Hello, ladies! As a Certified Women's Life, Business and Success Coach, I have worked with hundreds of women as a coach, consultant and mentor for almost 15 years. I have always been fascinated by success and what makes someone successful, and I don't just mean success from a financial standpoint. I have studied success for thousands of hours, and have spoken on the topic many times. Based on my research, and based upon my own personal experience as a thriving mother, wife and career woman, here are my Top 10 Secrets to Success in Life and Womanhood. There are many more, but I tried to cover the ones that had the most significance. I'd love to know yours, and I'd love you to share them below.
Let's get to it, shall we?
1. Unlocking Your PASSION Is The KEY ELEMENT To Thriving in Life, Business or Motherhood
Every woman, no matter her wealth, social status, class, whatever, needs to find something to call her own -- a hobby, volunteer work, part time career...something. This does wonders to your self-esteem. To simply live on autopilot with each day resembling Groundhog Day means you're simply existing, and not LIVING. If this is you, it means you haven't unlocked your passion. To live without passion is to walk this earth as a zombie. The key to happiness is unlocking your passion and living a life of purpose. And once we're on this note, I'd love to share one of my favorite quotes. Whatever you are, be a good one. There is tremendous satisfaction in doing good work-whatever your work may be.
2. Martyrdom Doesn't Get You To Heaven
If turning into a human pretzel is your thing, well then, knock yourself out! Go ahead and enjoy falling prey to the 'disease to please!' But, may I remind you, your time is valuable. May I remind you again, life is too short to be doing things that don't fill your cup -- that don't stimulate your mind, body and spirit. If spending more quality time with your family is a goal, for example, then taking time away from your loved ones to raise funds for a non-profit organization (while a very worthy undertaking) may need to wait until next year's fundraising season. Something's gotta give. Remember, saying "No" to someone else is saying "Yes" to yourself. Think before you say yes. A good exercise I've gotten good at when someone asks me to do something, is I say, "Thank you, may I think about it and get back to you?" This way, if my answer really is a no, it will be a well thought-out no.
And along the lines of martyrdom, ladies, please ASK FOR HELP when you need it. You are not Superwoman with a cape. You won't die if you don't do it yourself. 'Nuff said.
3. The Magic Ingredient: Self Care. The Moment You Start To Neglect Yourself, The Ship Will Begin To Sink
This one's here really, only, as a reminder. When was the last time you did something for YOU? When was the last time you took time to yourself, to care FOR yourself? Ladies, you can't give from an empty cup. Some biggies: you must be feeding yourself good nutrition, getting enough sleep, staying active, and may I suggest, meditating if you're really feeling stressed out. Let's compare your life to that of a trip on an airplane -- should there be a lack of cabin pressure, who are you supposed to put the mask on first? Yup. Thirty minutes of self care DAILY, ladies. Do it.
4. Encourage Your Kids' Dreams. What? You Didn't Know Cheerleading Was Part of the Job Description?
After studying success for years, my findings are that: Most successful people say that as children growing up, their parents told them they could be anything they wanted to be. Their parents supported, encouraged and believed in their dreams. This is important information to a parent. These successful people said that their parents DID NOT clip their wings growing up, rather they encouraged them to fly. Their parents were NOT the kind of parents who if they got a 90 per cent on an exam, said FOOLISHLY, "What happened to the other 10 per cent?" So, if you are a mother, please use this information wisely in your parenting journey.
5. The Early Bird Gets The Worm
When your alarm goes off in the morning, do you snooze or do you wake immediately? Or perhaps a more appropriate question... HOW MANY TIMES do you hit the snooze button? Truth.
New research has been released (led by Laura Vanderkam) which will make my friends (hopefully) stop making fun of me. According to this new research, early risers aren't just nicer to be around in the morning, they're also happier, healthier, more self-satisfied, even experience more career success than the rest of the population. (Forbes Magazine). Research indicates that the tasks that require self-discipline, such as working out, getting through annoying paperwork, returning emails, or crossing things off your to-do list, are simply better done in the morning. Morning people are said to be more optimistic.
