Strong as a Mother: Mentally Strong Women

May 2023

by anna rogers

Women come in all sorts of beautiful shapes and sizes. In every woman lies a unique and beautiful spirit worth celebrating. Yet on every woman lies a heavy weight – a combination of societal pressures, the need to prove themselves, a seeking of balance, hormones, inequality, and the world's brokenness, to name a few. 

Every day, mentally strong women stare down these challenges and carve out a present and future that is fulfilling and holistically healthy. These women exhibit strength beyond muscle tone or job titles or successful kids – their strength is deeply rooted, solid, and ready to weather the storms they know will come. 

Contentment Over Comparison 

One beautiful characteristic of mentally strong women is that they are completely and entirely themselves. Each day, the goal is to be the best version of who they are, not who someone else is or who others tell them they should be. Their ideas of strength and beauty don’t come from an Instagram reel or a Netflix series but are founded on truths that allow them to set roots, grow skyward, and extend their limbs to bathe fully in the sun’s beams.  

A strong woman’s self-worth is not built on others’ opinions but on her own intrinsic value and the light she knows she distinctively brings into the world. This contentment quiets the constant chatter that says: 

“But look what she’s achieving while I’m in the midst of a setback.” 

“She seems to have it all together – why am I struggling?” 

“If only my life were more like hers….” 

Strong women know that comparison is the thief of joy. They lay out goals for growth on their own path, in their own time, and with their own methods. A confidence and contentedness in who they are and what their goals are for personal growth give them focus and purpose. Instead of trying to be “better than her,” strong women seek to be “better than yesterday.” 

Mentally strong women know that true mental strength isn’t something you can always see on the outside. It can be quiet and unassuming. So strong women celebrate and recognize every aspect of strength – seen and unseen – in themselves and others. 

Encouragement Over Envy 

Have you ever spent time with a woman who encouraged those around her? If so, you probably find yourself craving more time with her. Mentally strong women encourage other women on their journeys – to their faces and behind their backs. They speak of others in a way that is honoring and uplifting. Out of their contented and confident hearts pours speech that drives others to be confident in their talents and strengths, and it serves to lift them up in the hardest moments of life. This encouraging spirit is like a balm to those hurting, struggling, or trying to find their path.  

While encouraging those around them, mentally strong women don’t put themselves down to make others feel better. Instead, they recognize that there is room for everyone in the land of a contented spirit and feel peace about who they are even as they come alongside someone who may be very different with contrasting goals. Their joy is contagious, and they breed a culture that links arms to face the future with hope and endurance instead of one that pushes others down to get ahead.  

In contrast, women who fill their heads and hearts with envy toward others find themselves sowing seeds of self-destruction and reaping the benefits in full. There is no happiness of heart in a life of envy. It is only a lonely road that will never lead to spectacular places. Therefore, mentally strong women tune out the noise when encountering women of envy and keep looking ahead.  

Progress Over Perfection 

In mentally strong women, confidence and humility coexist. Pridefulness is short-sighted, and strong women recognize that their strength comes from putting in the work. They maintain a mentality of continuous growth. Some seasons bear blossoms and fruit, while others are spent below the surface, working behind the scenes for things unseen. This progress-over-perfection mentality gives freedom from striving to get there and replaces it with a recognition of the beauty of being here.   

For mentally strong women, it is possible to be still and at rest – looking back on the work it took to come to a place, feeling the full weight of joy in being in that place, and looking ahead with confidence and excitement to the journey that is to come. Embracing every step and every piece of themselves is part of their moral fiber and mental fortitude. They work to keep bad habits at bay and to develop consistency in healthy habits that stretch and strengthen.  

Throughout their journey, mentally strong women combat the notion that they must be perfect to matter or make a difference. Unobtainable perfection doesn’t haunt them or leave them feeling like less than enough. Instead, they view their progress with dignity, they celebrate the advancement of others, and they see mistakes as opportunities for growth. 

Strong women are optimistic without being naïve, lift others without feeling low, and serve in love without being manipulated. Perhaps their ability to recognize the duplicity of this life and embrace it fully allows them to wade through it all with grace. Joy in sadness, calmness in fear, light in darkness – strong women clearly see the complexity of all that they feel and experience. Instead of trying to dumb it down, they embrace it in its fullness and, in turn, find themselves fulfilled. 

Originally printed in the May 2023 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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