20 Valuable Lessons Most Women Have To Learn The Hard Way

Photo: Valeri Vatel / Shutterstock
dramatic woman standing in dark alley

They say time brings wisdom (or at least it should). 

But how great would it be to get a heads-up earlier in life that, perhaps, stressing over a passive-aggressive roommate is a waste of time, and pining over that unreliable-but-totally-sexy dude is a guaranteed path to heartache? 

Here are 20 valuable life lessons most women have to learn the hard way:

1. Your beauty is innate and will never shrink as a result of someone else not noticing or acknowledging it

The idea that someone else can ultimately decide how attractive you are as a person and determine the beauty of your soul is not only false but sure to do some major damage in the long run. Attraction is arbitrary and people will project and reject you for reasons that have nothing at all to do with you. 

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2. You're truly powerful

Though it will feel like the world is caving in on you several times throughout your life, you're not about to crumble. The truth is that you have a surplus of strength that makes it absolutely impossible for you not to survive.

3. You're in full and total control as to what you will tolerate

You can draw a boundary and walk away any time you want to. It may not be easy — it may be tricky and scary and you may have no idea what you're doing or where you're going — but make no mistake: you can go.

4. Friendship is so much more than group texts, meeting for happy hour, and summer trips to the beach

Yes, those things are fun, but it's absolutely vital that you find a tribe you can trust, count on, and enjoy life with.

5. If it's not challenging, you're not growing

An easy life is one that doesn't push you, make you think, or assist you in building the skills you need to succeed and the confidence that will carry you through life with courage and security. If you are never brought to your knees, you'll never know how amazing it feels to get back up and win the round.

6. Your life is yours to curate and celebrate

If you're enjoying the life you're living and feel good about who you are, what does it matter what anyone else thinks?

7. If someone is worth it, they will go in the trenches with you (and on their own to pull you out)

If people get going the second the going gets tough, beware. Life isn't always going to be a good time, and you need and deserve people in your life who will put in the time and energy to help you fight through the not-so-happy moments.

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8. Your life is so much bigger than how many people like your selfies on Instagram

Worry more about how many people are happy to see you, have you in their life, and enjoy the moments you're missing while on your phone.

9. Failing doesn't mean you're a failure

If you want to fail, give up (or don't try at all).

10. You can spend months, even years, planning for something

But nothing will change the fact that you have to take life one day at a time.

11. If he's not trying to be with you, he doesn't want to be with you

It's that old "he's just not that into you" mentality that's right on point. Both men and women tend to put their energy and point their attention toward what is a priority for them. If the man or woman in your life constantly has to be lured back into it with messages and efforts from you, they're telling you something (and it's not that they care).

12. Never be afraid to flash your passion or acknowledge your ambition

And don't you dare apologize for your success? Anyone who asks you to be less than you are doesn't deserve to be in your life. Period.

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13. There's a very big difference between being physically attractive and being beautiful

One is about looks, the other is about the soul.

14. Trust is meant to be durable

It will be broken many times in our lives, but it still deserves a place in them.

15. The idea that being in a relationship proves anything about you is one of the most destructive lies in society

Like that you're lovable, are worth keeping, and can succeed.

16. We only have so much room in our minds, homes, offices, hearts, and lives

You can't hold onto everything and expect to have room for something new or even find what you're looking for easily.

17. Good manners, humility, and knowledge work as a triple threat in the attraction of opportunities

You have to attract what you already are.

18. You don't have to be all things at all times to all people in order to be loved

You just need to be you all day, every day.

19. Even if you have no idea where you're going, you'd better make sure you don't go backward 

It often happens that uncertainty gets a bad rap. Many of us assume that what we don't know is bad and so we run back into what is familiar, even if that wasn't good. This happens with relationships, jobs, friendships, and even habits that hold us back. It's worth taking some time to be uncomfortable and to explore to find (or create) something that is worthy of your energy.

20. Winning isn't really about "beating" anyone else, and succeeding isn't about "winning" 

The point is to live a life you love up to your best possible standard and to have the self-respect it takes to acknowledge how well you have done.

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Brenda Della Casa is the author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey and Gotham Bandit, A Huffington Post Blogger, and the founder of BDC Life In Style.