What makes a woman strong? When thinking about the characteristics of a strong woman what comes to mind? In truth, the very definition of strong can mean different things to different people. Our experiences in life can influence our definition of strong. So what characteristics make up a strong woman?

characteristics of a strong woman

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Let’s dive into the 15 characteristics of a strong woman.

1. A strong woman takes responsibility for herself

Strong women take care of themselves. They take responsibility for their actions, habits, and behaviors. While they work in partnership with spouses and family, they take prime responsibility for their health and finances.

It’s important to remember being responsible isn’t about having to do all the work yourself and not accepting help from others. A strong woman knows all about asking for help and delegating tasks

A strong woman doesn’t blame other people for her situation. They own their choices and admit to their mistakes, even when it’s hard. Even when they feel shame regarding those mistakes.

I’m currently reading an excellent book, How Are You, Really? Living Your Truth One Answer At a Time by Jenna Kutcher.

2. A strong woman doesn’t let self-doubt and fear stop her

We all have self-doubt. Even strong, confident people struggle with self-doubt from time to time, particularly when they are attempting something hard, something new, or dealing with complex emotions.

While we all struggle with self-doubt, the strong woman doesn’t let it stop her from moving ahead with her goals.

Instead, she lets herself feel the fear (instead of trying to run away from it), faces it head-on, and works on calming herself.

Ultimately she knows how to work through the fear and self-doubt and gets on with the job at hand.

3. A strong woman is vulnerable

I used to think that as a highly sensitive person, being strong meant getting my emotions under control. I thought that getting my emotions under control meant not showing them, keeping them hidden from others, or not having them at all.

But with maturity, counseling, coaching, and reading a lot of personal growth and personal development books, I now understand that it’s not about hiding your emotions or trying to block them out with another glass of wine (my previous blocker of choice). Instead, it’s about owning your emotions, feeling them, and processing them.

It’s also about understanding that many feelings are fleeting and that I don’t need to get invested and bogged down in every single feeling I have. I can let my feelings come and go.

Some people see vulnerability as a weakness when in fact it is a huge strength. Having the courage to be vulnerable means being able to express your feelings, having the emotional maturity to process them, and moving forward with confidence (even when you feel scared).

Being strong and embracing our vulnerability means knowing that we don’t have to be strong all the time. Strength isn’t about pretending to be strong.

An excellent book for embracing your vulnerability is How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen. This is one of my favorite self-help books and it has helped me a great deal. 🙂

4. A strong woman knows how to get back up after a setback

Setbacks are inevitable. Challenges, adversity, and failure are a part of life.

Everyone has to deal with problems and pressure of some kind, no one comes out unscathed when it comes to challenges.

The power of challenges and setbacks lies in how we overcome them and what we learn from that process.

An excellent book that focuses on what strong women don’t do is – 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success by Amy Morin.

Related post20 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Had a Tough Year

5. A strong woman supports the people who are important to her

A strong woman supports the people in her life whom she cares for and loves.

She does her best to be there for family and friends when they need it. A strong woman supports her loved ones, even when she is facing challenges herself.

6. A strong woman learns from her mistakes

We all make mistakes. No big spoiler alert there! But it’s learning from our mistakes that help us move our life forward. It’s learning from our mistakes and failures that help us grow.

It’s when we keep making the same mistakes over and over again that we fail to grow. Not learning from our mistakes keeps us stagnant. It keeps us stuck.

Related postHow to Stop Making the Same Mistakes?

7. A strong woman stands up for herself

A strong woman is assertive and stands up for herself. A strong woman knows how to get her point across, have her opinion and voice heard, and avoid that whole passive-aggressive communication mess.

If you have a friend who is constantly late and/or unreliable and you are feeling frustrated and devalued, it might be time to be more assertive about your needs.

An excellent book for learning to be more assertive is The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships by Julie De Azevedo Hanks Ph.D.

One section I found really helpful in this book is on the different attachment styles and how they affect the way we interact with other people.

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8. A strong woman respects her and other people’s boundaries

Boundaries are an important part of life and a strong woman respect boundaries. They respect their boundaries but also the boundaries of other people.

