Defining Strength

March 20, 2017

March is Women’s History Month. Just as some of my fellow Ponies have shared stories about the inspirational women in their lives, I have been doing some reflecting of my own. Lately, I feel as though I have noticed more and more gratitude being expressed from a variety of people to the strong women who are a part of their lives, which is incredible to see. This got me thinking: What specifically defines a “strong woman”?

I curiously asked some of the women in my life about what defines a strong woman, in their opinion:

“A woman who: Respects and loves herself; does not limit herself by gender boundaries; challenges herself and others to be better versions of themselves; is self-sustaining; embodies integrity.”

“…a strong woman is someone who really knows themselves intensely and intimately, someone who can literally recognize their strengths and weaknesses. A strong woman is someone who knows how important it is to take care of her needs first, but never forgets to really love and lift up the people around her.”

“A strong woman to me is stoic and has the ability to rise above. She lifts other women up and puts the care of her loved ones first. She is in control of her surroundings and is always motivated.”

“A strong woman is someone who is confident in who she is and sticks with that through both her best and worst times and uses that understanding to guide her in her decisions”

“Wise and confident and able to persevere in any situation.”

“I would say a strong woman is someone who fights for their wants and needs. That may look like someone who is independent, but it also may look like someone who is dependent on the supports they need to thrive and succeed. A dependent woman like such should be defined as someone just as strong as an independent woman.”

“I would say that a strong woman is someone who is independent and can be depended on. A strong woman is kind to everyone and never gives up. She knows what she wants and she does everything she can to get there.”

“To me a strong woman is any woman. A strong woman is defined by each and every woman for herself. This is her strength.”

“I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T!!”

The interesting thing to me is that despite our differences — in age, occupation, background, etc. — there are strikingly similar characteristics between each of the responses I received. This was a beautiful way to reflect on the definition myself, and what exactly this month means to me. Today, this month and for the rest of the year, I highly encourage everyone to engage in conversations such as these with those around you; it may just provide you with a newfound perspective and appreciation, just as it did for me.

So, here’s to some Monday inspiration and gratitude! And here’s to the strong women that I am surrounded by each day – thank you.

A shout-out to my mom, who is the very definition of a strong woman herself: “A strong woman can move forward and learn from bad experiences in a way that she becomes more resilient, confident and compassionate. She uses these traits to empower herself and those around her.”