The Difference Between a Girl and a Woman: 12 Things that Empowered Women Do

From birth, we are ever changing and evolving into the people we will become. Situations, people, and experiences help to mold us and shape our personalities. Growing up is certainly not easy: females especially encounter a number of obstacles during their developmental years. Thanks to Regina George (and real life imitations) we are all familiar with how vicious and catty girls can be – especially to each other. Body shaming, sub tweeting on social media, letting guys come between friendships – the list is endless. Most of us likely experienced these blunders of social suicide as teens and grew out of that phase, but what about the mean girls still strolling the streets (and the office) who are well beyond their quarter-life crisis? Immaturity is not a good look for anyone, and can set you back not only in your career, but in life. Being a classy, empowered woman is about more than just your age; it is how you carry and present yourself to the outside world. As you prepare to step out into the concrete jungle that is adulthood (or even if you’re already wading in knee-deep), check yourself and be sure that you are representing yourself as a #boss:

1. Know what you want – and how to ask for it.
Whether in a friendship, relationship, or your career, it’s important to set personal boundaries and always define what you want, and what you will not allow. Girls don’t know how to utilize their voice and say what is on their mind; they are intimidated and worried they will be unable to express themselves properly, or are only able to convey their emotions by being passive aggressive. Women are confident enough to know how to tactfully state their position, and discuss what their desired end result is – along with intelligent ideas on how to achieve it. Never be afraid to speak up, as anything worth having takes effort, and anything lost by voicing your opinion was never worth having to begin with.

2. Have ambition and always set (and reevaluate) goals.
Success is relative to each individual and situation; some dream of being the CEO of the latest up-and-coming tech company, while others wish to stay in their hometown and raise a family. Either choice (and every variation in between) is an admirable achievement: the key is having the vision to know what your end goal is. Girls don’t bother thinking about their future and where they want to be in five years; women consider every angle and make plans to ensure meeting their goal(s) happens.

3. Respect yourself and your body.
Girls rely solely on their bodies to get what they want, as they are not confident enough in themselves or their intelligence. A woman knows she is inherently sexy, which encompasses her mind as well as her body; at the same time, she is wise enough to know that her worth does not lie in whether or not people find her to be physically attractive.

4. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.
Girls radiate insecurity and worry about what others think of them, almost to an unhealthy level – many rely on the number of Instagram likes to define their self-worth. Women recognize their value without the validation of others and know that despite any flaws they may have, they’re still f*cking amazing. That model may look incredible in that dress, but she can’t play the piano like you can; never forget what you bring to the table.

5. Focus on the future; not the past.
Failed relationships, bad jobs, missed opportunities – these are all things that no longer serve you, so let them go. Girls remain stuck in the past, and don’t focus on the time and opportunities that they have ahead of them; they often repeat their mistakes as a result. Women know how to analyze their past in a healthy manner to ensure they take the lesson learned from each situation; the past is an opportunity to grow and evolve into a wiser version of your former self.

6. Be considerate of all people.
All people deserve respect, no matter their situation or status. Girls selfishly think only of themselves and do not stop to think about how their actions may affect others. Women always try to be present and conscious of how they relate to others, and know that kindness and consideration are qualities that speak for themselves, even in cases where the recipient may not have acted very deserving. Never raise your voice – just your standards.

7. Know that your only competition is the reflection in the mirror.
Girls feel threatened by the success or happiness of others and feel the need to measure up and compare. Those that try to imitate others will never achieve true happiness. Look in the mirror, and be proud of who you are and how far you’ve come; learn to feel comfortable in your own skin. Have your own definition of what success and happiness means to you, and then strive to be a better person every day. “The chance for greatness, for progress and for change dies the moment we try to be like someone else.” - Faith Jegede

8. Avoid gossip or bragging.
People that feel the need to “one-up” others or put others down are not the people that others look up to or want to be friends with, and their behavior screams of insecurity. Never be that person, and especially avoid this in the workplace.

9. Know when to be a bitch, and when to be a lady.
Knowing what you want and asking for it is a wonderful thing, but there is a fine line between using the f bomb as an adjective with your friends and doing so in a professional environment – know the difference! Also, being the loudest person in the room does not make you the smartest, and it certainly won’t attract any admirers. Sometimes, less really is more.

10. Keep private matters private.
In the world of social media and today’s technology, we have all the information we could possibly want at our fingertips – sometimes, too much. Many people overshare, which is awkward for all involved. Girls use social media in place of a therapist, and take out all of their negative emotions online; Facebook is not a diary. Consider your audience and who will see posts and pictures – nowadays posting something inappropriate can actually affect your career and your future. If you hesitate on whether you should share something, err on the side of good judgment and keep it private.

11. Recognize that happiness is a choice – one you must make every day.
Girls blame others for their shortcomings or for hardships they have experienced. The truth is, we all go through difficult times, and it is how you react that defines you as a person; there is no one responsible for your happiness except for you. Gratitude is an important concept and a good practice to put into place. So many of us forget the simple things amongst stresses of day to day life, and take for granted the pleasures (and basic common necessities) we are lucky to have. Every day, list at least five things you are grateful for. Once you stop to consider this, you will feel much richer than you initially thought, and this perspective will bring you much more happiness than you can imagine.

12. Support and empower other females.
Stop the girl on girl crime! Amazing things can happen when women support other women. Imagine yourself in the midst of your best girlfriends, laughing, sharing your ideas, and enjoying life. Now imagine that on a bigger scale; if all women were this kind to each other, we could change the world – literally. Let’s start a movement and make the world a better place for all women! #EmpoweredWomenOwnIt

Ladies, it’s time to throw out your Burn Book – after all, even Regina George was able to learn and grow from her mistakes. Being an empowered woman is simply about keeping your head and morals high, and showing basic respect towards all people. Also, don’t forget to be yourself – there is only one of you in all the world, and you’re f*cking fabulous! As Rumi so eloquently phrased it – “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”


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