If there’s one thing the world learned this year, it’s that girls run the world (as if we didn’t already know that)—namely Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. ICYMI, Swift was recently named Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year and she secured the number five spot on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful Women list, not to mention she joined the likes of Rihanna and Oprah and became a member of the billionaire’s club. Then, there’s Beyoncé with bragging rights like having the highest-grossing tour by a female artist ever (see: “Renaissance World Tour”), winning 28 Grammy awards, and heading a media conglomerate. Needless to say, T-Swift and Queen Bey know a thing or two about being at the top. Read on for five lessons we can take from the pop icons to take with us into the new year. Here’s to becoming the best, highest, and (most importantly) happiest version of yourself.
1. Reinforce your boundaries
Be it mental, physical, or emotional—setting, communicating, and upholding personal and professional expectations should be non-negotiables. “Throughout my career, I’ve been intentional about setting boundaries between my stage persona and my personal life,” Beyoncé shared with Harper’s Bazaar in 2021. “I’ve fought to protect my sanity and my privacy because the quality of my life depended on it. A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust.”
Whether it’s who she dates or is at odds with, Swift has expressed that boundaries are the key to keeping her life manageable. “I know the difference between making art and living your life like a reality star,” she told The Guardian in 2019. “And then even if it’s hard for other people to grasp, my definition is really clear.” Celeb or not, boundaries apply. Consider establishing healthy boundaries, the most essential form of self-care. Feeling safe, valued, and respected in your relationships means taking care of your needs. As cliche as it may sound, the relationship you have with yourself is first and foremost—and if you don’t tend to it, you can’t expect to maintain long-lasting, healthy relationships in order to live out your most authentic life, rather than the life that others expect of you.
2. Lift other women up
Despite being pitted against one another by the media, the two powerhouses made a statement by attending each other’s concert film premieres. “There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé,” Swift said in her TIME interview. “Clearly, it’s very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion.”
The main takeaway? There’s enough room and success to go around for everyone. Just because a friend is in a happy relationship or has her dream job does not take away your ability to meet someone amazing or achieve the career of your dreams. Not only is envy a lack of mindset that brings you further away from your best self, but celebrating other people is an essential part of manifesting your dream life: When we are genuinely happy for other women, we can know what we are capable of, too. It’s an all-around win-win when we show up for each other. “We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves,” Beyoncé affirmed. “We have to step up as women and take the lead.”
3. You get to decide who you are (and who your “best self” is)
Beyoncé said it best: “Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” In other words, be unapologetically you, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to grow and reinvent yourself. Take a page out of Swift’s book and reflect on where you’ve been, and create your own narrative in whatever era you’re in, even if that means having to rewrite it over and over again. That means showing yourself compassion and embracing all of the past versions of yourself. “Every part of you that you’ve ever been, every phase you’ve ever gone through, was you working it out in that moment with the information you had available to you at the time,” Swift expressed to TIME. “You should celebrate who you are now, where you’re going, and where you’ve been.” The result? Honoring your authenticity and aligning with your goals, AKA becoming your best self.
4. Embrace adversity
Persevering in the face of challenges—whether it’s the drama that comes with being a megastar (hi, Swift-West-Kardashian feud) or, more commonly, health issues or work pressures—can lead to something even greater than where you were heading. “Nothing is permanent,” Swift conveyed to TIME. “There is one thing I’ve learned: My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things. Keep making art.”
And if Beyoncé’s Renaissance album and tour doesn’t exude strength and persistence, I don’t know what does. While there may not be bad blood between you and a high-profile celeb or a medium for you to declare your resiliency to millions, you can take a cue from Tay Tay and Bey and focus on your inner power to redefine yourself. “If everything was perfect, you would never learn, and you would never grow,” Beyoncé voiced. Honing your craft and increasing your ability to cope with trying situations will, in turn, help you stay calm and focused in difficult times, leading to an even stronger, better you.
5. Surround yourself with a strong community
Behind every successful woman is her tribe, and Taylor and Beyoncé are no exception. In a Harper’s Bazaar interview, Beyoncé recalled the power of the female community that she’s felt throughout her life, always gravitating toward “strong, grounded women.” “I’ve surrounded myself with honest people who I admire, who have their own lives and dreams and are not dependent on me. People I can grow and learn from and vice versa.”
As we can see from Taylor Swift’s iconic girl gang and counting her family among her most important mentors and coworkers (“My dad, my mom, and my brother come up with some of the best ideas in my career. I always joke that we’re a small family business,” she told TIME), a strong community is an essential piece of success for both powerhouses. Based on psychology, this makes sense: Community and social connections have been shown to lead to social, emotional, and physical well-being and a sense of purpose. Studies have shown that people who have social support from family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer. So, “choose people who will say your name in a room full of opportunities” and prioritize spending time with them.
Source: Cosmo Politian