A long time ago, I wrote a post called S.I.W standing for Strong Independent Women.
The past few weeks/ months I’ve tried to be the strongest most independent woman I could ever be. Unfortunately, what I failed to remember was rule no. 5 – sometimes being a strong independent woman relies on leaning on some other S.I.W’s.
I was having a really good think about this on a train back from London (a whole 2 hours and 30 minutes of thought), and a bit like Dua Lipa – I wrote some new rules.
NB. Remember, you don’t have to be a woman to follow these rules. Equally, they’re more like guidelines than rules but I’ve seen a bit of each rule in everyone I’ve ever admired.
The New Rules Guide to Being a S.I.W:
- Be Assertive
If you need something, go and get it. The more easily you can meet your own emotional needs, the more you will understand what you need in a relationship and when to turn around and say ‘this isn’t right!?’. Being assertive is as much about saying ‘no’ as it is about saying yes!
- Stand Up For Yourself
On that note, learn to say no – I spent many years being a doormat and doing things because I was too nice to say no, then one day I realised, it wasn’t a two way street.
I have also lost out on opportunities and felt the annoyed when I haven’t spoke up and stood up for myself.
- Don’t Compete or Compare
Women spend so much time taking each other down by looking up to someone and commenting on ‘real people’ and how bad they look or who they’ve slept with recently. We spend so much time comparing ourselves physically to unattainable role models. We spend the rest of our time competing amongst one another and putting each other down. A real SIW would embrace their beauty and their strengths and know they don’t need to compete. They can admire, but they shouldn’t compare because they are a SIW who is independent and unique from everyone else.
- Believe in Yourself
A SIW doesn’t just dream, she makes it happen because she goes out and works for it. She knows she can achieve her dreams because she’s got all the qualities needed to make those dreams into a reality.
- Celebrate Other Women
A SIW is strong and independent but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t also respect and celebrate other women. She is codependent on her friends and not a man/ partner. You should compliment others and not tear them down with cheap jibes, you will feel better for it and other women will respect you for it too.
- Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission
This is a new one. Nancy Byers said it on an episode Stranger Things 3 (so many SIW’s in that series btw). I really like the idea of just going for it sometimes. While we may worry about hurting people, sometimes there’s a greater good to consider. S.I.W can weigh up the consequences and understand that some things are bigger and more important than just one person. However, if we do ever hurt anyone – it is important to hold up our hands and ask for forgiveness.
- Don’t be Afraid to Fail
I’m so guilty of this. I am afraid that sometimes I don’t try, sometimes I don’t say the things I should have said or sometimes I just pretend I don’t care. We all care – of course we do and no one likes to fail. BUT, it’s so important that every failure brings a lesson or a reflection. Sometimes the best things to do are to fail, because the success is so much greater in the long run.
- Set Boundaries
This is important when being a S.I.W. In relationships, friendships, employment, with family and even with yourself, boundaries will help you in the long run. It took me too long to set boundaries in some of my closest relationships and it ended up with me being hurt and damaged. Now, I’m starting to set my own boundaries – bedtimes, time on my phone, keeping seeing people that make me anxious to a minimum and it’s working.
- Put In Your Whole Heart
This one people may disagree with. However, I’m a firm believer that a S.I.W is a S.I.W because they can love unconditionally and as much as they want to. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I know that makes me vulnerable to getting hurt. I have been hurt. Therefore, the knowledge that I have chosen to expose myself to that hurt helps me be in control. I am in control of my heart and that makes me feel stronger overall.
- Rewrite the Rules
As a S.I.W, I write my own rules and I rewrite the rules as often as I need to. If we didn’t change the rules, or review the law now again, we’d be in a fucked up state of affairs. You can write the rules, you can put a line under any chapter you want to and you can start again. It’s the beauty of being a strong independent human being.
Positive of the day: I went and saw a psychiatrist today and they were really positive about my recovery!