7 Rules for Women to Never Let Someone Silence Them
In today’s society, it can feel like there are a lot of people trying to shut you up. Whether you feel silenced by the patriarchy, your family or even yourself, there are many reasons why people tell women not to speak up. However, women have been speaking up for centuries and have always found a way to make their voices heard. Here, are seven rules for women never let someone silence them.
1. Don’t let anyone make you feel as if you’re not capable
As a young girl, you were taught that your goal was to find the “right” guy, marry him and get married. That’s not to say there wasn’t room for you to be happy, but there was a huge emphasis on finding a husband.
As you grew older, you were encouraged to stay at home and raise a family. Again, this may have been a great decision for you, but it was encouraged strongly from a young age and was instilled into you during your formative years. You’ve internalized these beliefs and expectations of how a woman should behave and what she should be capable of. You feel like you’re doing everything wrong and never measure up.
As you go into the world, these beliefs start to show.
2. Quit Competing With Other Women
In the Western culture that has dominated the world for more than a century, women have become complacent about one of the most valuable assets they have– their voices. The problem begins when women become too comfortable being part of a group.
I want to challenge you today to stop competing with other women. Your attitude about competition determines how you feel about your voice. You can compare yourself to other women, or you can be a good example for them. Choose the latter!
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
According to an article published in Business Insider, only 33% of companies have any policies that promote workplace diversity. There are countless benefits to your well-being, your business and your company’s bottom line if you choose to share your unique experiences and preferences. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid to speak up for fear that we will be discriminated against. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make our near and dear ones uncomfortable.
According to The Washington Post, women who don’t step up when faced with negative bias will be at a competitive disadvantage. If you have been passed up for a promotion, if your voice and opinion haven’t been heard, you are not taking the opportunity to improve your work situation.
4. Find Your Voice
If you’ve spent your whole life trying to be someone you’re not, don’t fret. The reality is you don’t have to live as you do. It’s never too late to find your voice, and that’s exactly what you’re here to do, so let’s explore how you can do that.
First, remember that being yourself is important. We want to be able to be ourselves, but if you’re constantly acting like someone else then you are not living your authentic self. Being yourself means that you are authentic, and authentically you are open to the world with your passions, ideas, thoughts and feelings.
And to be truly open to the world you have to be open to yourself.
Once you are aware of your underlying unfulfilled expectations, you will start to understand the unhealthy patterns that you’re repeating.
5. Stop Giving Away Your Power
After developing an awareness of multiple harmful habits, there’s one that stood out to me as particularly insidious: social media. While we’re all entitled to our personal opinions, it’s important to recognize that we all have different perspectives.
Social media enables people to express those opinions to thousands of followers at a moment’s notice and in a way that allows you to remain silent in the face of those opinions.
This message seems so obvious now, but I still hear from women who want to “get real” with me and share with me their opinions, but do so only on their terms. Rather than identifying the harmful behaviours and learning to counteract them, they don’t have the nerve to share their opinion when it doesn’t fit their social platform and they take their ball and go home.
6. Fight for What You Want
Standing up for what you believe in is essential for your well-being. Making choices based on what you know is right for you rather than on what you think people will think of you will make you a stronger woman.
Don’t Feel Bound by Common Denominators
Your mom may have never even considered her pregnancy or her body as “broken” or “faulty,” but they are. In order to eliminate that stigma, you have to recognize that, unfortunately, those stereotypes are the status quo for many women.
7. Stand Out Among the Rest of the Pack
When it comes to women, especially young women, having confidence can be difficult. But being a successful woman doesn’t mean trying to be someone you’re not. Remember that you can’t please everyone. Instead of worrying about what others think, worry about making yourself happy. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but if you can find ways to make yourself happy, it will be easier to share that happiness with others.
It’s important to remember that being successful doesn’t necessarily mean being wealthy. Being wealthy isn’t nearly as important as being happy. It’s okay to enjoy some of the things you’ve always wanted, and that includes a night out with friends or getting your hair done.
Being a woman in today’s world is so much more than just being pretty and being a wife. It’s about learning how to be empowered in the face of unkindness and about embracing your full self. The only way to do that is to embrace who you are and learn to love every single part of your unique, beautiful soul. Embrace your uniqueness and your differences. Be unapologetic in your truth. And know that your actions define you and your successes. Use your past as a stepping stone. Use the mistakes you’ve made as stepping stones to success. And use your strengths as stepping stones to self-confidence. You’ve got this.
With that said, women everywhere should learn to be brave, speak up and make the changes necessary to live their lives in the most authentic way possible.
About Dr. Alana E. Conly
Dr. Alana E. Conly, a board-certified holistic psychiatrist, owns and operates Healthy Minds Consultants. She specializes in working with clients who suffer from eating disorders, body image, depression, anxiety, infertility, PMS, PTSD, stress, work and parenting concerns.