Are you one? Do you have a girl crush on someone you deem successful? Today I want to share with you some of the secrets of these successful women, so you can copy and emulate them!
“Behind every successful woman is herself”
In August 2014, Sue Davey conducted a survey with more than 6,000 women and the results were astonishing:
- Women have an immense amount of difficulty in managing work, life and family commitments.
- Women tend to be “people pleasers.” This often leads to exhaustion and a feeling of being overwhelmed as they constantly try to please all those around them.
- Women carry worry like it’s sitting on their shoulder. They worry about their futures.
- Women are afraid of failure, often they lack self-worth and feel as if they’re not good enough. They feel disempowered and lack confidence.
- Women fear disappointing people and spend a huge proportion of time feeling guilty.
- Women want to do meaningful work and accomplish something significant in the world.
This is sad news to take in… Even in our modern, new found girl power age, women are still scared to use their talents and follow their dreams. So what is a girl to do? Ask the experts of course!
10 Secrets of Super Successful Women
Go with your gut
Sometimes you need to take control and take a leap of faith. In managerial positions or where you’re running your own business, you can’t afford to be dilly-dallying all day. Leadership is about presenting confidence and decisiveness.
Cut through the noise around you to see what your customers really want
Listen to team members and encourage them to ask questions and share ideas. A wide viewpoint will help you with decision making, but it will also create a loyal team atmosphere and a mutual respect. Make sure you’re giving credit and praise where it’s due. Don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than you, give them what they need to do their job and then listen.
Find your desire, your determination
This is beautifully summed up for me by a quote from Muhammed Ali – “Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” You need to really want it.
Get up early
You may not like this one but studies consistently show that early risers are more optimistic, more stable, more likely to anticipate problems and to be proactive. This, in turn, is linked with better job performance, greater career success and higher wages.
But let me say, if you’re going to get up early, then you need to be going to bed early. Don’t compromise on sleep. Know how much more you can get done in a quiet, distraction-free environment and let that be your driver for an early alarm.
Recognise your own worth
Women are great negotiators in our personal lives, but not so much at work or with money. In fact, I think it often scares the fuck out of us. In order to be convincing, you have to be convinced. That’s where lots of women fall down – we let the doubt in.
We’re raised to please, not to put ourselves first. It’s scary to put your needs on the table and we’re afraid of feeling and looking greedy. Switch your inner voice to asking ‘do you deserve it?’ I work with lots of my one-to-one clients on changing the way they view themselves. I want to live in that world where women aren’t afraid of their worth and can recognise and embrace it.
Set work and personal goals
I like to make mine fun and inspiring. I create a vision board that shows exactly where I want my life to be in 5 years and represents the lifestyle I want. It’s hanging on my office wall, right in front of me all day.
- It inspires me to plan strategies and pathways to get there.
- It makes me assess what I need to do to achieve the next step.
- It makes me smile, but keeps me focused.
Also every day I fill in my ‘Let’s Do This’ planning sheet (There’s a blog and a free downloadable here) and make my 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) half an hour or less, and achievable. I think of them as micro goals on the way to the bigger picture.
Exterminate the perfection bug
We waste a lot of time trying to get things perfect. Good enough is just that. There’s very little need in our life for perfection and our view of it changes constantly. I look at my children when they’re asleep and believe that they are the most perfect thing that could ever have been created. I breathe them in and could almost cry. It’s not quite the same feeling the next morning when they’ve snotted down my new worktop, smacked me in the eye with a plastic Fireman Sam and have refused the third different breakfast they’ve requested, having decided they HATE Cheerios and bananas this morning.
Perfection isn’t real. One thing I bang on about to clients is a phrase I love. “Done, not perfect”. Get it finished, pass it on and move on. This links nicely to…
Don’t let your inner control freak take over
Sure, people won’t do it in the same way that you would. But if you don’t let them try you’re showing that you don’t trust them. You’re also likely to put yourself under such immense stress, pressure and responsibility that you’re almost guaranteeing your own failure.
This goes right back to basics too – let your husband pack the kids lunches sometimes and let your staff control the way they do the work allocated to them. Hire a cleaner for goodness sake – mine does 2 hours a fortnight and it means that it never becomes a big stressor. I HATE cleaning so why choose to do it? Yes, I could do it ‘better’ than my cleaner, but I’d take two hours to just clean the bathroom in search of perfection. Sit on your hands if you have to. Just because it’s not your way doesn’t mean it won’t still work.
No is acceptable – both the use and receive
Get comfortable with it. It’s not a sign of failure or rejection. It’s a powerful word and can be freeing and liberating. Accept that it’s not personal. Saying no can stop you from being miserable, stressed and accepting things that aren’t in your remit, abilities or job description.
Hearing no can move you onto different opportunities, or increase persistence and determination. Know that you can choose your tasks and each will lead you down a different path. That’s not to say that sometimes you will want to say no, but will have to say yes – that’s not the point. Sometimes we’ve all had to work late as a team or help out a friend in a time of need, even though we’ve just sat down in our PJs, and that’s different. Using and accepting ‘no’ enables you to make choices that would otherwise be out of your reach.
Ask for help and give help
Yes, I’m writing for mums and absolutely I believe that women are still not on an equal footing with men. But we also know that women don’t become successful alone. They need the support of the men in their lives — as fathers, partners, peers and mentors. We all need to recognise and nurture female talent, but I don’t want you to become ‘against’ men. They simply think differently, have been raised differently and often have different values and ideas to us.
I wouldn’t have got to where I am without the help and support and many men and women through the years. Don’t get on your high horse and start cock blocking help. And don’t be too proud to ask for it. “Can you help me please?” is one of the most underused and powerful questions we can ask. It elicits an emotional response and is a question I ask a lot. Don’t be afraid to turn it around either– “can I help you?”
I don’t believe that we can’t have it all
Maybe we can’t have it as balanced as we like but that’s no reason to stop working at it. Among the 100 most powerful women in the world, 70% are married with an average of two kids. Some of them have stay-at-home partners, but many are part of dual-career couples. No matter how they managed the division, most were able to succeed at work and at home. You can too!
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