High-achievers are driven to say “yes.”
Yes, to show up.
Yes, to help a friend.
Yes, to take on more.
I used to believe that if I didn’t say yes, I was inadequate, letting someone down, or not capable of doing it all. I thought that the word “no” could negatively impact my success or how people perceived me.
Yet, over time, I learned it can do just the opposite. It helped me choose and achieve my most important priorities without impacting my personal wellbeing. Because when I say no, I’m saying yes to myself and greater self-love.
The practice of saying no is about setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries are parameters that help protect your energy. They are a way to communicate your desires and show others how you should be treated. They keep you from overextending yourself with commitments, which could otherwise lead to burnout or feelings of resentment.
Saying yes on autopilot can start to affect your well-being. Yet setting healthy boundaries doesn’t mean saying no mindlessly. Boundaries establish a healthy balance that respects others while caring for yourself.
Learning to set firm boundaries and say no is an act of self-love and love for others. Take a moment to reflect on the times when you may have felt anger or resentment towards yourself or others. Perhaps you became fatigued from taking on too much or felt taken advantage of by someone else.
If any of this resonates with you, it might be time to reevaluate your boundaries and embrace self-love.
Why say NO
Enrich your relationships
Setting healthy boundaries creates transparency, which can be a strong foundation for trust in relationships. When you set limits on your time and energy, your loved ones will have a deeper understanding of your needs and desires. If someone refuses to respect the boundaries you set, it may be time to reevaluate that relationship.
Spreading yourself too thin won’t help you accomplish more. Saying no helps you stay focused on your primary vision. You’ll be more effective with your time and energy when you don’t try to manage it all.
Experience greater joy and wellbeing
Saying no to others means saying yes to yourself. Saying yes to yourself means more time to enjoy the things you love without feelings of stress or fatigue. As much as you may want to please others, make yourself a priority by choosing your own wellbeing.
If you’re a YES person, setting up healthy boundaries may feel uncomfortable at first. You might feel guilt or stress when saying no to a friend or client. It might feel unnatural to go against your urge to please others. Yet, wouldn’t you rather honor your feelings and say no, than feel resentment because you said yes when you wanted to say no.
When to say NO
1. Your plate is already full
If you find yourself feeling stressed and too busy to fit in yet another request for your time, no could be your best option. Compromising your own wellbeing isn’t good for anyone involved.
2. You feel internal resistance
Having extra time to spare isn’t a good reason to say yes. When you feel resistant to a request for your time, trust your instincts.
3. There’s no time for those you love
As a high-achiever you may tend to get caught up in all that you’re doing. Yet setting aside time for yourself and those you love is an excellent reason to say no. Prioritize your time with loved ones and do what you truly desire.
Saying NO empowers you to take charge of your well-being and renew self-love. When you set and enforce healthy boundaries, you avoid feelings of resentment, stress, and overwhelm. If not being able to say NO has you feeling exhausted, depleted and on the brink of burnout, you are not alone.
Several years ago, I suffered from extreme exhaustion that led to burnout. I have since learned what it takes to be engaged, inspired and passionate about my life (again). This is why I created my upcoming 5-Day Challenge, From Exhausted To Exhilarated: The Top Five Secrets To Increase Your Energy Now.
This 5-day challenge is for you if…
- You live in an almost constant state of exhaustion, sleepwalking through life.
- You’re forgetful and have a hard time focusing.
- You have difficulty sleeping. (No wonder you’re so tired all the time!)
- You’re frustrated and irritable more than you’d like to admit.
- You no longer have the energy to do it all, so you’re playing catch up.
To reclaim your life, click here and register for my 5-Day Challenge: From Exhausted To Exhilarated: The Top Five Secrets To Increase Your Energy Now.
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” ~ Ru Paul
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. It’s a day to share the love with your partner, your children, your parents, your pets, or anyone who brings you joy.
This day can be difficult for some. It may trigger unhealed trauma or make you question the absence of unconditional love in your life.
No matter how you feel about Valentine’s Day, keep this in mind…
Whether you are picking out gifts, planning your night out, or perhaps forgoing the holiday completely, remember that there’s someone else who may need extra attention today.
During this day that emphasizes the essential need of love, make sure to include the person that matters most… YOU!
Unconditional love is something we crave. Some say it is the route to happiness and joy. So why do we rely on another to provide it?
Unconditional love does not ask you to neglect your own needs or sacrifice your being. It’s a love that exists regardless of obstacles or imperfections. It’s true love and it’s the kind of love we can give to ourselves.
Self-love is the most important relationship we can foster. It’s incredibly rewarding and essential to our growth. It helps us define who we are and how we connect with others. It can help heal our past trauma and remind us that we don’t need to look for love from others.
