A couple of weeks ago, I gave a workshop on how to form a vision of your own success to a group of 150 people. When I was preparing, I asked myself: “Do I feel successful in my life and in my business? What does it actually mean to me to be successful?”
Many of my female clients come to me for help in feeling successful, whereas the outside world has already labelled them as successful. They have a good salary, a good job, and travel around the world, but in their own eyes, they are yet to feel accomplished. And I can fully relate, as I was feeling the exact same way.
Being an entrepreneur forced me into rethinking the definition of success. Yes, it goes together with earning money and receiving external rewards such as recognition, but I think it goes far beyond that.
What do successful women have in common?
I have made a list of five habits that I have observed with my clients, business buddies and friends, who I believe to be successful. Their habits set them apart.
Please do not feel immediately overwhelmed when looking at the list. We are humans and none of us score a 10 on all of the habits. It is a work in progress for everyone, but it is work that requires conscious effort.
1. Successful women feel grateful
What I have learned from an American business coach is that you will never be able to fully enjoy what your life and business / career bring you if you don’t FULLY appreciate what you already have. Sounds so simple, right? As an ambitious person, I often look at the glass as being half empty rather than half full.
The feeling of accomplishment comes, however, from the feeling of abundance and this you will need to find inside yourself. I have had a couple of wake-up calls in my life and every one of them reminds me to really enjoy what I have. So, I keep on learning and reminding myself to appreciate all the wonderful people, things and moments that were and are present in my life and have shaped me into the person I am today.
Every night before I go to sleep, I make a mental list of the big and small things that I am grateful for. So, if you are up to it and if you are not yet doing this, take a pen and paper and write down all the things you are grateful for. Have a look at the list, how does it make you feel?
2. Successful women have a purpose
A purpose, this was missing in my life, before my career change. And this is what my clients are seeking when coming to me. Purpose is something that they feel is missing in their work, and this stops them from feeling truly successful in their hearts. Having a purpose is like having a compass in your life; it will always show you the right direction.
Over the last couple of years, I was able to coach many people towards a career with purpose and I was able to witness an amazing transformation in my clients once they found their purpose.
Purpose is a very personal thing and I believe everyone has their own mission in life. It doesn’t matter if it is something small or big, as long as it is positive and touches you on a deeper level. Once that happens, you know you have found it.
How do you find your purpose, your life’s mission? Read more about it here.
3. Successful women have a long-term vision and a plan on how to get there
Once your purpose is clear, you can start developing a vision for your life and career and how to get there. Having a vision and a plan doesn’t mean that everything is set in stone, but it sets you on a path. Thinking about your future forces you to think about the things that are important to you and to others. Having a plan gives you a feeling of control.
4. Successful women take ownership for their lives and actions
Taking ownership means that you are doing everything possible – within ethical limits of course – in order to realise your purpose, vision and goals.
When I was writing my book, I often heard myself saying: “I don’t have time, I am too tired, maybe tomorrow”. I was very creative in finding excuses for why I couldn’t write.
Then, one day, someone asked me when my book was going to be ready, again, and I realised that if I didn’t change my way of thinking and acting, the answer would be: “never!” I said to myself: “no more excuses!” I decided to take ownership and write every day, even if it was only for 30 minutes. And it worked. I finished my manuscript.
Taking ownership means taking action. When you hear yourself saying or thinking: “Yes, but …”, and then an excuse follows, it is a sign you are NOT taking ownership.
5. Successful women connect and collaborate with others
Nothing happens unless you share it with others. This habit has many different aspects to it. It is about helping and supporting others, but it is also about asking others for help.
I caught a really bad flu, not too long ago which had me sick for five weeks, and I realised how difficult it is to run a business, raise kids and run a household if your body is letting you down. Without the help of others, I wouldn’t have been able to cope with many things.
It is also about the pure joy of connecting with others, getting to know each other, collaborating with each other, inspiring each other.
Recently (before the aforementioned five weeks), I went to a couple of great networking events, which resulted in beautiful connections. It was then that I realised that connecting with others is one of the things I love the most about running my own business!
I am certain there are more habits than those I have mentioned here; these were the ones I found very important and wanted to share with you. So, please tell me, what is your favourite habit and which habit are you struggling with?