Working women in a variety of professions experience greater pressure than their male counterparts to get everything done. I have to remind myself of the value I bring to my professional and personal contexts, especially as a woman who works in largely male-dominated sectors like politics and law. For a long time, women’s abilities and success have been based on male-dominated society and commercial methods.
Women are also under pressure to comply to society’s expectations and standards about who they should be in and out of the job. True leaders challenge gender stereotypes and use their strengths to propel themselves to success in any professional setting they choose.
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Here are some things to keep in mind as a woman in any profession if you want to be as successful as possible.
1. Be unabashedly and genuinely yourself.
Being confident in who you are will translate into how you portray yourself to others, which will earn you respect from those around you. I had a lot of rejections as a kid growing up in the film and television industry. I was told I wasn’t attractive enough, that I was overweight, that I wasn’t humorous enough, and so on. You must learn to ignore those voices and ideas in order to feel good about yourself, which is much easier said than done. It’s okay if you don’t appeal to everyone. Don’t let other people’s opinions drown out your own. People only influence you if you let them affect you, as my acting coach used to remind me.
2. “You are braver than you think, stronger than you appear, and wiser than you believe.” Christopher Robin (author)
Women are capable of far more than society would have them believe. Believe in yourself and stay loyal to who you are – be courageous, be bold, and be yourself! Even though it appears to be impossible. We often hold ourselves back as women from looking for new jobs, speaking up for ourselves when it comes to promotions or raises, and a variety of other areas where we may feel undeserving. You are capable of great things, so don’t let yourself or anybody else convince you differently.
3. Surround yourself with people who will only help you move forward.
This is crucial for your success since other people’s actions have an impact on how you see yourself. Avoid spending time with people that bring you down or make you feel less than who you are. I am really fortunate to have married my closest friend, who fully supports me in whatever I do. It taught me that I should only be around by individuals that remind and support me to be the person I want to be. Choose to be in the company of individuals who encourage you to shine your light. This can be challenging for women who work in male-dominated industries, as they are frequently made to feel inferior unknowingly. That is why, especially in the workplace, it is critical for women to support and advocate for other women.
4. Prioritize yourself and love yourself first.
I learnt as a child growing up in show business that if I didn’t believe in myself, no one else would either. Others will believe in you if you really endeavor to grasp your worth and value, especially in terms of what you can contribute to the table professionally. This may take some time, and you may need to educate others how to appreciate and treat you, but demanding others’ admiration must originate from a place of self-love. Others, especially those in higher positions, will appreciate you if you speak out for yourself.
5. Don’t forget to look after your body as well as your head.
It’s easy to overlook self-care when pursuing professional success, but without it, you won’t be able to achieve your full potential. Make solid habits in both your personal and professional life, and you’ll go further. Take some time off. Traveling is one of my loves. Take some time to re-energize. Taking care of your mental and physical health by exercising, eating well, setting aside time to do what you enjoy, and relaxing will benefit you more than you realize. We often reset our outlooks by taking care of ourselves emotionally and physically at the same time, and that much-needed rest better qualifies us to deal with whatever comes our way.
6. There are no direct flights, and the layover will take longer than you think, regardless of your job route.
The best things in life take time, but they are well worth the wait. Remember that taking the time to go where you want to go will teach you a lot more. Experiencing parts of your field you never planned to encounter may teach you unexpected lessons and take you down a new route. Always remember to be patient, grateful, and never give up on your goals.
7. Keep an optimistic mindset
This may appear to be an easy task, but it is far more difficult than it appears. Trying to stay positive, especially through difficult times, can have an impact on the outcome of your circumstance. You have the ability to manage your thoughts and actions in any scenario. While you may not have control over all external influences, you do have power over how they affect you and how you respond to them.
8. Make yourself irreplaceable.
Think beyond the box and stand out. Make yourself the “go to” person in your department and come up with ideas that no one else has considered. Learn abilities that aren’t strictly necessary for your job but will come in handy in other situations. Be unique and dependable to the point where others will rely on you. However, being dependable does not imply that you should be exploited, so be bold enough to speak for your ideas while still prioritizing your own needs. You’ve arrived for a cause, so make the most of it.
9. “Let your dreams outshine your anxieties, your actions outshine your words, and your faith outshine your emotions.” — Unidentified
Allowing your anxieties to dominate your ambitions and goals, no matter how difficult they are to achieve, is a mistake. Fears exist in everyone, including the highest-ranking members of your field, but we must not allow them to prevent us from realizing our full potential. Instead, attempt to figure out why you’re afraid, and you’ll acquire a lot more confidence once you discover you can face your concerns. Remind yourself of your goals, abilities, and value, and keep working toward your goals.
10. Don’t be discouraged if you fail; instead, use it to motivate you to go even further.
Don’t be frightened of failing, and don’t let mistakes get the best of you. Instead, use what you’ve learnt from them to help you continue to grow and flourish.
These suggestions may appear basic, but they are concepts I’ve acquired over time and apply every day in both my business and personal lives to ensure that I stay true to myself and keep on track. You can do it as well.