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I am a Certified Women’s Life and Career Coach. I have worked with hundreds of women as a coach, consultant and mentor for almost 20 years. As a former Success Coach, I have studied success for thousands of hours, and have spoken on the topic countless times. Based on my research, here are my Top 12 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 net worth, social status, race, religion, whatever, needs to find something to call her own- a hobby, volunteer work, part time career… something. To live on autopilot with each day resembling Groundhog Day means you’re simply existing, and not LIVING. If this feels like you, it most likely means you haven’t unlocked your passion. To live without passion is to walk this earth as a zombie. A key ingredient to happiness is unlocking your passion and living a life of meaning and purpose.
I also shared this on Facebook this week. I hope it speaks to you:
Remember to have something just for you.
Something that stimulates you and that you can call your own.
Bring the benefits it gives you to your relationship, but keep it just for you- separate from your partner or kids.
We need a part of our identity that is reserved just for us.
For our self-esteem, for our self-worth and proof that we can do things on our own.
2. Martyrdom Doesn’t Get You To Heaven
If turning into a human pretzel is your thing, well then, you go girl! 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 soul. 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 won’t die if you don’t do it yourself. I promise. ‘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, again, meditating if you’re really feeling stressed out these days. 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. You’re worth it.
In fact, here is a nice visual of 60 minutes of self-care. Does this help you to see what’s possible?
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% on an exam, said FOOLISHLY, “What happened to the other 10%?” 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.
Research led by Laura Vanderkam found that 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 also 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 sip my coffee, read the paper, journal, I might catch up on a few emails, 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 a few 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. We call it, FAILING FORWARD. I am from the school of thought that failure also tests your desire. Will you fail and give up, or will you fail and keep trying? A true test right there to possibly how badly you want something.
Ahhh, but what if you don’t give up? What if you’re tenacious? Tenacity AND GRIT are actually predictors of future success in kids. Tenacity and resourcefulness are skills that will always serve you. If you are unable to find a way, perhaps it wasn’t your calling, your destiny all along? Something to also ponder.
But what I know is, 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 manage working 5 days a week? Consider taking a pay cut (and cutting expenses at home) and work four days if this is financially viable 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 wives (of men) 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 wagon 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 partner’s cup is full. Wink wink. Keepin’ it real, folks.
9. Find Your Gayle, Your Robin, Your Ethel, Your Sisterhood
According to the 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 wives 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.
And here is some research on social connection:
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.
Women share from our souls with our close friends, and evidently that is very good for our health. The studies showed that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
In fact, the study concluded that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! (TotalHealthMagazine.com).
So go find your Gayle, and make a date with her today.
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. This is your secret sauce to success.
So, trying to keep up with those Joneses will be 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.
11. Staying Attached Solely To Outcomes Is Dangerous
What does this mean?
It means that when we look for external validation and subscribe to the notion that we can only be happy IF THIS EXACT THING HAPPENS, this can be detrimental to our happiness.
“If I lose 15 pounds, only then will I look good” or, “If I don’t get that job, I will not be happy.”
Expecting only certain outcomes are very limiting and work against our happiness.
Instead of thinking that happiness has only path for you, realizing there’s more than one path to your happiness is key.
I love this example which depicts the point quite well:
There are multiple paths to get to where you are going.
12. Grattude is the Attitude
I have my coaching clients keep a gratitude journal for wellness over time, and I also had my kids keep one as well growing up.
Let’s look at the research if you don’t believe me! Psychological research has found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits: stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking, more optimism and happiness, feel less lonely and isolated, more joy and pleasure, higher levels of positive emotions, and the list goes on. (Berkeley University)
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?