Instead of searching for unconditional love from another, start looking within. Self-love is the key to realizing fulfillment and joy on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
5 activities to nurture self-love on Valentine’s Day
1. Beautify your space
Tidy the house, organize your closet, tend to your garden or house plants, or, start a DIY project to add some brilliance to your space. It’s easier to love yourself when you love your surroundings.
2. Lose yourself in nature
Read a book at a nearby lake, pond, or on the beach, watch the sunset, or enjoy a walk through your favorite park. Seeing the beauty in the world around you can help you connect with the beauty in yourself.
3. Treat yourself with compassion and care
There’s always internal dialogue happening in your mind. Do your best to keep it positive. Compliment yourself often by using uplifting words.
4. Unplug and practice being mindful
Being mindful and fully present can help you learn to appreciate yourself. Unplug from your electronics, allow yourself to disconnect from the distractions of life, and explore your inner Self. Meditation, movement, and journaling are mindful practices that help you connect with the present moment.
5. Identify and celebrate your successes
Take a moment to remember where you were 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Make a list of your accomplishments since then. Celebrate your achievements and acknowledge how far you’ve come to get where you are today.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that can bring up feelings of unworthiness if you don’t have the “perfect” relationship. Keep in mind that an external relationship will not fill an internal void. Nurture yourself this Valentine’s Day because your journey to fulfillment starts with you. Revisit my article Spring Clean Your Soul: 7 Ways To Renew You for inspiration.
What ways do you practice self-love?
Sleep is crucial to our mental health. Lack of sleep can result in mood swings, anxiety and depression. When you give your body the sleep it needs, you send the message that you love yourself.
Eating healthy food makes you feel good. When you cut out junk food and stop over-monitoring your diet, you’re telling your body that you love it. This helps sustain your energy, regulate your hormones, and support you to maintain a positive outlook.
Leave the past in the past. Why dwell on things you can’t change? Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and make different choices moving forward. Forgiveness is a powerful way to practice self-love.
Self-care is essential to cultivating self-love. Make time for self-nurturing and self-reflection. Learn how to say NO to others and YES to yourself. It’s your life, so it’s up to you to make time to enjoy it.
If you find it difficult to embrace self-love, click here to claim my free tip sheet: 10 Ways to Love Yourself.
This gift will:
- Help you identify areas where you can have more self-compassion
- Encourage self-advocacy
- Remind you of your self-worth
- Support a shift in your mindset
Tame the self-deprecating dialogue that can come from not having someone special to spend Valentine’s Day with. Shift your mindset to that of appreciation for yourself, and claim unconditional love from YOU!
Enjoying a life of ease.
Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
Although as a successful, high-achieving woman, this might seem to conflict with the “reality” of your busy schedule.
If “too busy” is your mantra, I encourage you to take on a new perspective. The mindset that enjoying a life of ease can be quite simple.
I used to rush from one thing to the next, oblivious to the beauty of my life and surroundings. Though I made great strides in my professional life, my well-being was negatively impacted by my belief that I was “too busy” and needed to work hard to achieve.
After reaching my breaking point, I experienced levels of fatigue that eventually led to immobilizing burnout. My struggle to overcome burnout merely aggravated my condition. So, I chose to embrace a different perspective… one of mindfulness.
With my new approach of mindfulness, the practice of meditative living brought me greater ease and flow. My quality of life was also enriched through simple nuances that brought joy and inner peace to my Being.
The key to mindfulness is to focus on the present moment and your breathing. When you adopt this perspective of mindfulness, ANY task can become a practice of meditative living.
Benefits of embracing a meditative life
Reduced stress and an invitation to calm
When actions are done mindfully, you are focused on the present task. There’s no chaos in your mind from unwanted thoughts. This is because there’s no angst about the future, and no worry from the past, thus reducing stress and inviting calm into your body.
Intrusive thoughts no longer control your mind when you practice meditation during your daily actions. Simply breathing and focusing on the intention to mindfully be in the present allows you to see life more clearly.
With a mindful perspective, you become more aware of the presence of joy. You notice the harmonious sounds around you, the brightness of colors, the warmth of contentment, and the happiness of your Self and others. Gratitude is increasingly more present in a meditative life.
How to embrace a meditative life
As you approach tasks, don’t rush. Do them intentionally. Don’t think of what is next or what happened before. If you find your mind jumping ahead to the next task, take a breath and bring yourself back to the present moment.
Take time to notice the details of the moment. A cool breeze blowing through the window as you work, the precision in which your pen writes, or the joyous laughter from your colleagues down the hall. Honor what makes each moment unique.
Appreciate the moment. Be thankful to the people in your life who offer support. Acknowledge and give thanks for the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and the roof over your head. Expressing gratitude for even the smallest things invites greater joy and ease into your life.
