Part of SWSG’s mission is to use the skills of strong women to mentor girls, fostering their leadership, self-confidence, and internal strength.  Without strong women, the program would not exist.  But what is a strong woman?  In order to fully understand what lessons we are trying to impart on our girls, we must begin with square one.  What are the traits of a strong woman?
To find the answer, I gathered the opinions of a diverse sampling of several strong women I know.  I expected the answers to be drastically different, but I was delighted to unearth a few common themes that ran through the responses.
1. A strong woman knows who she is.

  • “She considers who she is and what she wants for herself.”
  • “She follows her heart.”
  • “She shows her authentic self and honors her instincts.”

But this is not static; rather, it is an ever-evolving process as she explores her interests.  She stays true to her values as this process continues.

  • “She is self-aware and continually growing into her true self.”
  • “She cultivates her own interests.”
  • “She can understand and appreciate her own strengths, then use those strengths to achieve her own success.”

2. A strong woman stands up for herself.  This one is not easy, and requires not only passion and confidence, but also tact and timing.  I think this is one of the most important characteristics for adolescents and girls to develop and maintain.

  • “She is not afraid to share her ideas and thoughts, regardless of what others think.”
  • “She speaks her heart and her mind.”
  • “She respects herself enough to stand up for herself, the causes she believes in, and the welfare of others.”

3.  A strong woman is happy! How could I almost forget about this one?  Thankfully, I have many jovial and energetic women in my life who reminded me of the importance of being happy and positive.

  • “She brings fun into her life and whatever she does.”
  • “She tries to develop a sense of balance.”
  • “She counts her blessings.”
  • “She strives to create a positive environment for herself and her family.”
  • “She lives fully, loves hard, has fun, and has a sense of humor.”

4. A strong woman challenges herself.  Even a woman who is capable, confident, and secure in her strengths must challenge herself to continue growing and pushing unfamiliar boundaries.

  • “Even if life is not easy, she makes a point to find the good and make things better.”
  • “She meets a challenge head-on.”
  • “She puts one foot in front of the other every day.”

And she admits she doesn’t have all the answers. She is willing to be flexible and seek more information in order to better her life and sharpen her mind.

  • “She asks questions.”
  • “She has a willingness to learn, but can be the teacher when needed.”
  • “She is confident in her abilities, but willing to learn more.”

Please share your thoughts with us.  What do you think encompasses a strong woman?