So you want to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need anyone to help her get her way in life (think Beyonce Independent Woman style), but you’re not quite sure what to do. I mean… how do you even become more independent?
It’s okay – you’re not alone. It can be hard to know where to start, so we have compiled a list of things you can do to help you take those steps to independence, to help you feel more in control of your life, and more confident in yourself.
You can literally do every single one of these things on this list today, and I assure you, you’ll feel damn good for doing it.
1 – Stop Ignoring Your Finances
If you’re an adult who doesn’t know how much money is in your account, what bills are due when, or when/how much your next paycheck is going to be, the you need to get your finances sorted, now!
Your finances are so darn important to understand. Let me say that again so it really hits hard:
Your finances are so darn important to understand!!
You will never reach your financial goals if you don’t start learning how to manage your money and how to make your money work for you. There really is no excuse. Your money is something you have complete control over, so start learning how to control it.
Read blog posts, read books, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, figure out a way of budgeting that makes sense to you and just do it. There are so many ways to consume information about finance and money, and so many different approaches, you will certainly be able to find something that speaks to you and that clicks with you.
2 – Stop Relying On Others To Make You Happy
This one took me far too long to figure out, and really, it’s because of a message that has been ingrained in us from an early age. The Princess is saved by her Prince Charming. We just have to wait for our Prince Charming and he will find us.
Prince Charming isn’t coming and if you need to be saved then you need to save your own darn self.
Beyond the whole Prince Charming side of things, you just cannot rely on someone else to make you happy. It’s not their responsibility.
Your happiness is 100% your responsibility.
If someone in your life is making you unhappy, remove them from your life. If you aren’t happy, find ways to change it. Speak to professionals if you need help, do things that make you smile, do something amazing, stand outside and face the sun and feel it’s warmth on your skin.
Once you realise you are the one who is responsible for your own happiness, you start to see the people who bring negative energy into your life in a different way and start protecting that happiness.
3 – Start Taking Care Of Your Health
Your health isn’t going to get any better by sitting on the lounge and your sneaky donuts and coffee for breakfast may have not been as noticeable in your early twenties but as you edge towards your thirties (or mid-thirties in my case) these ‘health’ choices just don’t work anymore.
My health was something I kind of took for granted in my early twenties. Staying fit was easy, I always had energy and never really had to think about what I ate or when.
But this meant I had a crash course in health in my late twenties when my jeans were getting tighter and afternoon naps started to be a requirement thanks to my excessive sugar crash at 2pm.
Learning about my health and more specifically, about my hormones and what is and isn’t normal for women of different ages has been such a transformative experience.
Believe me when I tell you that you don’t know enough about your own body. Do you know what hormones your body needs and what your monthly cycle does for your hormone levels (and how this affects every aspect of your life)? It is incredible! Your body is incredible.
Understanding my body, my health, and how to fuel my body has given me so much more control over my life and I assure you it will do the same for you.
4 – Start A Savings Account
I’m going to add a little caveat to this – starting a savings account for the sake of a having a savings account is a surefire way to ensure you don’t actually put money into said savings account.
Wait… what? I’m telling you to start a savings account but I don’t expect you to put money in it?
Start a savings account – and pick something to save towards.
What you are saving towards doesn’t matter as much as having something to save towards.
When it comes to saving money, most people need motivation. We need a reason to put that money aside, rather than just for the sake of saving.
Choose something you’ve wanted to save for and then work towards it. It can be as big or as small as you want, a holiday or a house. Whatever works for you.
5 – Start An Emergency Account
Your savings account IS NOT your emergency fund. Your credit card IS NOT your emergency fund.
I’m pretty passionate about understanding and managing your finances, so when it comes to things like an emergency account, I get even more enthusiastic and implore everyone to have an emergency fund with at least $2000 available in it at any time.
This is not for a fashion emergency, or a ‘these-flights-are-a-really-good-deal-I-must-get-them-now’ emergency.
This is for ‘my car just broke down’ or ‘I need to make an insurance claim and have to pay my co-pay’ or ‘my relative is really sick and I need to get to them now’.
You can have as much money as you’d like in this emergency account, but we recommend around $2000 as that’s usually enough to get you out of any tricky situation.
6 – Set Goals For Yourself (And Plans To Achieve Them)
Are you proactive or reactive in your life? Do you do things because you want to be doing them or because they move you towards your goals? Or are you doing them because they just seem to happen?
The best way for you to move forward in your life and achieve your goals is to actually set goals.
It seems really simple but have you sat down and asked yourself what you want to achieve in your life?
Once you have a goal in mind, then you need to make plans to achieve them.
There are tons of posts and resources about goal setting and action plans for achieving them.
7 – Work Out What It Is That Makes You Happy
Similar to asking yourself what you want to achieve in your life, ask yourself what makes you happy. Like really makes your heart skip a beat kind of happy.
I remember being asked this question by my therapist and I answered with ‘oh my kids make me happy, and my husband makes me happy’ and my therapist told me that wasn’t a good enough answer (she was pretty sassy and I loved it). She pushed me to figure out what makes me happy, me as in me who isn’t a mother and wife, or a Paramedic or employee… me. What makes me happy.
It’s a challenging question and the answer might surprise you but it’s so important to know what it is that makes you happy so you can include more of these things in your life.
Again, this ties back into to knowing yourself, being responsible for your own happiness, and creating a life that you love.
8 – Spend Time Alone
For the introverts out there I don’t need to tell you this – you know the value of time alone. But for extroverts this can be very confronting. Whether you’re an introvert, and extrovert, or an eccentric mix of both, spending time alone can be so valuable to building your independence.
Time alone gives you an opportunity to embrace the quiet moments, a chance to plan your life and have important and honest conversations with yourself, and it is a great way to remind yourself that you are the priority in your life.
You cannot pour from an empty cup, and spending time alone, doing things you love to do, getting to know yourself, helps you fill that cup and helps you really establish yourself as a strong, independent woman.
9 – Get Help Dealing With Any Issues You May Need Help With
You’re not expected to know how to do it all. Seriously. It’s crazy to think that we feel like we need to do it all, know it all, and somehow magically have it all figured out.
There are so many people out there, experts in their field, who are willing and ready to help us and we can be so much better off for it.
Take counselling as an example. I have spent a lot of time with various counsellors and therapists (they aren’t all the same) for various aspects of my life. I have spoken to marriage counsellors, I’ve had therapists help me through previous traumas, I’ve had coaches help me move past blocks in my business – they all have helped in different ways and I have no hesitations asking for help in the future.
It’s not just your mental health – get help in any areas you feel you need help. Hire a cleaner, take a class to learn a skill you need help with, pay an accountant to do your taxes…
Any area in your life where you’re feeling you’re hitting a block in the road, or you’re avoiding because you hate it, or you feel like you need help with – get the help. It’s so, so worth it.
Being a strong independent woman isn’t about doing it all yourself. It’s about knowing yourself, controlling what you can in your life, playing to your strengths, being responsible for yourself, and getting help when you need it.
Which of these do you already do and which are you going to work on today?