Turning tasks into meditative practices
Sometimes we must complete a less desirable task. Approaching each task with a mindful, meditative perspective gives it a new brilliance. Take note of the details of your surroundings while you work. Perhaps the air is warm against your skin or a bird sings a song in the distance. Light a candle so a pleasant aroma enhances your workspace or open a window to let the breeze in. Take notice of what can make the moment more enjoyable.
Not everyone loves to cook. Especially after a long day, cooking might be the last thing you want to do. However, turning this potentially unappealing task into a meditative practice can set you free from the ‘obligation’. Put on music, breathe, and savor the enticing aromas. Enjoy the warm dishwater on your hands as you tidy up, and be grateful for the delicious meal.
Social interaction can be taxing at times. It might feel like an obligation to make time for a friend or family when you have a lot on your plate. When you can approach this interaction as a meditative practice, it shifts your perspective to one of gratitude for that relationship. Slow down, take time to listen, and be present. This allows you to appreciate and truly enjoy each moment with them.
Self-Care is vital to our well-being. However, it can often be regarded as another ‘to do’. When you practice self-care, truly immerse yourself. This is your time, embrace it fully.
No matter how busy you are, being intentional and mindful allows you to embrace life with a new perspective. Meditative living can be simple, bringing ease and joy to everyday tasks.
With this perspective in mind, click here to claim your FREE gift Realize Your Dreams With A Vision Board.
This gift is designed to…
- Open your mind to infinite possibilities
- Revitalize your deepest desires
- Motivate you to take action
- Inspire you to reach for the stars
- Encourage gratitude
A life of ease and joy starts with your mindset. Is it time for a change in perspective?
Let’s dive into New Year resolutions…this time with a new perspective.
A new year is beginning, along with the opportunity to start over, try new things, expand your interests, and adapt to new outlooks.
You may even have already prepared your long list of new year’s goals, such as: leadership or professional development, career advancement, home improvements, or growing your network of relationships. As a successful, high-achieving woman, you may even have begun checking these items off your list.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I used to have a long list of new year resolutions at the end of December and would then work to complete each item during the following year. My addiction to achievement constantly pushed me to be more productive and move myself forward. It also left me feeling that something was missing.
However, I now have a new life perspective. This has provided me greater success with more significance and without the sacrifice of my health and wellbeing.
One of the keys to this new life perspective is identifying and practicing balance. My mentor, Satyen Raja, taught me about the 5 Fs and how important it is to focus on each in order to find true balance and fulfillment.
The 5 Fs are Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness, and Fun. And now, I set annual intentions, instead of resolutions. By focusing on these five areas when planning my year, I find that I’m more intentional, balanced and joyful.
I’ve noticed that many successful high-achieving women do not include faith and fun when planning their year. For me, faith means spirituality and fun means time with family and friends. However, until several years ago, I was guilty of not prioritizing either of these areas when planning for the year ahead.
Today, I will share why and how to benefit by including faith in planning your new year.
An important part of personal growth comes from your inner perspectives and what you believe in — your faith. However, your faith doesn’t need to be religious, rigid, or worshipping.
You can simply embark on a spiritual journey. A spiritual faith encompasses all religions, appreciates all aspects of life, and gives a positive new perspective by connecting you to something greater than yourself. It can provide the resources to find your purpose and discover the meaning of life.
Spirituality is a highly effective path to self-discovery. This may be why people are beginning to embrace spirituality as a part of their faith, as 1 in 5 Americans today identify themselves as spiritual.
As you choose to allot time to connect with your own form of faith, you’ll find that new perspectives become available in all aspects of your life.
How To Discover Your Spirituality
1. Practice acceptance
A great way to start your spiritual journey is to accept the things you can’t control. Consciously accepting things to be as they will help you embrace a spiritual mindset. Let others be who they are. You can’t expect to control the world around you, what others do or how they act. Accept what is. You will benefit from whatever is meant for you. So, let yourself make mistakes, forgive yourself for doing so, and move on.
2. Exercise mindfulness
Spirituality is about awareness. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to enhance your awareness. You can choose mindfulness through meditation, yoga, or journaling. Or simply practice being present in each moment and with each action you take.
3. Choose to see the positive
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” ~ Albert Einstein. Spirituality embraces a positive outlook on life. When you choose to see the good in daily occurrences and the intentions of others, you remain open to the truth. Choosing to see the positive is a spiritual practice. It allows you to move beyond judgment and see the deeper beauty of your surroundings.
4. Change your environment
A great way to find a new perspective is to change the scenery around you. It may not be feasible to take a vacation to a new place each time you want to change your environment. However, simply connecting with nature, going for a walk, or exploring a new place in your own city are all great ways to connect with your spirituality. Seeing and experiencing something different can help feed a fresh mindset and invite a new perspective to your life.
