From birth, we are ever-changing and evolving into the people we will become.
People, situations and experiences help mold us and shape our personalities.
Growing up is certainly not easy.
Females, especially, encounter a number of obstacles during their developmental years.
Thanks to Regina George (and real-life imitations), we are all too familiar with how vicious and catty girls can be, especially to each other.
With body-shaming, sub-tweeting on social media and letting guys come between friendships, the list is endless.
Most of us likely experienced these blunders of social suicide as teens and grew out of the phase. But what about the mean girls still strolling the streets (and the office) who are well beyond a quarter-life crisis?
Immaturity is not a good look on anyone, and can set you back not only in your career, but in your life.
Being a classy, empowered woman is about more than just your age: It is how you carry and present yourself to the outside world.
As you prepare to step out into the concrete jungle that is adulthood (or even if you're already wading in, knee-deep), check yourself and be sure you are representing yourself as a boss:
1. Know what you want, and how to ask for it.
Whether it's in friendship, a relationship or your career, it's important to set personal boundaries. Always define what you want and what you will not allow.
Girls don't know how to utilize their voices and say what's on their minds.
They are intimidated and worried they will be unable to express themselves properly, or that they will only be able to convey their emotions by being passive-aggressive.
Women are confident enough to know how to tactfully state their positions and discuss what their desired end result is, along with intelligent ideas on how to achieve said results.
Never be afraid to speak up, as anything worth having takes effort. Anything lost by voicing your opinion was never worth having to begin with.
2. Have ambition, and always set (and reevaluate) goals.
Success is relative to each individual and situation.
Some dream of being the CEO of the latest up-and-coming tech company, while others wish to stay in their hometowns and raise a family.
Either choice (and any variation in between) is an admirable achievement. It's the key to having the vision to know what your end goal is.
Girls don't bother thinking about their futures and where they want to be in five years.
Women consider every angle, and make plans to ensure they meet their goals.
3. Respect yourself and your body.
Girls rely solely on their bodies to get what they want, as they are not confident enough in themselves or their intelligence.
A woman knows she is inherently sexy, and this encompasses her mind, as well as her body.
At the same time, she is wise enough to know her worth does not lie in whether or not people find her to be physically attractive.
4. Be confident in yourself and your abilities.
Girls radiate insecurity and worry about what others think of them, almost to an unhealthy level.
Many rely on their number of Instagram likes to define their self-worth.
Women recognize their value without the validation of others, and know that despite any flaws they may have, they're still f*cking amazing.
That model may look incredible in that dress, but she can't play the piano like you can.
Never forget what you bring to the table.
5. Focus on the future, not the past.
Failed relationships, bad jobs and missed opportunities are all things that no longer serve you. So let them go.
Girls remain stuck in the past, and don't focus on the time and opportunities they have ahead of them. They often repeat their mistakes as a result.
Women know how to analyze their pasts in a healthy manner to ensure they take the lessons learned from each situation.
The past is an opportunity to grow and evolve into a wiser version of your former self.
6. Be considerate of all people.
All people deserve respect, no matter their situation or status.
Girls selfishly think only of themselves, and do not stop to think about how their actions may affect others.
Women always try to be present and conscious of how they relate to others.
Know that kindness and consideration are qualities that speak for themselves, even in cases where the recipient may not have acted very deserving.
Never raise your voice. Just raise your standards.
7. Know that your only competition is the reflection in the mirror.
Girls feel threatened by the success or happiness of others, and feel the need to measure up and compare.
Those who try to imitate others will never achieve true happiness.
Look in the mirror, and be proud of who you are and how far you've come. Learn to feel comfortable in your own skin.
Have your own definition of what success and happiness means to you, and strive to be a better person every day.
“The chance for greatness, for progress and for change dies the moment we try to be like someone else.” — Faith Jegede
8. Avoid gossip or bragging.
People who feel the need to one up others or put others down are not the ones others look up to or want to be friends with, and their behavior screams insecurity.
Never be that person, and especially avoid this in the workplace.
9. Know when to be a bitch, and when to be a lady.
Knowing what you want and asking for it is a wonderful thing, but there is a fine line between using the f-bomb with your friends and doing so in a professional environment.
Know the difference. Also, being the loudest person in the room does not make you the smartest, and it certainly won't attract any admirers.
Sometimes, less really is more.
10. Keep private matters private.
In the age of social media and technology, we have all the information we could possibly want at our fingertips.
Sometimes, this gets too much.
Many people overshare, which is awkward for all those involved. Girls use social media in place of therapists, and take out all their negative emotions online.
Facebook is not a diary. Consider your audience, and who will see your posts and pictures.
Nowadays, posting something inappropriate can actually affect your career and future.
If you're hesitating about whether you should share something, err on the side of good judgment and keep it private.
11. Recognize that happiness is a choice, and it's one you must make every day.
Girls blame others for their shortcomings, or for hardships they have experienced. The truth is, we all go through difficult times. It is how you react that defines you as a person.
There is no one responsible for your happiness except you. Gratitude is an important concept, and a good practice to put into place.
So many of us forget the simple things among the stressors of day-to-day life, and we take for granted the pleasures (and basic common necessities) we are lucky to have.
Every day, list at least five things you're grateful for.
Once you stop to consider this, you will feel much richer than you initially thought you were. This perspective will bring you much more happiness than you can imagine.
12. Support and empower other females.
Stop the girl-on-girl crime.
Amazing things can happen when women support other women.
Imagine yourself in the midst of your best girlfriends, laughing, sharing your ideas and enjoying life.
Now, imagine that on a bigger scale. If all women were this kind to each other, we could change the world.
Let's start a movement and make the world a better place for all women.
Ladies, it's time to throw out your burn book.
After all, even Regina George was able to learn and grow from her mistakes.
Being an empowered woman is simply about keeping your head and morals high, and showing basic respect toward all people.
Also, don't forget to be yourself. There is only one of you in all the world, and you're f*cking fabulous.
As Rumi so eloquently phrased it, “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”