What Being Strong Means to Me

Never apologize for being a powerful woman.

There are a lot of misconceptions about strong women. People believe they’re inevitably bitter, they hate men, and that’s just not attractive. Well, being strong means I can stand up for myself. That I am an adult who can think clearly, can do things for herself, and most importantly, function independently.

I also have opinions and beliefs which may be drastically different from what society expects us to have, and I refuse to settle for less. But this doesn’t mean I shove my beliefs and opinions down other people’s throats or judge them for how they think. I am not bitter or arrogant. But in all reality, it’s the complete opposite. It’s just that I am confident in who I am.

Do not mistake independence and strength with arrogance. A woman who is strong and confident will be brutally honest with herself. We know what areas in our life need improvement, and where we must draw the line. 

Being strong doesn’t mean I don’t need help. I acknowledge that I’m not a superwoman and asking other people for help won’t make me weak either. A strong woman is willing to gain strength from supportive friends, family members, and mentors – despite the notion that strong women should do it all alone. I wonder why the world sees us as a threat. Why are we labelled as ‘too much,’ ‘too intimidating,’ ‘too miserable,’ ‘too rude,’ or too ‘bitter?’  We are none of those things! 

Strong women are women with backbones. We aren’t afraid to put ourselves out in a world that might not support us. We know our strengths, our weaknesses, and our passion. Only if people stick around long enough, they’ll get a taste of what having a strong woman by their side means.

Raise Your Daughters To Be Strong Women

Make sure they are self-assured and ready to tackle the world.

The vast majority of people are instantly threatened by the fire, force and the outspokenness of strong women. They’re not what the world perceives them to be – beautifully wrapped delicate bodies.

While strong women are not easily intimidated, they’re not aggressive either. This beautiful breed can take care of themselves as best as they can and achieve everything they want. More importantly, they refuse to take shit from anyone. Strong women aren’t heartless or cold. It’s just that they know where and how to spend their precious time. They don’t let people play with their emotions, focus, and goals. And there’s no time for gossip or petty discussions.

You will never find strong women putting others down. In fact, they will call out this behavior if they see it. Inside the tough exterior, you will find a kind heart that will tell you these women are humans and can cry or breakdown too. 

Remember, strong women are confident and self-assured. They know their strengths and abilities and what they need to accomplish their goals. You’d never find them seeking validation from others. They’re their own source of motivation. Raise your daughters better so they can be strong women. 

How Burnout Taught Me the Biggest Lesson in Life

Burnout can happen quietly, through creeping fences. But you can get back on track.

I stood in my boss’s office and for the first time, said ‘No’ to him directly. As someone who always wanted to become a dedicated employee, I felt incredibly guilty for refusing to take on another project.

The exhaustion was real. I felt I didn’t have the mental, emotional, or physical capacity to do more. What’s worse is that I felt ashamed and thought I was a failure. My brain ignored my achievements.

Should I turn off the laptop? I held back my tears, as I knew my commitment to my work went way beyond what was healthy. This was the first time I, a highly driven “career girl” was having a serious problem. I wanted to stay in bed and cry from despair and helplessness. I hated work updates as I couldn’t muster the conversation, and honestly, I was utterly burnt out. Because I didn’t care about my self at that stage of exhaustion, my stress levels skyrocketed, and my health was slowly destroyed.

Image Courtesy: @Thrive

To turn this burnout around, nourishment is non-negotiable. This includes getting quality rest, eating right, exercising gently, and getting fresh air. But you also have to nourish your heart and brain by doing things that make you feel like you.

Remember, coming back from burnout is more than putting gas back in the tank. You must step up and accept responsibility to make sure you’re okay through all the pressures and priorities in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is or how you do it—what matters is making your own self a priority.

What To Do If You Have a Bad Boss

Here’s how you can survive working for a bad boss.

Bad bosses are common in the average Pakistan workforce. Most professionals say their boss is the most stressful part of their job. We all know someone who left a job only to get away from their toxic boss.

Surprisingly, people stay in jobs with toxic bosses for a multitude of reasons.

1. I don’t have the energy to start job hunting again.

2. I love my coworkers.

3. I need money and this place pays me well.

4. I’ve invested precious time in this organization.

5. Things will be better soon.

These excuses are deeply linked to human psychology. Toxic workplaces rob workers of the energy needed to search for a new job or perform better. They find it hard to quit, and it’s impossible to identify a new opportunity when one lacks motivation. Additionally, people stay in toxic situations if they are emotionally attached to their job. Although staying put seems more lucrative, it comes with many risks.

Studies reveal that employees who work for toxic bosses are more susceptible to stress, depression, fatigue, and anxiety.

What You Can Do?

Bad bosses should always be taken seriously. If you can’t quit immediately, it’s a good idea to talk to your boss. A difficult boss may not be open to hearing you, but you can try making specific requests to get what you need.

Second, engage with a support network. Talk to like-minded co-workers to de-stress.

Last, take care of your health. Get plenty of exercise, and sleep.

Of course, you are in the best position to decide what’s best for you. If you dread going to work every day, or if you feel physically and emotionally drained, or your self-confidence is affected, it’s time to go. Line up your next move – your job search. Remember, it’s okay to quit to keep your sanity intact.

Stop Chasing Perfection – You Will Get Nowhere

Make Life Easier on Yourself by Accepting Good Enough.

I am my own harshest critic. I must be in control of every aspect of my life. At work, I have to be the best employee. As far as looks are concerned, I must have the ideal figure – a narrow waist, flat belly, and absolutely no ‘jiggly’ parts. In terms of style, everything has to be branded down to my socks. These all sound like too good to be true, right? Well, that’s because they are. In fact, some of them are nearly impossible to accomplish.

It took a lot of thinking for me to fully accept that chasing perfection isn’t a good idea. It’s true that no one can be perfect in every aspect of his or her life. My teenage years weren’t the best mainly because I was secretly obsessed with being perfect. I spent a lot of time looking in the mirror staring at every single flaw I had. In my mind, I was a fat and dark ‘worthless’ human who can never be good enough.

The Twenties were no different.  Every day, I hated what I saw in the mirror. I never wanted to interact with people and there was always an excuse: I’m too busy working! Mean comments about my skin tone and weight lead me into a spiral of negative thoughts. These negative words were constantly on a loop in my head driving me crazy.

Perfectly imperfect at 33!

Things started changing the day I turned 30. I realized spending time with loved ones is so much more beneficial than dwelling over negative, mean comments that are worthless. There’s much more to life than obsessing over relationships, the number on the weight scale or the shade of your foundation. I decided to enjoy time with my family and friends. Well, there’s no gap between my thighs and I still have belly rolls. My butts jiggle when I walk or run. I know I’m not perfect,and that is okay.

So what really matters?

Forget the weighing scale and the reflection you see in the mirror. Don’t beat yourself up for not having the ideal body proportions or skin tone. Accept who you are. Do whatever makes you happy. Nobody is perfect and that is just how it is. Love yourself because you are worth it.