Connecting with your higher Self is a life-long journey. To stay on this path, it’s essential to be consistent with your spiritual practice. This is key to cultivating a more enlightened perspective.
As you unfold your spirituality, you’ll begin to notice certain things…
Flow of creativity
When you engage in mindfulness such as yoga, meditation, or journaling, your creative imagination begins to thrive. Through this connection with your spiritual Self, you’ll also have more original ideas and experience greater clarity of thought.
When you practice a spiritual faith, you’re more apt to see the good and maintain a more positive mindset. As you increasingly see the positive truths of the Universe, there is decreased resistance within and your physical body responds with greater energy.
Practicing acceptance will give you a sense of calm. Adopt the mindsets of, “It is what it is” and “What will be will be”, and you will eliminate the struggle of resistance and the need to control. You will feel at ease despite any challenges that occur, knowing that you’ll be able to move past them.
Spirituality can help you develop a more positive mindset. A new perspective in this new year might be all you need to shift your relationships, career, wellbeing, and more.
Click here to claim your FREE gift: 5 Journal Prompts to Unfold Your Spiritual Self.
Tap into your spirituality and nurture your positive nature. This gift will:
- Evoke reflection
- Prompt self-discovery
- Foster positive change
- Accelerate achievement of your goals
Put spirituality on your list of new year’s intentions and see what new perspectives come to light!
“Authenticity and knowing who you are is fundamental to being an effective and long-standing leader.” – Ann Fudge
The modern day woman inspires.
She’s relentless, driven, and thrives on success.
She’s a powerful leader.
According to the 2020 Women in Business Report by Grant Thornton, women represent 29% percent of North America’s senior management and directors. That’s almost one third of senior leadership positions across North America.
As high-achieving women in these positions, we can be so driven to reach higher levels of success that we lose sight of what we’re sacrificing in the process.
Consider some of the great leaders of our times: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few. Leading by example, they’ve paved the way for a genuine management style to emerge. Today’s authentic leaders are mindful, transparent, and honest, drawing others to them like magnets.
A great leader is one who achieves success with significance, making a memorable impact on the lives of others.
Yet, as a high achiever, the drive to persevere and grow can come with sacrifice – your family, your free time, your health. By accessing your inner Self, you can find balance and authentically engage with what’s meaningful to you.
Let’s explore how to strengthen your authentic Self, so you more effectively lead to achieve success with significance…
What are the qualities of an authentic leader?
My previous article Your Core Values: How Do They Align With Your Authentic Self? shared the importance of defining your core values and what can occur when your values conflict. As you realize and live according to your core values, they will authentically integrate with your leadership style.
Say something and follow through. People expect your actions to match your words. They’ll notice your honesty and appreciate it. When people trust you, new opportunities arise.
Envisioning your future can help set a clear picture of who you want to be. Your vision will help you choose and align with your most authentic values. Setting long term goals to pave the way to your future vision will motivate you and those you lead.
Self-Awareness and Vulnerability
Are you able to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes? Self-awareness and vulnerability are two key qualities of an authentic leader. Yet, it’s essential that you regularly assess your values and goals in order to stay true to these characteristics.
Your uniqueness is what sets you apart from others. It’s what makes you stand out as a leader. Maintain your individuality and express it! Your authenticity will position you as a role model to others.
How to evolve your authenticity to improve your leadership:
Hold Strong Values
- Make a list of values that you align with. Choose a few top qualities. If you’re choosing from too many, it will be hard to adhere to them.
- Recognize other leaders and embody the attributes you admire. Think of individuals who have made a difference in your life, or people who stood out in their roles as leaders. Take note of what draws you to them and apply it to your own leadership style.
- Contemplate your past experiences and how you feel about them. What would your authentic self have done in those same situations? Maybe you could have taken different actions. Or you might have successes that you haven’t fully acknowledged. Make sure to celebrate those now.
- Take time to reflect at the end of each day. Be mindful of the impact your actions had on you and others. Did these actions truly match your chosen values? If not, your review of each day will help you realign with your authentic self.
As you embody the qualities of an authentic leader, you will possess what it takes to lead without sacrificing yourself. Authenticity is crucial to being a successful leader. Abiding by your values and integrating them into your leadership style will set you apart from others. Take the time to assess your authenticity and discover the powerful leader within.
Click here to claim your FREE Core Values Assessment: Aligning Your Core Values To Your Authentic Self and discover a more authentic YOU.
This gift will help you:
- Identify your core values
- Determine any conflicting values
- Find resolution
- Experience greater peace and joy, knowing your authentic self is being expressed
Want to hear more about how to evolve as a powerful leader? Click here to join the waitlist for the Success Without Sacrifice Experience and to receive additional information.
Being mindful of how you lead will transform you into a truly amazing, authentic leader!