This weekend I was thinking about being strong and how it rarely has fuck-all to do with the size of your muscles. Obviously, I am all for getting physically strong, but sometimes you need to remember how to show your strength with your words, your mind, and your heart before your body will follow the lead. Because of this, I thought I’d share some of my favorite women with you all. Next time you’re bummed about how you can’t quite hit that PR, or how you aren’t happy with the body you see in the mirror, perhaps think about working toward a goal in one of these categories instead. I’ve found that often it’s hard to be physically strong if you’re feeling mentally weak.
Put Yourself Out There
Lady of Inspiration: Tina Fey, Comedian
I’ve always loved Tina Fey for her brutal honesty, insane self awareness and especially her for ability to call it exactly like she sees it. She is a woman who’s strength becomes more and more evident, the more she shows how insecure she is. As you watch Tina Fey joke about her life, her insecurities, her thoughts, her hopes and her fears you begin to notice that she really doesn’t give a fuck what you (or anyone else) thinks about them. Suddenly in her ability to make light of her struggles you realize she is actually one of the most confident and motivated women in the world. She may not be perfect but she is proud to be the fucking weirdo that she is and she wouldn’t have become the inspiration that she is without putting herself out there for the world to see.
Being strong means not being scared to be seen… even if you’re a little odd.
Stand your ground
Lady of Inspiration: Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist
We all know the story of Rosa Parks, the young black woman who was arrested for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man during the Civil Rights Movement. This is a woman who was literally arrested for doing what she knew was right and not taking shit from the men who handed it to her. More and more I see women walked all over, nervous to voice their opinions, and blatantly taken advantage of for their generosity and niceness. It’s OK to be nice and do what you’re supposed to, to a point. But, when push comes to shove, you need to stand up for what you believe in. You need to stand your ground. You need to be strong enough to tell anyone who tries to stop you to FUCK OFF!
Being strong means sticking with what you believe… even (and especially) when it’s hard.
Don’t wait for an invitation
Lady of Inspiration: Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of one of the biggest businesses in the world. She has worked her ass off to get to the top and all the while she she has openly encouraged other women to do the same. She recently wrote the book “Lean In”, where she pushes hard for women to lean into their careers, and to work hard toward achieving their goals. I admire Sheryl Sandberg because she has not only made her way up to the top of the tech industry (primarily run by men) but she has also created a family environment where parenting and housework are split evenly between herself and her husband. Throughout her journey she has taken advantage of opportunities and jumped in to grab exactly what she needed to do the things she wanted to do. She found opportunities within her job to help her be a mother, and she found opportunities within her family to make her career a success. She embodies the strength and power of jumping into the conversation and leading it in the direction you want it to go.
Being strong means jumping in… not waiting for an invitation.
(plus… before she was the hot shit that she is now, she used to be a spandex wearing aerobics instructor in the 80’s. FUCK YEAH!)
Be crazy passionate
Lady of Inspiration: Natalie Portman’s Character in the film in Black Swan
Yeah, sure… this movie ended with her killing herself… but up until that point it was fucking EPIC. Portman’s character was overflowing with drive, power and emotion. She knew what she wanted and she was working her ass off for it. The competition between the women in this movie was intense and really bred an environment of passion and commitment. Obviously we should not all kill ourselves, or cut our ears off like Van Gogh; but living your life with an intense passion for what you do, should not be abnormal or “crazy” behavior for women. If you want to be the best you have to fill your heart and push toward the top.
Being strong means giving it your all… even if it scares the shit out of you.
Use your sex appeal
Lady of Inspiration: Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was a babe… and she knew how to use it to her advantage. She banged the president, she hung out with Andy Warhol, and she basically spent her life doing whatever the fuck she wanted. Maybe that’s not your personal goal, but there is a lesson in here somewhere.
Whether the world wants to admit it or not, sometimes, having a slamin’ body and a luscious pair of lips can help you get exactly where you want to go. I personally believe that it takes a lot of strength and courage to consciously decide to use your sex appeal to your advantage. Yes, society may deem you a slut or a whore, but society also tends to have a problem with women being powerful (and our sex appeal is one of our most powerful features). Perhaps batting your eyelashes to get what you want doesn’t sound politically correct, and it’s perhaps it’s not, but who gives a fuck? Men have been using their abundance of testosterone to run the world for years… this is one of the ways we are able to compete with that. I’m not suggesting you sleep your way to the top, but I am saying… know how accent your best features.
Being strong means playing the cards you’re dealt… and not being ashamed of it.
Get Shit Done
Lady of Inspiration: Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher is the only female British Prime Minister, and she was a scientist as well. During her time in office she was dubbed, the “Iron Lady”, because of her uncompromising politics and leadership style. She was so strong, that the policies and governing style that developed due to her leadership have come to be known as Thatcherism (which is a little like Raeganomics). Margaret Thatcher never compromise on her positions, and because of it she got shit done! She faced many struggles along the way, but she stuck to it and became the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th Century.
Being strong means doing what you need to get the job done… and not taking ‘no’ for an answer.
Lady of Inspiration: This old lady
Look at her 😉
Being strong means being happy to be yourself.