In a recent article by Harper’s Bazaar featured model Kendall Jenner who opened up about her experience growing as a woman in today’s society. Within the interview she dropped a gem of a quote that inspired this article. “I feel like I am coming into my womanhood,” she said, “and having so many strong women around me has helped shape my sense of worth.”
The topic of women empowerment has been in the media both social and traditional, locally and internationally. As it is aimed at empowering you, recognizing the influence other women have on you can assist you to find direction and people you resonate with. It can also help you identify why certain habits you have might have been influenced as you grew up.
In a world marked by relentless change and challenges, the presence of strong women serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. These remarkable individuals don’t just make waves in their own lives; they have the transformative power to shape the self-worth of those fortunate enough to be in their orbit.
In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the profound impact of strong women on your sense of worth. Drawing from psychology, philosophy, and real-life stories, we illuminate the empowering influence these women offer and the rich tapestry of theories that support this phenomenon.
The Inspirational Tapestry of Female Role Models
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” — Audre Lorde
From the quiet wisdom of grandmothers to the guidance of mentors and friends, strong women are the unsung heroes who enrich our lives with their resilience and strength. As you’ve undoubtedly experienced, these women have the power to become guiding stars on your journey to self-discovery.
Attachment Theory: Early Foundations of Influence
Earlier we stated that strong women, from grandmothers to mentors, play a pivotal role in shaping our self-worth. Their influence can be traced back to psychological theories, particularly Attachment Theory. This theory highlights how early relationships, especially with strong female figures, can significantly impact one’s self-esteem and interpersonal relationships as an adult.
Attachment Theory suggests that a secure attachment to a strong, nurturing woman during early childhood shapes our attachment styles, influence our self-perception and lays the foundation for a healthy self-concept. It fosters a sense of security and nurtures a deep-rooted sense of worthiness.
Dr. Susan Johnson, Psychologist stated “Attachment theory underscores how early relationships, especially with strong female figures, can significantly impact your self-esteem and interpersonal relationships as an adult.”
Strong female role models often provide a profound sense of security during childhood. Their unconditional love and guidance lay the foundation for a healthy self-concept, helping you feel secure and fostering a deep-rooted sense of worth.
Resilience as a Lifelong Lesson
Strong women possess an innate ability to bounce back from life’s adversities with remarkable resilience. Their capacity to overcome challenges while maintaining their sense of worth sets a powerful example for us all.
One of the best statements that supports this is by Eleanor Roosevelt, stating “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Growing up you realize adversities aren’t a rarity, they vary in intensities. Watching the women in your life wade through the murky waters of uncertainty with their heads high and eyes locked on their goal teaches you how powerful resilience is. How valuable it is to keep pushing, keep trudging through the rough terrains in life until you reach your end goal.
The Psychology of Resilience
Psychological theories, such as the concept of “stress inoculation,” suggest that exposure to strong, resilient individuals can help you develop better coping mechanisms, ultimately bolstering your own sense of self-worth.
“Observing and learning from resilient women can serve as a ‘stress vaccine,’ enabling you to tackle life’s challenges with greater confidence and self-assuredness.” — Dr. Martin Seligman, Positive Psychologist
Resilience isn’t an innate trait but a skill that can be learned and nurtured. Strong women demonstrate the importance of facing adversity head-on, maintaining their dignity, and emerging even stronger. These experiences teach you that challenges are not threats to your worth but opportunities for growth and self-discovery.
The Gift of Empowerment
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
Strong women often advocate for empowerment, encouraging others to recognize their inner strength and worth. Their words and actions inspire you to believe in yourself and your capabilities.
Empowerment as a Psychological Foundation
As stated, Strong women often advocate for empowerment, a concept rooted in psychological theories like Self-Efficacy. This theory emphasizes the role of self-efficacy—the belief in one’s ability to achieve goals—in shaping self-worth. Encounters with strong women who empower you can significantly enhance your self-efficacy.
Psychology expert Dr. Albert Bandura addressed this by saying, “Empowerment from strong women fosters a positive self-concept and a greater willingness to strive for personal and professional success.”
Empowerment from strong women serves as a cornerstone in your self-development journey. Their belief in your abilities fuels your confidence, encouraging you to pursue your goals and dreams with unwavering determination. They teach you that your worth is not defined by external validation but by your own belief in yourself.
Nurturing Emotional Intelligence
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” — J.K. Rowling
Strong women often excel in emotional intelligence, a skill that aligns with psychological research emphasizing the significance of emotionally intelligent individuals. This intelligence can positively impact emotional well-being and self-worth.
Emotional Intelligence in Psychology
“Strong women can serve as emotional role models, teaching you how to navigate complex feelings, communicate effectively, and build healthier relationships, all of which contribute to a healthier sense of self-worth.” — Dr. Daniel Goleman, Psychologist
Psychological research underscores how exposure to emotionally intelligent individuals, particularly strong women, can enhance your own emotional regulation and interpersonal skills.
