fact. However having a positive female role model can be inspiring. If you run through the accounts you follow on social media who are you subconsciously being influenced by? Are you being seduced my those who vainly strive to gain attention and wealth? Take inspiration from women making waves in their industries. Be influenced by women who aim to help others and seek to better our environment. Be stimulated by such women to go on and create your own legacy. Do you have a female role model? I’d love to hear who you find inspiring!

Believe in yourself

When you are confident in your own abilities then you convey strength. Having the confidence to try in the first place is courageous. Even if you weren’t to succeed in something you will always be proud of yourself for having the confidence to try. Having belief in yourself may mean having to stand up for what you know if right. Try to be more assertive. Don’t be apologetic for being assertive as it’s your right to express your opinion. You may find being assertive a little uncomfortable, as assertive women are often negatively betrayed as being ‘bossy’. Just because a woman is the ‘boss’ it does not make her ‘bossy’. Hold your head high, maintain eye contact, smile and use that killer handshake.

Get enough exercise, eat healthy & sleep

This may sound simple but it’s true. We’ve all heard the saying ‘my body is a temple’. Well it kind of is! Healthy eating is a form of self respect. We all do it and yet we know that if we eat rubbish, we feel like rubbish. What we put in our bodies is actually one of the only things we can control in our lives. So let’s make the right choices. Eat to fuel your body with nutrients. It’s also important to get regular exercise. Experts say that exercise is the most under-utilised antidepressant. It doesn’t have to be a gruelling spin class but incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine. In turn this will make you sleep well. There’s nothing better than starting a new day after a restful nights sleep. You will be more productive as your mind will function better. These are all things we can do for ourselves and so easily make a massive difference to our daily lives. You will feel stronger and more competent with a healthy mind and body. Don’t underestimate the power of good food, exercise and sleep.

Know your worth

Become an expert in your own finances. A financially independent woman knows exactly where her money is coming from and going to. It’s also important to know your worth. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise at work if you think you deserve or are due one. Encourage your fellow female colleagues also in the workplace. If we believe in each other we will reach new heights together. We need to see more female entrepreneurs and business directors across every industry. Although women make up nearly half of the workforce, they only hold 4% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies and just 16% of senior management roles. It really is time that women got the respect they deserve in the workplace. Do you feel valued in your job?

Follow your passions

One of the biggest mistakes people can make in life is not follow their passions. We all have passions but do we have the courage to pursue them? The things in life we are most drawn to aren’t often what we spend most of our lives doing. It’s hard to follow your dreams rather than a pay check. However you will gain ultimate strength and self assurance from pursuing your passions. You may have to learn a new craft or study for a different degree. Imagine doing something you loved every day of your life? You’d never work a day again! You’d be an inspiration to the women around you and motivate strength in them. Be confident in the knowledge that you can do anything. If you put your mind to it there are chances and opportunities just waiting for you to grasp them.

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