1. Stop Apologizing for Everything
We are so conditioned to apologize and say sorry, but we aren't apologizing for wrongs we have done. I literally accidentally ran into the shopping cart of another woman the other day and SHE apologized to me. What sense does that make? You absolutely should apologize when you have wronged someone, but not for every single thing all the time when you've done nothing.
2. Apply For Positions of Power
Whether that be becoming your own business owner, the CEO, the boss, a politician, join in community activism---give it a go. We complain about a lot of things that hurt us as women especially on a political level, but we don't often run to be part of the thing that makes the changes to the community, the company, our own lives. It is hard to have your voice heard when you aren't even part of the conversation!
3. Be Clear about Not/Or Wanting a Family/Marriage
If you want to get married, have kids, and live that life, be clear to the people around you, especially the relationships you are in, that that is what you want. You shouldn't allow a partner to dictate that these things aren't important if they are to you. On the same token if you don't want those things, don't let someone pressure you into that if you don't feel that's what you want in your life.
4. Dress for Yourself
Everyone is always going to have an opinion on what you wear. It's just the way of the world. Dressing how you want is rarely a judgement free zone, but you need to love what you wear and feel good in it. If you like the buttons all the way up to the neck, or you could totally do without, do that because people are just going to talk either way, but you can always be happy with you and how you dress.
5. Pursue Something For Yourself
Work, School, Kids...everything and everybody else tends to become priority, but what do you have for yourself? What thing have you done or gone after or achieved that is about you and you alone? It doesn't even have to be a working goal, but a personal one like traveling to a place you've always dreamed of because you want to, not because there is a Disneyland there for the kids or it's a business trip.
6. Speak Up in the Bedroom
Tell your partner what you like. Don't always assume he (or she) knows what you do and don't like or that these things can't change for you in what you like. If you aren't having fun in there, you don't have to be cruel, but a suggestion here and there can help because it's not only him (or her) that needs to be happy in the bedroom, but yourself as it's a two way street.
7. Take Care of Yourself Physically and Mentally
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You need to take care of both. If you aren't doing well, start today, even if it's something small, in doing something to benefit both. Reach out to a friend to have a deep conversation about your life with no distractions in the way, or go for a walk, or see a counselor if you can afford one, and start a plan to better your physical health if you haven't already. You don't need to do everything all at once, but baby steps. A walk 3x a week, having lunch with a friend so you're not just in your own head all the time, but do start.
8. Stop Putting Yourself Down
Work on changing your own narrative. Imagine if someone else said all the negative things to you on a daily basis that you say to yourself. How would that make you feel on top of how you already feel? Give yourself grace. You don't need to be perfect or measure up to any one elses expectations every single minute. Also stop engaging in conversations that enable others. When your friends start talking down about themselves, don't just go along and agree. Instead tell them "I do not want to engage in language that makes you feel bad about yourself," and instead genuinely give them a compliment that has something to do with their great character or your friendship--something that is more than just a surface compliment.
9. Learn to Be a Little (or a lot) Less Dependent on Men/Others
A lot of what men can do on their own, women can absolutely do too. You don't "need" a man to help you build the Ikea table. For some women, they are afraid to look less feminine by doing these things or they don't think they can for some reason, but men had to learn those skills somehow and you can too. You never know in life when you may be single and living alone or you may be in a situation where you need to help yourself because no one else will and having that can do attitude and doing things more for yourself while learning to be more self sufficient will help you out in immeasurable ways. It will scale back this idea that women are weak or incapable of accomplishing certain things without a man. And no, this isn't saying get rid of men in your life, but let's be real, you too can open a jar girl!
10. Set Boundaries
Women are often taught socially to be sweet and polite, the person who forgives, and many often don't speak up when something is bothering them, so setting boundaries with someone who doesn't treat you the way you should be treated or with something that's getting on your nerves, can be a difficult task. For example, if you have a toxic mother who belittles you every time you see her or a boyfriend who always has his friends over almost every night of the week when you are exhausted from work and need some peace and quiet---instead of quietly accepting these things, saaaaay something. Make it clear that you aren't going to be someone's punching bag and you will limit your interactions with this toxic person or that your boyfriend and his friends need to respect your need to be able to unwind peacefully in your own home after a long days work from time to time. Saying it once in half a whisper isn't going to do it, you have to follow through as well. Lunch with mom is cancelled because you warned her you wouldn't put up with her trashing you and she did in her phone call to you. No, boyfriends friends can't stay over even if they just got there because you agreed to 2 nights a week only, etc.