While the world sleeps, getting more done in the morning is a beautiful thing, and I am living proof. Waking early actually DECREASES my stress level and anxiety for the day. It allows me to start my day in a much slower, more steady pace. It allows me to enjoy the moments more. When I wake early, I catch up on emails, grab a coffee, read the paper, it's quiet, I have time to myself, and it literally feels like a gift. I have subscribed to this lifestyle for over 20 years now, and I can tell you, it works.
6. Failure is Awesome!
"Almost everyone knows that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. But most don't know that Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper for a lack of ideas and his first cartoon production company went bankrupt. Everyone loves Lucy but Lucille Ball was told that she had no talent and should leave Murray Anderson's drama school. With all of Dustin Hoffman's success it's hard to believe he worked as a janitor and an attendant in a mental ward because he failed in his first attempt as an actor in New York. Can you imagine Bob Dylan getting booed off the stage at his high school talent show? What would have happened if Dr. Seuss's actually burned the manuscript of his first book, which he wanted to do after it was rejected by 27 publishers. It's also hard to fathom Steven Spielberg not getting accepted to UCLA film school because of average grades. And it's easy to forget that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple at thirty years old and Oprah Winfrey was once told she wasn't fit for television and was fired as a news anchor." - Jon Gordon
I spoke at a conference two years ago, and my talk was called WHY IT'S GREAT TO FAIL. I have failed so many times that I've stopped counting, and that is actually why I succeeded. Everyone fails... but failure is your greatest gift if you're willing to learn the lesson, get back up, and improve the next time. I am from the school of thought that failure tests your desire. Will you fail and give up, or will you fail and keep trying? I truly feel that if you give up after failure, you never really wanted it in the first place. That is your true test right there.
Ahhh, but if you don't give up. If you're tenacious! Tenacity is what separates the successful people from the not. Successful people don't take no for an answer, they are tenacious and resourceful. They find a way. If you are unable to find a way, maybe it wasn't your calling, your destiny. Failure is a good teacher, and a good test.
7. Eenie Meenie Miney Moe -- Not Just A Game for Kids
Remember that Life is a choice and that choice is always yours. Can't hack working five days a week? Consider taking a pay cut and working four days if this is financially possible for you. Exhausted cleaning your house 'till midnight? Consider cutting yourself some slack and leaving the toys out until tomorrow. It's called making choices to thrive. Sometimes we need to make tough choices to thrive. These choices however, as a reminder, are neither final, nor fatal.
8. Be Good To You, Be Good To Me
All the smart girls know that men need to nurture themselves in order to nurture you. The same rule that goes for you (SEE SECRET #3 ABOVE), also goes for him. When my husband falls off the bandwagon and stops working out, starts letting stress get to him, and stops taking care of himself, OUR MARRIAGE suffers. Yes, I suffer if he suffers. I've learned that men can't give from an empty cup either. So encourage your man (or woman) to take care of themselves and nurture themselves. Smart girls know it's good for their marriage when hubby's cup is full. Wink wink. Keepin' it real, folks.
9. Find Your Gayle, Your Robin, Your Ethel, Your Sisterhood
According to the latest research, the three components of true happiness are: gratitude, forgiveness and the third being social connection. I'll tell you from personal experience, if there is one group of people besides my incredible family that has nourished my soul more during stressful times, it's been my girlfriends. While our husbands or partners can be there for us in a way that many cannot, our girlfriends fill a void that our partners cannot. They are not mutually exclusive, and you shouldn't have to live without either one.
Here is the research:
In an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection -- the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.
Physically, this quality "girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin -- a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings, whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.
Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising," we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged -- not true.
In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So go find your Gayle, and make a coffee plan. Mine is tonight.
10. Be Good at Being YOU
There's no one to be but yourself. Your blueprint is unmatched, and this my friends, is your big advantage.
Trying to keep up with those Joneses is a recipe for misery. Stop paying so much attention to what others have, and focus on your own path. Look at you, you beautiful thing! You've got the world by the balls! Now, go make your own shit happen.
AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS WHAT I KNOW AS TRUTH.
I'd love to know, what are YOUR secrets to success in life? And did anything above resonate for you?