10 Lessons I've Learned from the Womxn in My Life

When I think of womxn, I think of grit. I think of sacrifice and dealing with stuff we shouldn’t have to deal with and just grinding it out to do what we have to do to succeed.

The history of womxn is a history of putting up with bullshit. Living in a patriarchal world means forever dealing with toxic masculinity, a poison so strong it is routinely able to get womxn to turn on each other.

But, as it turns out, womxn are a hell of a lot stronger than pretending emotions don’t exist, regarding womxn as objects, and big-truck-little-man syndrome combined.

There are so many awesome womxn who have existed. People like Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama motivate and empower us all to want to keep going and achieve greatness. When I dig deep for inner strength, I will often tell myself that I don’t want to disappoint people like them. And while it’s inspiring to look to these figures and all of the things they’ve accomplished and the kickass examples they’ve set, I think it’s also important to look to the womxn in your everyday life.

I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by amazing, inspiring, powerful womxn for my whole life. They have been my role models, are supportive of me, and have encouraged me to be the best womxn I can be. I’ve reached out to some of these wonderful womxn and asked them for any words of wisdom and empowerment that they have to offer. This is what they came up with:

1. “Don’t be afraid to work for what you want and think for yourself. Don’t depend on anybody but yourself. And have confidence in yourself.”

2. “Sometimes you have to dig deep inside yourself to get what you need to do done. Even when you aren’t sure you have it in you, it is there. Failure isn’t an option when you are the sole support.”

Image source: A Step Ahead

3. “Don’t quit just because you are surrounded by assholes, learn everything you can then walk away on your terms. Don’t let the assholes win.”

Image source: Saundra Goldman

4. “When you are struggling, it’s important to remember that it’s often hard for others to see and relate to… It bothers me that I let others take my confidence away. I shouldn’t do that. They don’t see how I feel on the inside so my insecurities show up in a way that most don’t understand. Don’t let anyone steal your thunder, your confidence. You appear well on the outside. Your struggles on the inside people don’t see. That’s okay because you are dealing with them. How people perceive you is not how you perceive yourself.”

5.“Always believe in yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to. Try to be positive, never negative. Look for the good.”

6.“Go for the top. Don’t just be a worker, be the boss. Books before boys. Get your education first, but don’t forget to have some fun. And most of all, love yourself.”

7. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! We can work on cars, we can work on houses, we can do whatever our body can physically allow us to do. Set your goals and turn your dreams into reality, and never give up no matter what. Work hard, save your money, always be good and do good and good will come your way!”

8.“Being a woman is flat out powerful in and of itself. Women often don’t realize the strength they possess, because we just always ‘do!’ In that ‘doing’, things happen. I come from a line of strong women. For a huge part of my childhood, my mom and her three sisters raised all of their children together… It was a blessing to be raised by four strong women. A year and a half ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I literally thought I was going to die. I had 10 tumors in one breast, but in the back of my mind I knew there was no giving up… My family was depending on me. So, I activated every ounce of faith I had, and I just did what I had to do… I worked through my double mastectomy, breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, and 30 rounds of radiation. My family depended on me, so with God’s grace, I got up every morning and fought my way through. I honestly don’t know how I did it! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I had a family to live for. Now, quite honestly, I live for myself. I realized that life is too precious not to enjoy it for me. I always felt guilty about doing things for me, but not anymore! I’ve learned to love myself; the good, the bad, and the ugly! Don’t sell yourself short! Don’t settle, take risks, LIVE EVERY SINGLE DAY, and LOVE hard! Accept, release, and embrace all that is you!”

9.“If anybody can do it, you can.”

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10. “On an airplane, they tell you to put your mask on first,” is something I can remember my mother always telling me. My mother has given me so much, from her big nose to her attitude. I think the greatest thing I’ve learned from her is that I have to come first. She has taught me how to be a sarcastic asshole, how not to give a shit what other people think of me, and how to be a successful and independent woman. This mentality is often perceived as selfish, but I guess until society decides to abandon its ignorant narrative, that’s where not giving a shit about what other people think of you comes into play."

Image source: Rapid City Journal