Independence is an important goal to achieve and maintain.  It isn’t easy, but most things that matter aren’t.  Becoming self-reliant is the ultimate form of self-respect.  Unlike the women of past generations who were dependent on their husbands to support them, we have the power to take control of our personal and professional lives.  Being fiercely independent doesn’t mean you need to be cold to others or that you can’t allow yourself to be “spoiled” once in a while.  It means respecting yourself and respecting others.

People listen to you. This applies to relationships, friendships and your coworkers. You speak with confidence, even when you feel nervous. You make eye contact and give people your full attention during a conversation.

You recognize the accomplishments of others. You praise others for their achievements and accomplishments. You provide positive feedback and positivity.

People ask for your advice. People value your opinion and will often ask for your advice, personally or professionally. When someone takes your advice seriously, it indicates that they take YOU seriously.

Your boundaries are respected. You are confident enough to let someone else know if they do or say something that crosses a line with you. You aren’t afraid of upsetting someone by letting them know, in an honest and tactful manner, that you are uncomfortable with something.

People are honest with you. You, as a strong, independent woman, understand the importance of honesty and candor. You do not tolerate dishonesty and deception; those are qualities of toxic people who you do not surround yourself with.

Punctuality. You understand the importance of other people’s time, and they respect yours. You are on time for appointments and dates, and do not keep others waiting. You understand the importance of time management, and other people appreciate it that you are organized, reliable and prepared.

Undivided attention. When someone talks to you, you listen to them. You do not check your phone or text while they’re talking to you. They will, in turn, give you their full attention.

You fight fair. Part of being independent is being able to stick up for yourself. You will inevitably get into disagreements with people in life; everyone does. You fight fair in these situations and do not engage in personal attacks. Others will recognize your maturity and tact, and it will be much easier to reach a resolution.

You do your job well. You work hard, period. You are responsible for your own success. Your work product is excellent, and that is what people have come to expect from you. You are someone who pulls your weight.

Pin up woman striking a strong woman pose

You’re a feminist. You believe in the equality of the s*xes. You like strong, smart, powerful men and women. You look for excellence in others, and they see it in you.

You know yourself. You know exactly who you are. You are your true, authentic self. You aren’t afraid to be yourself around other people.

You’re enthusiastic. Even if you’re not thrilled to be doing something, you’re not going roll your eyes the entire time. You exude positivity.

You’re a connector. You do your best to bring people together. You’re excellent at personal and professional networking. You like to build relationships whenever appropriate.

You make people comfortable. Other people enjoy being around you. You are pleasant and a good conversationalist. You’re interested in what other people have to say, and they appreciate the attention you give them.

You own up to your mistakes. You know that no one’s perfect, and when you make a mistake, you own up to it. You recognize the error, and then you figure out how to fix it. You are good at solving problems.

You’re not afraid to say no. You pick and choose the opportunities you want to take. You know that you can’t say yes to everything. You stand up for yourself, and you aren’t a people pleaser. When you do say yes, it’s a genuine yes.

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