You have been the ‘good girl’ all your life. You have been taught ever since you were a child that good girls don’t talk back. Good girls don’t laugh too loud. Good girls dress up nicely. Good girls don’t go out with bad girls. Good girls do what they are told. Good girls keep everyone happy.
The concept of a ‘good girl’ has so deeply been embedded into your mind that even as a grown woman who has a life of her own, trying to navigate her way around the world and crafting an independent life, you still feel the need to be a ‘good girl’. As a result, you shrink yourself, lower your voice, get pushed around by people, get treated like a doormat in your struggle to please everyone, and stay quiet in situations where you should be yelling. Yelling at the top of your lungs. Do you find yourself nodding right now? Girl, it’s time to stop and be a badass.
Here are the major signs of a badass women:
The problem with the ‘good girl’ concept that we have been brainwashed into since childhood is that it makes us apologize for every little thing that we do. Even our very existence. We say ‘sorry’ for being ourselves. We search for the slightest clue on people’s faces that hints they are upset about something we did and then we apologize. We are always afraid we might do something that might upset people. As a result, we shrink. We stop raising our voices. We stop expressing ourselves. But badass women don’t apologize for who they are. When they don’t like something they say it. When they want to, they say ‘no’. When they feel like wearing that outfit, they wear it. They take up space. They know that they are living their lives for themselves, not anybody else.
Do you spend hours scrolling photos of Kylie Jenner on Instagram only to hate your body later? Or while scrolling Facebook, you come across wedding photos of your high-school friend smiling like she’s living the best life? And suddenly you get reminded that your love life is a complete mess. We do this every day. As women, we have been taught to live up to society’s standards to be accepted- a flawless body, a Harvard degree, a boyfriend straight out of Nicolas Sparks romance novel.
And in our quest to become the version of some woman other people expect us to be so that we would be loved and accepted, we lost touch with our true selves. We put on tons of makeup everyday. Go on crash diets. Desperately swipe our Tinder. Compare ourselves to people’s social media accounts. Beat ourselves up. Throw pity parties every day. Badass women accept themselves for who they are. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. And while they do have flaws, they don’t dwell on them. They celebrate the better parts of their lives- their friendships, their sense of humor, their talent.
They are not afraid to eat alone in a cafe or travel solo. They are comfortable inside their bodies and their sexuality. Winnie Harlow is a fashion model with vitiligo, a skin disease condition white patches appear on various parts of your body. She could have chosen to press quit on her life because of the way she looks, labeling herself ‘ugly’. Too many of us walk around with negative labels. Instead, Winnie proudly shows up in front of the world every day and lives her best life. Unapologetically. This is how a badass woman rolls.
Women are by their very nature sensitive and feel emotions more deeply than men. This is why whether you hurt someone five years ago or said something wrong five minutes ago, you are likely to overthink it and beat yourself up for the next fifty years. You would hide underneath the blanket of shame, guilt, and anger all your life. How about you become a little kinder to yourself, tell yourself you messed up but it’s okay.
Forgive yourself and move on. Be that friend to yourself you wish you had. This also applies to forgiving others. Yes, others hurt us. Damage us. Insult us. Disrespect us. Make us mad. And of course, it’s wrong. You don’t deserve the negative treatment you receive. But other people are also humans with their flaws, trauma, and shortcomings. If you hold onto resentment and anger for too long, it is a poison that slowly kills you from the inside. So girl, forgive others. Do it for your self, for your peace of mind.
Have you grown up with a label? Labels can be placed upon us by anyone but those placed by our family and friends affect us the most. So maybe you were labeled ‘too fat’, ‘too thin’, ‘too tall’, ‘too short’, ‘too loud’, ‘too quiet’, ‘too boyish’, ‘too girlish’, or just too much of anything as a child. Your label made you feel like there was something wrong with you. As a result, you began to hide parts of your identity. Maybe your nose, your teeth, your thighs, or even your way of talking, smiling, laughing, or walking. The very things that make you beautiful, that make you ‘you’ became your targets of shame and guilt.
Since a child deeply craves love and acceptance of those he is close to, he would do anything to have it. You too became someone you are not. You started to feel bad about the things you should be proud of. The truth is no matter what you do, you will always be ‘too much’ for some people. You will always be an object of criticism and mockery. So how about you stop caring about people’s opinions, judgments, and drama, and just be yourself? Express yourself, laugh a lot, sing out loud, and walk like you have it all together like a badass woman.
They know that time is money and their life is a project. Therefore, they give their time and energy only to things that would reap rewards in the future and give them a better quality of life. Tina broke up with her eleventh boyfriend? Who cares? That guy you met at Subway is trying to flirt you in your DMs? Who cares? Block him. Everybody is going to that big concert in town? Who cares? Stay at home in your PJs and read your favorite book. Badass women have better things to do than put up with people’s BS and drama. Not to say they are boring and have zero social lives, but they have priorities. Everybody else doing it does not matter to them.
Yes, they have their own lives to live and goals to achieve but that does not mean they cut off all connections and isolate themselves from the rest of the world. They have relationships too and not just romantic. They have their own circle of friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, and people they met on a trip to Bali. A romantic relationship is a plus but not the center of their existence because they can function perfectly well without a partner. But what actually makes them badass is that they choose quality over quantity. They make space in their lives only for people who cultivate value and goodness instead of putting them down and making their lives miserable. They don’t build relationships just to kill time and fill a void. As a result, badass women attract badass people into their lives.
When you were a kid, you always wanted your caregivers around you. You were terrified of being separated from them. Of course, you felt secure around them. You feel less threatened. But if you formed an unhealthy attachment with your caregivers, you grew up to be an adult who could not be alone. As a result, you always wanted a company. You followed the herd. You wanted friends like that popular group in school. Your own company would make you uncomfortable. You would rather be in a toxic relationship than alone. Badass women are in healthy relationships with themselves before they are with anyone else. They are not afraid to take themselves out on dates, travel solo, run errands, and go places. They take the time to know themselves, explore their interests and engage in their hobbies. They know that they need to cultivate healthy relationships with themselves if they want healthy relationships with others.
Judging is easy. It’s fun. Negatively judging others makes you feel good and gives you a false sense of superiority over them. But it’s also unkind. It stops you from building new relationships. Imagine what would happen if instead of judging that girl on the bus because of her weird haircut you striked a conversation with her only to find that the two of you had the same taste in music? You could win a friend for life. What you feel about yourself is reflected in your judgments of others. Badass women respect themselves and so they respect others too. They have a positive view of themselves and hence of others too. They take the time to get to know people before forming an opinion.
“Know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track.”
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