7 Scary But Rewarding Things Every Grown-Ass Woman Should Learn To Do

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Growing up is hard, and I’m not just taking about puberty. Well into adulthood, as you come into your own, you may realize that to be yourself, you have to disappoint others. It’s all part of being a grown-ass woman. "Learning to be self-sufficient is an important lesson for success in life," therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle. "Feeling confident in your abilities and truly knowing who you are as an individual are very beneficial, especially before entering a serious relationship or having children. Feeling secure with one's self leads the person to be more available to others, to be more present in life, and to have more positivity."

Being grown-up and self-sufficient also means doing scary things. It means speaking up when your voice is shaking, pushing yourself to do things you don't feel ready for, and taking more than you feel you deserve — because the more you do these things, the less your voice will shake, the more things you will feel ready for, and the more you'll think you deserve. Sometimes, you've got to fake it til you make it.

Here are some things every grown-ass woman should learn to do at some point, no matter how intimidating they are.


Negotiate Pay


Whether you're looking for a raise at your current job, are starting a new one, or are a freelancer constantly taking on new projects, learn to act like you believe in your worth. If you act that way for long enough, everyone will start to believe it, including you.


Turn Down An Invitation


From being asked out on a date with someone you have no feelings for to being guilted into attending a family event, other people will rule your life if you don't know how to say "no." Eventually, we all have to learn to deal with guilt, or it'll control us.


Leave A Place Where You're Not Having Fun


Grown-ass women prioritize their time. If they’re not enjoying something, they know there’s a hundred other places they could be, and they have too much self-respect to miss out on them. Even when it requires ducking out of a party early, a grown-ass woman knows she’s doing nothing wrong and knows just what to say to excuse herself respectfully.


Ask For What You Want In Bed

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Many of us have tolerated less-than-stellar sex because giving feedback took too much damn energy. But part of growing up is learning to advocate for yourself. And eventually, as you get more comfortable with that, it takes less out of you.


Respectfully Disagree

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Respecting someone else's opinion without agreeing with whatever they say is a science and an art. It requires really listening to their side of the story while also honoring your own. But the rewards are huge: you get to connect with all different kinds of people without losing yourself.


Talk Yourself Up

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Since we're socialized to be humble, it can feel wrong to talk yourself up for a job or another opportunity. But if you're not willing to talk yourself up, that opportunity is going to go to someone else who is. Besides, it can be affirming to give yourself the praise and attention you deserve.


Take On Things You Don't Feel Ready For


The only way to expand how much you can handle is to encourage yourself to do things you don't think you can. You'll come to trust that you can figure out once you prove again and again that you can.

These things may be scary, but you know what they say about courage: It's not the absence of fear; it's doing things you're scared of.