If you Google “woman of substance”, the top result of your search will be about a 1980s TV miniseries. The film is an adaptation of a family saga by Barbara Taylor Bradford — a bestselling novelist, whose own life story is a perfect example of a woman of substance.
But what is the meaning of “a woman of substance”? What does it involve to become one? And is there any point in honing your “substance” character traits for a richer life?
Not everyone seeks a richer existence, and not everyone consciously seeks deep and meaningful relationships. As annoying as this can be, we don’t all want the same things, yet, the sad fact remains, many people are unhappy and rarely feeling fulfilled in life!
Why is this and is there something amiss in the way we approach the path to fulfilment in our lives as a whole… and within relationships?
No matter who you or how you live your life, you are of value. It doesn’t matter if you’re a street sweeper, a teacher or a lawyer, no one needs to change themselves to be more valuable – and at the same time, if you’re not living your life from a place of inner peace, or you’re somehow not the woman you want to be, then perhaps it’s time to peer into all aspects of your life and ascertain if you’re living a life of substance.
If you want to wake up every morning and go to bed every night feeling at peace with who you are and the life you are living, then these 5 “woman of substance” rules are for you.
- Know What You Want And Do What It Takes To Achieve It
Do you know what you want? Are you sure? And, more importantly, are you sure it’s what you really want?
Let’s say you want to be successful — we all do, don’t we? But we don’t have magic wands that can make us wealthy, happy, and fulfilled in a second. It takes time and effort, and perseverance.
Or say you want to help people. Maybe you want to empower other women. You will need to find your special way of doing this and then pursue the path you’ve chosen to the end, whatever it takes.
Knowing what you want is just the first step. Once you’re sure you want it, you need to put in the work. A woman of substance is ready to go the extra mile. She will do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals.
- Find Your Authentic Voice And Own It
One of the greatest things that the women’s empowerment movement did for women is that it reminded us that we have a voice. Our voices are there to be used and women of substance know how to use them. Expressing your opinions freely, without intimidation, is one of the best qualities that define this kind of woman.
But, you might say, some of us are the quiet type, while others are chatterboxes used to talking. This doesn’t matter at all when it comes to being unafraid of expressing your opinions and standing up for yourself and others.
Even if you’re the quiet type, know that the world changes for the better when you speak up. If women like Simone de Beauvoir, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and countless others did not speak up, today’s world would have been a very different!
Women who are inspired to honour their truth are an inspiration to others, too! So have the courage to ask for what you want and to say no to what you don’t want – just be honourable able it. Not a screaming banshee! When you deliver with integrity and grace, when it comes from the heart, you’ll be surprised how well it’s received.
When you deliver your needs and perspective with integrity and grace, when it comes from the heart, you’ll be surprised how well it’s received.
- Never Doubt Your Lovability
Social pressure on women’s self-image has perhaps never been greater than right now. There is a flood of information telling us how we should look, act, talk, and love. Swim against it! You are unique and you should value this uniqueness.
You can only grow and evolve into the best version of yourself if you first learn to love yourself as you are. Of course, we all have weaknesses. Of course, we’d like to not have them. So, work on anything you see as a weakness, just don’t hate yourself for them. Love your imperfections, while also letting go of the ones that take away from what you value.
Accept the body you have and learn to love it. It will serve you well if you do. Accept your mind, your little quirks and oddities that make you who you are and put them to the best possible use. This is empowerment — refusing to fit into a mould that is uncomfortable, just because someone else thinks moulds are a good idea.
- Hold On To Your Values, Whatever Happens
We are defined by what we believe in. Our values are at the core of everything we do. We don’t always feel this but the things we value are what motivate us to accomplish this or that goal. Holding on to your values is what women of substance do.
If you truly value your family, then don’t ever make so much of a compromise that you let your career take over what truly matters, just because someone says it should.
If you really love your work, don’t succumb to pressures of setting up a family just because “this is the done thing.”
If you value a healthy relationship, though for some few years you’ve not met a man who’s able to have a healthy relationship with you, then don’t think that there is anything wrong with that or that you’re doomed. Mute out the unhelpful noise and stay focused and confident that what you desire is ABSOLUTELY possible. Keep moving on until you meet him. You will.
Sticking to your values in the face of challenges is part of the definition of a woman of substance. Your values can inspire you and motivate you to accomplish all your goals. Ignoring them will only hinder and even hurt you.
- Leave A Mark In The World, Don’t Go Gentle Into The Night
A woman of substance leaves her special mark on the world. She makes it better, even if in a small way. Small is valuable.
What ignites a fire in your belly? What excites you?
Maybe your goal is to be an effective and loving parent, maybe volunteering at a shelter for the homeless gets you out of bed, it could be curing cancer, it could be teaching nutrition or dog training, it could be doing less and smiling more.
The world is full of inspiration and brilliant examples of women of substance. You just need to find your own unique way to live your truth and live a life that feels full to you. Substance does not mean you need to achieve external accolades or validation; in fact, a woman of substance is not driven by what others think of her. She knows that she does not need to achieve a damn thing to prove herself worthy. She is. That’s what gives her substance.
Women of power in history, such as Eva Peron, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, and Angela Merkel have all left their mark on the world. Powerful women in business, such as Melissa Meyer, Indra Nooyi, and Meg Whitman show us that it’s possible to make it big and they tirelessly support women’s empowerment because they know how hard it was to get where they are now.
So no matter how big or small, live by what matters to you, on a deeper level. Forget the superficial bulldust that many of us buy into. Here’s a thought, the next time you salivate over the latest Louis Vuitton handbag or compare yourself to the latest celebrity who’s caught your eye, go within and ask yourself, what do I truly need to feel at peace and whole?
Be more than the topping or the icing on the cake, nature your foundations for a profound living!
No excuses. Is there a glass ceiling not letting you realize your full potential? Break it. So many women have. Do beauty stereotypes make you feel unattractive and even unlucky in love? Stop feeding on these stereotypes. Just follow the five rules.
I assure you, no fancy handbag, celebrity lifestyle, or man, will ever fulfil you if you don’t already feel of value and substantial in your life as an individual person…
No matter how old or young you are, rather than comparing yourself to others, perhaps spend your time and energy defining your own success and living your life in a way that moves you and makes your heart sing.
What do you think? Do you agree? What have you changed in your life to nurture you or what do you want to change? Share this with me below in the comments section.
Love ~ Nadine