success, women

The Secret to Success

Part 1 of the Wonder Women Series

Jane is a good student. Jane works hard in high school. She gets good grades. Applies for scholarships. Success! Off to her first-choice college Jane goes, scholarships in hand. Finishes college. Make the Dean’s list, Summa Cum Laude to be exact. Bachelor’s in hand, she goes off and lands her dream job. More success! Along the way, she meets and falls in love with the man of her dreams. Fast forward to their gorgeous wedding. The newlyweds then buy their dream house and live happily ever after…or do they?

Society’s View of Success

For many high achieving women, this is what you were led to believe your hard work would take you. If you just get straight A’s, honor roll, deans list, or take more advance placement classes, then you would be set for life. You just need to work hard to get into a good college, which turns into, you just need to work hard to get into graduate school or to get a good job at the company everyone wants to work for. 

This doesn’t just happen for women either.

Does any of this sound familiar? Truth is, I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s had Jane’s journey. Maybe the first part or perhaps, a small part here and there, but then it gets dicey as the reality of life sets in. The truth is that just because you are a straight A student in high school or made the Dean’s List in college, doesn’t mean the rest of your life is going to be smooth sailing. Nor does it mean that once you get into the role/career you want, you are going to live happily  ever after. There’s no guarantee for success and happiness. This new blog series will focus on issues affecting so many Wonder Women out there starting with this idea of success.

What is Success?

My definition of success is that success is unique to each of us. Kind of like the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that success, too, is in the eye, or in this case, the mind of the beholder. In other words, what I may feel is an indicator of success for me, may not be the same for you. You define what success is for you.

3 Key Self-Sabotaging Behaviors:

High achieving women can get into some serious self-sabotaging behaviors. This is spoken from someone who’s had lots of experience with this. Sometimes we think we are striving for success, but at the same time, we are doing things that hurt ourselves. Here are three of the biggest sabotaging behaviors I see women do:

  1. Allowing yourself to be defined by your career – I think this used to happen more with men than woman but nowadays, with women being a strong part of the workforce, I see it more and more. Your career is just one piece of who you are. If you are an architect or doctor or real estate agent, fantastic, but there’s so much more to who you are as a person. I think when we don’t nurture the other parts of us, we run the danger of allowing our career to define us.
  2. Comparison- there’s that famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt that says, “comparison is the thief of joy”. Oh how true that is! Comparison leads to us feel inferior to others. We question whether what we are doing is not good enough and even question ourselves. Are we pretty enough? Skinny enough? Outgoing enough?  
  3. Perfectionism – This is another one I see a lot of with the women I work. It can be easy to get into an unhealthy cycle where you push yourself to meet some unrealistic expectation. It’s setting the bar for yourself way too high and then beating yourself up when you can’t achieve it. You are only human!

3 Ways to Embrace Yourself as Successful Now:

  1. Work is a big part of our lives. Many of us work 40 hours a week if not more. However, you, as a woman, are much more than your job title. Think of yourself like a jigsaw puzzle. Each puzzle piece represents a talent, skills, interest, strength, characteristic, and role. All the different pieces come together to create the amazing woman you are. Your job title is just one piece to the puzzle. What are your other interests/passions? Make a list and pick one you can plan to do this coming week.
  2. If you haven’t written out your goals yet, then make it a priority. How do you know where you’re headed if you don’t have a map? Keep them simple. Write out 1-3 goals for the next 3-6 months. Next, break each of your goals down into 3 or so action steps. Clear goals make it so much easier to focus on what you have got going on, not everyone else.
  3. Think back to how things were 5 years ago. Picture where you were and what you may have been focused on. Now think of yourself today. What have you accomplished? What have you overcome? It may even be beneficial to write this down. I think you will be surprised by how far you’ve come.

Unlike what society tells us as we are growing up, you define success for yourself. Let go of those self-sabotaging behaviors and work on embracing all the success you’ve already achieved. Embrace the Wonder Woman you are. 

Are you struggling to accept yourself for who you are and where you are in life? Do you feel like you are failing in one or more areas of your life? I can help you get to a place where you feel content and at peace with the woman you are. I’d love to chat! Call me at 904-204-9308 or email me at [email protected] Stay tuned to the next blog post in this series all about the Wonder Woman thatyou are.

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at [email protected]