Strong women possess an unparalleled ability to empathize, connect, and communicate effectively. Their emotional intelligence helps you learn the value of emotional well-being and how to foster healthier relationships. These skills empower you to navigate the complexities of life with grace, increasing your sense of self-worth.
Shattering Stereotypes and Expanding Horizons
Strong women challenge societal norms and stereotypes, paving the way for expanded opportunities and self-expression. Their fearless pursuit of authenticity encourages you to embrace your uniqueness, a notion closely tied to feminist philosophies like Intersectionality.
“I am my best work – a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” — Audre Lorde
Feminist Philosophies and Identity
Feminist philosophies, such as intersectionality, emphasize the importance of strong women who break stereotypes, encouraging you to explore your identity beyond predefined roles and expectations.
“Strong women inspire us to question societal norms and embrace the complexities of our own identities, ultimately shaping a more nuanced and confident sense of self.” — Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, Philosopher
Strong women are living proof that your worth is not confined by societal expectations or gender stereotypes. Their fearlessness in pursuing their passions and breaking barriers challenges you to embrace your true self. By doing so, they encourage you to redefine your worth on your own terms, irrespective of societal pressures.
Building Authentic Connections
“Women supporting women is not a trend; it’s a culture.” — Unknown
Strong women encourage authentic connections based on mutual respect, trust, and support. These relationships, often devoid of judgment, provide fertile ground for self-discovery and self-worth.
Psychological studies highlight the significance of supportive relationships in fostering self-esteem. Connections with strong women who offer unwavering support can have a profound impact on your sense of worth.
“Strong, authentic relationships with women who celebrate your successes and lift you up during challenges contribute to a healthy self-concept and elevated self-worth.” — Dr. John Gottman, Psychologist
Strong women create safe spaces where you can flourish without judgment. Their unwavering support and celebration of your achievements reinforce the idea that your worth is not conditional; it is intrinsic. These relationships demonstrate that you are valued for who you are, not for what you do or achieve.
Fostering Independence and Self-Reliance
“The strongest people make time to help others, even if they’re struggling with their own personal demons.” — Unknown
This psychological theory, developed by Deci and Ryan, posits that individuals are driven by a natural desire to fulfill their potential and thrive autonomously. It emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation and autonomy in achieving personal growth and well-being. Interactions with strong women who exemplify self-reliance can inspire you to take control of your life and cultivate a robust sense of self-worth. By witnessing their independence, you learn that true self-worth is rooted in your ability to define and pursue your aspirations independently, rather than relying solely on external validation.
Philosophy of Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s philosophy of self-reliance advocates for individualism, emphasizing that true greatness comes from self-reliance and self-trust. Strong women who embody this philosophy demonstrate that self-worth is not dependent on the approval or validation of others. They teach you that your value is inherently tied to your ability to trust your own judgment and take charge of your life.
Strong women show that self-worth is not solely dependent on external validation. Their self-reliance teaches you that your value is inherently tied to your ability to define and pursue your aspirations independently.
Encouraging Advocacy and Activism
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Strong women often champion causes they believe in, fostering a sense of purpose and social responsibility. This aligns with the concept of Self-Transcendence, as described in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Self-Transcendence represents the pursuit of goals beyond personal interests and encompasses a deep sense of connectedness and purpose.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Self-Transcendence)
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that individuals have a hierarchy of needs, with self-actualization at the pinnacle. Self-transcendence represents the pursuit of goals beyond personal interests and encompasses a deep sense of connectedness and purpose. Strong women who champion causes they believe in align with this concept by moving beyond their individual needs and working towards the betterment of society.
Encounters with such strong women can inspire you to become socially engaged and contribute to causes greater than yourself. This engagement can significantly enhance your sense of worth by aligning your values with actions that make a positive impact on society, fulfilling a deeper sense of purpose.
Philosophy of Social Responsibility (John Stuart Mill)
Mill’s philosophy of utilitarianism underscores the importance of actions that promote the greatest good for the greatest number. Strong women who engage in advocacy and activism often align with this philosophy, demonstrating that personal fulfillment and self-worth can be achieved by actively contributing to the welfare of others and society at large.
Encounters with strong women who are advocates and activists can inspire you to become socially engaged and contribute to causes greater than yourself. This engagement can significantly enhance your sense of worth by aligning your values with actions that make a positive impact on society.
In your journey through life, the presence of strong women plays a pivotal role in shaping your sense of worth. From attachment theories and psychological concepts to philosophical ideologies and personal experiences, the evidence is clear: strong women have the power to inspire, empower, and elevate your self-worth.
As you continue to be influenced by these remarkable individuals, remember that their wisdom, resilience, and authenticity serve as guiding lights on your path to self-discovery and empowerment. Embrace these influences, cherish the connections, and allow the strength of strong women to illuminate your sense of worth, making it as enduring and radiant as the women who inspire you.
In the end, it’s a testament to the extraordinary capacity of strong women to shape not just individual lives but the course of history itself.