Chances are you already know her, the woman you aspire to become. In fact, she lives inside you – always has. You want to be her, spend each day with her, celebrate her successes, and learn from her failures. Practice these nine habits to bring your best self to the surface and begin living the life of your dreams.
- Visualize Success – Often, we want success without knowing what our definition of success is. Does it include a particular job, children, or a big house? Take the time to focus and visualize your version of success. Imagine what it feels like, what your day will look like, where you live, what you do, and any other integral ingredient to the recipe for a successful you. Not only will visualization help you define what success means to you, it could actually help you achieve it. According to Angie LeVan, clinical researcher and “Psychology Today” contributor, “Mental practice can get you closer to where you want to be in life, and it can prepare you for success!”
- Keep Lists – Good lists help you remember more than your groceries. Use them to set, manage, and meet goals. Take a page out of Moorea Seal’s book, 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspirations for Positivity, Balance, and Joy, and make lists which cover both your ultimate goals and smaller milestones you need to reach first.
- Begin with Important Tasks – Speaking of lists, your daily schedule should begin with the most important tasks. Mornings allow for the greatest ability to focus, with fewer interruptions and more energy. If you have a presentation to prepare, work on it during the best part of your day, so you will truly impress.
- Be Uncomfortable – The bad news is we never grow out of growing pains. Discomfort is necessary for improvement. Whether you are physically pushing yourself at the gym, reaching outside your comfort zone socially, or tackling a daunting work task, making yourself uncomfortable is a sure sign you are improving yourself. The next time you feel uncomfortable at a networking event, just remind yourself that the connections you make there will bring you closer to your goals.
- Stop Comparing Yourself (Sometimes) – When comparing yourself to another leads to negative feelings, stop. According to Kathy Caprino, “Forbes” contributor and women’s career coach, comparison is okay when you recognize the “huge difference in energy and outcome between seeing other people’s success and using that vision to inspire you, versus beating yourself up mercilessly because you’re not where they are.”
- Cultivate Trust – Taking the time to create strong personal and professional networks from mutually trusting relationships will pay off in the long run. Whether you need someone to support you in the office or to watch your children so you can make a meeting, surrounding yourself with a group of trusting individuals creates a safety net and backup plan for when life gets hairy.
- Schedule “Me” Time and Use It – Similar to in-flight instructions to secure your oxygen mask before assisting others, practicing self-care in non-emergencies is important, too. If your own health, mental well-being, and relaxation consistently land at the bottom of your to-do list, you will wear yourself out, catch a virus, implode, or have an overwhelming breakdown. Take care of yourself so that you are well enough to take care of everything else.
- Allow Yourself to Fail – Do not let the fear of failure prevent you from trying to go after the life you want; failure is a necessary step on the way to success. J.K. Rowling said, “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” Imagine a world in which Rowling had never failed, a world without Harry Potter.
- Clear Your Mind Before Bed – Avoid slogging through each day toward your goals without enough sleep. Finish what you can, and make a list of incomplete tasks. The act of recording items for the next day will allow your brain to let go of these cares and prepare itself for sleep.
Practicing these habits will put you in the right physical, mental, and professional state of being to achieve your goals and become the successful woman you aspire to be. With the National Association of Professional Women, we have the ability to surround ourselves with like-minded, successful women each and every day. Reap the benefits of interacting and connecting with women like you by joining our network of amazing women today.