Success is something that first happens on the inside and women are notoriously stricken with self-doubt and concerns about self-worth. Here are some basic steps to help you recognize your own strengths, empower you to achieve success and to help you move on to the next stage.
How to turn upheaval to your advantage
The worst part about upheavals in our lives is…well, the whole upheaval thing. Angst, uncertainty, doubt, second-guessing, stress, anger – you name it, you’ve gone through it.
No one wants to think about the good parts of upheaval. They don’t even want to hear about it, because finding the gem in a pile of dung is the stuff of fables. Besides, who really wants to slog around in slime? It’s much easier (if uncomfortable) to wallow in the upheaval than to actually dig for the jewel.
But ah – the rewards!
The first, most precious reward is that you will survive. As traumatic as the loss of a relationship, job or business can be, you will get through it. You have before. You will again.
Another great reward is the opportunity to learn and grow. People become more creative and experimental when their lives smash into the reefs – they have no choice.
To get beyond the smell of the dung heap and on to a successful search for your own gem, ask yourself these questions:
- How often has something like this happened to me? When was the last time? How did I get through it? Am I better or worse off as a result? If you see a negative pattern repeated over and over, ask yourself: How many times do I have to smack my head into the wall before I understand that it will hurt every time?
- What is the very worst thing that could happen? If it will not kill you or harm small children, “the very worst thing” that could happen is survivable. And it may turn out to be the very best thing that even happened to you.
- What is it about this change that scares me the most?
- What do I have to lose? When you have less to lose, you have less to lose. Take a chance!
- What have I always wanted to be, do or have? This answer demands creativity and intuition. Be as wild and wacky as you like; no one will hold you to it.
- What are the good things that can or will come about as a result of this change?
- What am I grateful for? An attitude of gratitude can go a long way in the mental (and emotional) health department.
- Do I choose to be positive about this change or negative? You may not be able to halt the change, but you do have control about how you react to it. And by keeping a positive outlook, you can make the search for the gem quicker…and a heck of a lot more pleasant.
Take a strengths inventory
All of us reach a point in our lives where we feel like we’re racing down a hundred miles of hard road with no end in sight. How do you keep going? Are you strong enough to get there? Is it worth the aggravation?
Sometimes we need to pull off that road for a bit and do a strengths inventory. This is a key element to empowering women to achieve success.
As you go through the following questions, pay particular attention to the ones that cause a strong emotional reaction.
- On the personal side, ask yourself: Do I have only healthy stress in my life? Am I energetic? Do I look great? Am I healthy and in good shape? Do I recover well from illness?
- When it comes to finances: Am I financially independent, or on the way? Am I weighed down by debt? Do I have a reliable source of income? Do I have extra money stashed away? Am I being held back by money (or the lack of it)?
- In your career or business: Does it satisfy me? Do I need to get more training and education? Do others respect me at work? Am I paid well for what I do?
- Consider your relationships: Am I loved by my friends and family? Do I feel a special connection with certain people? Do I have a best friend? Are people there for me when I need them?
- How about your outlook on life: Am I optimistic about my future and myself? Do I trust in a higher power? Am I engaged in creating my own future?
- Socially: Are great people attracted to me? Am I graceful in social situations? Do I make people feel terrific about themselves? Is my social calendar full, or nearly so?
- When it comes to challenges: Do I recover well from disappointments and problems? Can I anticipate problems and handle them early? Am I adaptable, making the most of changes around me? Can I handle – or even enjoy – risk? Can I count on myself to get through even the worst situations?
- Consider your personal style: Am I reliable? Do I keep confidences? Am I trustworthy? Can I ask for and get what I need?
Setting yourself up for success
Success isn’t something that happens by, like a bus following a printed schedule. Success is something that you’ve earned for yourself, and it starts first on the inside.
Here are some tips to help you reach that type of success:
- Stop tolerating. Don’t put up with anything that does not feed your soul. You will free up more energy to focus on things that are important.
- Heal yourself. How much baggage are you pulling behind you? How long has it been there? Deal with your unfinished business. If you’ve wronged someone, apologize. If you hate someone, forgive. If you don’t need something, let it go.
- Simplify everything and give yourself more physical, mental, emotional and spiritual space to achieve balance.
- Strengthen your foundation. What do you need to reach your goals and vision without struggle?
- Orient yourself around what matters. Once you know what is most important in your life, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do next to get where you want to be.
- Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try different things in order to improve who and what you are. Trying new things is rarely fatal and at worst, you will have a better understanding of what you don’t want in your life.
- Build on what’s good and right and make it stronger. Those resources will carry you through tough times.
- Stockpile. Create reserves so you can move quickly when opportunities arise.
- Integrate your life. Make sure all parts of your life are whole and fit well together.
- Be proud of who you are and what you do. Look at your life through the eyes of a stranger and give yourself credit for the remarkable things you’ve accomplished.
Which of these tips resonated with you the most? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.