How to be a Woman

Steve Pavlina recently wrote an article called “How to be Man” and then challenged readers to write their own post called “How to be a Woman”. At first I though this was a great idea, but then I felt way under-qualified. Yes, I am female, but can I really speak for the world population of women? I’ll let you be the judge.

(I’m not going to number mine as Steve did…I’m just going to shoot from the hip.)

We all know there isn’t a magic mold that makes up the ideal woman. We ladies cannot be cloned and it is obvious that the world would be a very boring and monotonous place to live in if we did. My women friends are not the least bit like me (probably a good thing). We each have our strengths and weaknesses. We compliment each other, not with words, but with our actions.

Being a woman does not mean we meet some qualifications on a checklist. It’s not a group of character traits or physical distinctions. It’s not a set of virtues or standards that we must live up to. How can we know we are women? I can only speak to the universal experiences that we ladies share.

The most common and basic experience that we all know is fear. A woman who knows how to recognize and leverage fear to her advantage is the one who will succeed. Fear can either propel or repel us. If it’s not pushing us to do better, be better or improve ourselves in some way, then it could be repelling us away from the greatest and most fulfilling experiences of our lives. We must recognize the opportunities before us and push beyond the fear. Once we see that fear can be healthy and move us towards better opportunities and experiences, then we begin to learn who we are as individuals.

We must know who we are as women. If we cannot be who we were made to be then we have failed. Knowing who we are means we know our talents, our likes, our dislikes, our limits and our dreams. It also means that we can see ourselves completely outside of those limitations and dreams and recognize that anything is possible.

The word “can’t” serves only as a challenge to a woman. It is not a word that one can use to hold us back. Having recognized who we are and knowing that we can be whatever we choose, we can learn, we can train and we can overcome any challenge set before us. Simply put – we can.

Once we are comfortable with who we are and what we can do, we are not afraid to reinvent ourselves. This does not mean we put on a mask and hide. Reinvention is simply the art of stretching and growing into something stronger and even more beautiful. And that is how to be a woman.


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  3. Jay on August 9, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I think you and Steve Pavlina should have switched. I say this because being a woman is only relevant in relation to men, and being a man is only relevant in relation to women. In other words if there where no men in the world this question wouldn’t be valid in fact the term woman would probably not be valid. When we talk about night the first thing we confer is that it is not day. So in a manner of speaking the only one that can describe a man should be a woman by way of describing what she is not and vise verse. In my opinion your blog more spoke on what it was to be a female than a woman. I say that because when you talk about fear & success and things of this nature it more relates to female struggle/social interaction than the idea of being a woman, “good” or otherwise. Just my 2 cents.

  4. Alex on June 5, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Most of the things in these blogs could be applied to either men or women, I don’t think there’s anything here that wouldn’t apply to men as well, do you think men don’t feel fear? I also thought Steve Pavlina’s article was a load of rubbish.

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