Society puts so much pressure on us from an early age. We grow up believing we need to tick certain boxes to get to where ‘we’ want to be in life. By 30 we’re ‘supposed’ to own a house, be in our ideal job, be thinking of marriage etc etc…. THERE ARE SOOOO MANY LABELS!

In my early twenties I felt so much pressure and anxiety about finding my dream job and earning X amount of money to feel/be successful. I was desperate to find something I was good at and was going to love. I was afraid of leaving my job to seek new ventures and I didn’t have much confidence in my ability. It felt awful! What I came to realise (through disliking my job so much) is that it was my choice to be there. It didn’t feel like it at the time I felt trapped and that I had to be there to please others and to earn money. I couldn’t get another job during that period so I made a decision to make my role work while I was there and to learn as much as possible – I was so fed up of hearing myself moan and feeling rubbish so I took action. This eventual lead me to getting a new job and my confidence grew and grew. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do until this year. But, it was through facing my fear of failure and fear of not being successful and choosing to make the most of my everyday did I grow and did things start to change. I used to cry at work I hated it SO much so this was a BIG challenge. Fear can be a good thing if we use it to drive us in a positive way. As soon as we let fear get the best of us things start to spiral. Fear is what pushes our boundaries, helps us to understand our limitations and to see our strengthens. I’ve been afraid/nervous of so many things and when I push myself to do these things and tackle them head on (either by breaking the situation down so it’s more digestible or just going full throttle) I feel a sense of achievement and great about myself.

I read an article maybe 5 years ago in the Sunday Times Style about successful women that helped me find the confidence to make changes in my life. I keep the article in my bedside table and I used to go back and read it every time I doubted myself. Below I have shared the ‘6 Things Successful Women Do Differently….’ that featured in the article.

1.     Ask the right questions – Asking the wrong one is like using the wrong key. Successful women learn to ask the questions that open up discussions, ease communication and get the right answer.

2.     They focus on continuous learning – By investing in their own development, the highest-performing women are well prepared for that next rung up the corporate ladder.

3.     They’ve mastered that ‘inner voice’ - The ‘inner voice’ inside our head is sometimes onside, but often the saboteur. Successful women have learnt to master it, and focus on their strengths and accept their limitations.

4.     They’ve learnt that courage comes first – Successful women know to fake self-confidence till they make it. They summon the courage to step up beyond their comfort zone. Courage brings action and action brings confidence.

5.     They value their contribution – If you don’t value your contribution, why would anyone else? Valuing yourself will help others to. What follows is the right respect, the right opportunities and the right rewards.

6.     They take imperfect action – Women suffer from perfectionism, aiming for 100% at all times in everything and putting enormous pressure on themselves. Waiting for the perfect moment slows progress. Being successful is about taking imperfect action.