In my first installment of The Ambitious Woman’s To Do List, I offered 10 things that the ambitious woman needs to do in order to be successful. I’m back with 5 more tips based on personal experience and conversations I’ve had with successful women.
1. Know exactly what you want.
If a genie was to ask you to list 10 specific things you wanted, would you be able to list them in less than 5 minutes? Do you know what you want? Are you so clear about your vision that you’ve translated it to 5-10 goals that you’re working to achieve every day? The most important part of being an ambitious woman is qualifying your ambition with goal that resonate with you. The way to do that is by developing a set of values and a vision for your life. Everything you do should flow from the truth of those two things.
2. Reframe your story.
Every woman with big dreams has to believe she can actually achieve them. Any story that doesn’t support your goals (e.g. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not smart enough”, etc) is a self-imposed stumbling block that must go. One way to change this is by rewriting the story. So maybe you didn’t have the best childhood – how can you use that to your advantage? How can that inform your success instead of fueling your failure? The idea here is to flip every perceived disadvantage on its head and find ways to make them work for you. After all, the best stories are those with impossibly hopeless beginning and triumphant endings.
3. Reset your circle.
Many of us have a natural orientation toward creating and maintaining relationships. We meet someone new, s/he is awesome, and we want them to be our bestie. When you’re an Ambitious Woman, a lot of people want to be your friend. That means you need filters to decide who to have in your circle and at what level. I like to call this the Tiered Relationship Model.
Passing Acquaintances – These are the people whose faces and names you know but you don’t necessarily have their number saved in your phone. You speak when you see each other and keep it moving.
Casual Friends – These are people who you know but aren’t close to. Maybe you catch up by phone or over drinks a few times each year. You like each other’s stuff on Facebook, and that’s about it.
Good Friends – These are the people who you could call for a favor but you wouldn’t necessarily confide in. They would make an intro to help you find a job, but they wouldn’t be the first person you called if you were going through a bad breakup.
Close Friends – These are your ride or die people who will help you move, share their HBO Go password, or help you hide a dead body.
Over time, people can haphazardly fall into these categories without any real thought on your part. You become like the people you surround yourself with so there should be no “accidents” in your circles. Everyone who is in your life should be there because you believe they add value to your life and you want them there. As difficult as it can be, some people need to be moved to less intimate categories. Their actions, their results in life, and their effect on you will tell you where they belong. The objective is to move onward and upward. The people around you should be catalysts for that.
4. Feed your mind.
Are you feeding your mind every day? Like your body, your mind and spirit burn what you feed it. They need to be fed every day in order to function in top shape. If you don’t have a morning ritual or a devotional, I strongly recommend it. Not only does it anchor your day and set the tone, it also refines you as a woman and helps you grow more connected to your self and your purpose. My morning ritual consists of reading, journaling, prayer, and meditation. Yours could be as simple as just reading 10 pages of an inspiring book or setting an intention for the day with prayer. The key is to do these things consistently and watch them improve your life over time.
5. Engage in proper self-care.
You might be thinking, “Okay, here we go with this. I don’t have time for self-care!” I get it. We’re all crazy busy, and if you have kids, you probably think self-care is some kind of cruel joke. Regardless, if you’re not properly taken care of, you simply cannot be at your best. You can’t fully support and empower anyone around you, and you can’t go after your dreams at full speed. You need and deserve rest, down time, play, good food, exercise, and indulgences. When you have these things, you’re happier and healthier which means the tide of your life rises and everything around you goes with it. The return on investment of an hour of self-care is multiples of happiness, confidence, and focus. If you’re dealing with a packed schedule, start small with 30 minutes a week of devoted personal time and go from there.