Boundaries don’t intimidate them and they don’t feel scared to express their needs. A strong woman knows that having boundaries in place results in a more peaceful life, and she knows that she deserves peace.

Related postWhy Boundaries are so Important?

9. A strong woman goes after what she wants

A strong woman has goals and dreams and goes after them. They act strategically, they plan and they take action.

Strong women do what they say they are going to do, instead of talking endlessly about things they know they are never going to do.

10. A strong woman knows herself

A strong woman knows who she is. Self-awareness and self-discovery are important to her and she does her best to find out more about herself (even when some of those discoveries are challenging).

Knowing herself means being honest about her habits, behaviors, emotional triggers, and actions.

Not only does a strong woman know herself but she knows and appreciates the special people in her life that helped her along the way and she doesn’t take those people for granted.

Related posts to increase your self-awareness –

11. A strong woman embraces her power

A strong woman isn’t afraid to embrace and own her power. She doesn’t hide from her power or minimize it to make others feel better.

A strong woman knows that her intelligence, beauty, body, confidence, competence, talent, independence, compassion, perseverance, and passion are all part of her power.

She isn’t scared to acknowledge her power and doesn’t try to deny having it in the first place.

Most importantly she doesn’t give her power to other people. She doesn’t hand her life over on a silver platter, even to the people closest to her because she knows that’s not good for them or for herself.

Related post11 Ways You Are More Powerful Than You Think

12. A strong woman knows her worth

Your self-worth is your inner core. Knowing our worth sustains us from the inside out. It helps us get through difficult times and gives us confidence when we need it the most.

Knowing your worth comes from within. I like to think of it as an internal sun that shines brightly inside each of us. Your own beautiful, abundant power source that keeps you going, and keeps you believing in yourself, even when times get tough. It’s there shining brightly, even on the days that feel bleak and lonely.

The power of personal growth and self-worth is knowing how to plug back into that source when you need it.

13. A strong woman works on her personal growth

A strong woman knows that working on her personal growth is important. She knows that there is always room for improvement and that seeking change and growth in our lives does not mean that we need to be ‘fixed’.

Striving for self-improvement does not mean that you are broken.

An excellent book on building confidence is Radical Confidence: 10 No BS Lessons on Becoming The Hero of Your Own Life by Lisa Bilyeu.

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14. A strong woman respects and takes care of her body

You don’t have to be at the gym every day to be a strong woman or to have a strong body. What you do need to do is respect and honor your body.

When something is wrong you need to go to a doctor, when you are exposing your body to toxic habits and materials, you need to have the mental strength to stop.

A strong woman learns to love her body. Granted I know this one can take time and definitely isn’t easy. It seems that we are programmed to dislike or even hate our bodies. We’re too fat, too thin, too wrinkled, too old, too fill in the blanks with whatever applies here!

A strong woman also knows that there will be times when she gets off track with her wellness and health routines but she respects herself and doesn’t beat herself up for getting off track. Instead, she gets back to treating her body with respect and love.

15. A strong woman reaches out for help when they need it

Strength isn’t about suffering silently or even suffering very loudly while doing nothing to help yourself.

True strength is reaching out for help when you need it.

Whether it’s reading a blog, buying a book, listening to a podcast, talking to a counselor, hiring a coach, or speaking to a therapist or psychologist. Perhaps it involves an appointment with a trained medical professional to discuss any mental health issues you may be dealing with.

Whatever help you need, make sure you value yourself enough to make yourself a priority and get the help you need.

Characteristics of a Strong Woman

All of the above doesn’t mean that a strong woman doesn’t struggle. We all struggle at times. A strong woman, just like everyone else makes mistakes, struggles with their life being turned upside down, and has moments where she doesn’t feel strong. Yet she persists. She perseveres. She takes her strength and uses it to get back up and move her life forward.

We show our strength in a variety of different ways. Just because someone else doesn’t think we have the characteristics of a strong woman, doesn’t mean that we don’t. We may be stronger than even the closest people in our lives realize as we often keep our inner struggles to ourselves.

Don’t underestimate our own strength. You are stronger, wiser, and braver than you think, always remember that.

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