By Laura Lifshitz
There comes a time in your life as a woman when you embrace every last quirk you have, flaunt your strengths and accept your weaknesses like a queen meeting her subjects.
That time is 40.
It’s not that you are cocky or “better-than.” It’s just that as a strong independent 40-year-old woman you own who you truly are with no apologies. And if you are guilty of apologizing too much, (hands up—that’s me!) you know this is your issue, and you own your issues. Your baggage is baggage, but it’s yours and wholly-owned.
I wish so much I could go back to my twenty-something year-old self and shake her. Have a talk with her. A stern talking to. . .
With my thirty-year-old self, I’d do the same thing, but with a little more finesse. I was more polished at 30 than 20, obviously.
For all of you ladies stepping into or currently owning your forties, you’ll find that these quotes or sayings will resonate with you. When you’re feeling not so strong or need a pick-me-up or a reminder of how great you are, read these.
1. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”– Madonna
Madonna is no joke. How many of us have apologized for what we want or even feel? How many of us have hesitated to speak up or make that call?
Don’t be afraid. A strong woman will say what she wants, even if her voice falters.
2. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller
Sometimes, you have to have faith even when the chips are down. You have to believe that this too, shall pass. That everything is temporary.
Strong women keep forging on. It doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes crumble. It just means we take a break, and then pick up, and keep going.
3. “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
My divorce and life as a single mom has shown me I am much stronger than I think I am. That I am more capable than I believe myself to be. That sometimes, I am simply subscribing to learned helplessness.
How many of us have seen how strong we truly are when under pressure and stress?
Diamonds in the rough—building our shine.
4. “I’m not sorry.”
This isn’t some quote from a famous figure, but something so many of us strong 40-something women should own.
We don’t have to apologize for everything we do, think, say or feel that might ruffle someone’s feathers.
This is one battle I have yet to win. I find myself apologizing all too much, and for things that aren’t worth apologizing for.
Own these words, ladies. Own your feelings. Stop being sorry. We’ve got this.
No more apologies, necessary.
5. “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” – Joan Rivers
We aren’t children anymore or little girls.
We are resourceful. We find ways out. We find ways in. We make stuff happen.
One of the things I have learned is that sometimes, the straight path isn’t available to my destination, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way. I just take a different route, but the end result is the same:
I reach my goal.
That’s what we do. We strong women reach our goals, whichever way we need to take to get there.
6. “Just watch, all of you men. I’ll show you what a woman can do…I’ll go across the country, I’ll race to the Moon… I’ll never look back.”– Edna Gardner Whyte
That’s right, Edna.
When someone tells me “You can’t do that” or “No,” in my head I think, “Just watch me.”
I always have.
It doesn’t matter what it is you are looking to accomplish: no one will deter you from your destination.
Welcome to your forties, where action plans go into full effect and no one cuts the budget or vetoes the plan.
7. “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks
Even though my marriage was over and my ex and I had problems, he was my family. Ending the marriage was scary. In the almost five years we have been apart, there have been many times I have felt scared. Financially, emotionally. You name it.
But a strong woman steps up, does what she has to, hopes for the best, and takes that risk because we do what we have to, even if we are afraid.
8. “I can do this.”
Another saying without a famous author behind it.
Even if something doesn’t come easily to us or will take time, the strong woman tells herself, “I can do this, even if it takes forever.”
Sometimes, you have to keep trying and holding on even when things seem impossible to complete!
9. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” – Lucille Ball
Yes, yes, yes!
We held back a bit in our twenties. We stepped up in our thirties, but in our forties, we take a sledgehammer to the wall and break it down.
We’re looking at our lives and seeing what we’ve done and what we haven’t. We want to take risks before we have too many regrets. This quote is so powerful!
10. “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton
You can always change, simply put. When you’ve hit your forties you know that there is no time left to falter or stumble around. If you don’t like what’s ahead of you, change the direction.
Strong women know that sometimes, you need to change the route, and that’s OK.
If you ever doubt yourself, feel negative, overwhelmed, stressed or in despair, remind yourself of who you really are—how capable you truly are and can be, and adjust your crown.
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated writer, comedienne, single mother and chocolate fanatic. A former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate, you can find her work in many places, like the New York Times, DivorceForce, Mom.Me, Women’s Health, Worthy, Working Mother and numerous other sites. Follow her on Facebook and her own website, frommtvtomommy.com.