Guest post by Lindsey Hale, author of the recently-released book, Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear, Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best Life, available now!
The World’s “Okayest Life” is not okay.
How on earth does she get everything done? Is it really possible to have a healthy body, marriage and family, organized home, and run a little side hustle without cloning yourself? Maybe you are like the old me who thought that “successful women” who “had it all” must be super heroes or at very least born lucky. I would start towards a goal, like getting debt free, I’d do all the research, get the budget all set up, and then I would hit a major bump in the road and that was it! I quit! These kind of goals aren’t for people like me! Guess I’ll just keep on getting by and living the world’s “okayest” life.
I simply wanted to stay home with my children. But I was scared to death to try one of those home-based businesses. I knew I had started and quit a million other things in life and was fairly certain this endeavor would be no different. In a moment of desperation, I asked myself, “Am I doing this (or not doing this) because of fear, obligation, or guilt?” That one question made me go for it. As a result, over a decade later, I can say my life has truly changed. Since then I have been leading a team of thousands of women and recently released a book called Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear, Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best Life. In it, I go into detail on how you too can find your best life by asking yourself that question!
What about you?
How many times have you just wanted to quit? You feel as if you’ve given “it” (whatever it is) everything you’ve got. The logical next step is to walk away before matters get worse.
Or is it?
After coaching hundreds of women to success in business, marriage, parenting, and relationships, I have found that those who see their goals to completion and who are living their best life have two major things in common.
#1 Don’t Go It Alone
Want to conquer that goal that feels nearly impossible? Want to be one of those successful women? Whether you are trying to accomplish a big goal in business, get organized, cook healthier meals, loose weight, run a marathon, or practice patience with your children; don’t do it alone! Generally speaking, women love community!
Those who succeed are no exception.
Successful women have someone by their side to support and guide them. Because we are all human, and will have days that are difficult or seem downright impossible. Having an accountability partner can nudge us to show up even when we don’t want to, or remind us of how far we have come when all we see is how far we have left to go. When successful women stumble or feel lost (and we all stumble), they seek help from someone who will pull them get back up again. It doesn’t matter if that person is a spouse, a trusted friend or mentor, as long as you are comfortable sharing your big goal and all the successes and failures along the way. This should be your biggest fan!
You can apply the SMART goal method to your everyday/lifetime goals. What is a SMART goal? SMART goal is a method that you can use to guide you to where you want to go and allow you to track your progress.
#2 Just Ask!
The second attribute of all successful women is that they ask for what they want and what they need. In our society, discrepancies still exist between what is socially acceptable for a man versus a woman when it comes to how we work and pursue our goals. If a man asks for what he wants and makes quick decisions, he is viewed as being strong and in charge. When a woman is decisive enough to ask for what she wants, she is sometimes labeled as overbearing or pushy.
The truth is, a lot of women worry that asking a direct question makes them pushy! We have all experienced pushy people, and we know nothing feels worse than feeling like you have to do something you don’t really want to do. Pushy is when you ask for something and insist that the other person says yes, even if doing so puts that person in a bind. Pushy is really good for you and only you. So how do you know for sure if you are being too assertive?
Stop and ask yourself…
Is the request selfish, and is the other person free to say no? If your request comes out of a desire to advance without regard to other needs, you need to check your motives. However, if you’re like most women I know, your desire is to improve the world around you, not to push your ideals and selfish motives on it.
How often are you burying your real questions because you are worried your requests will make you appear high maintenance or too assertive? As a result, have you been keeping your wants, needs, and desires tucked into that dark corner, hiding your talents and gifts? From this moment forward, let’s start asking for exactly what we want or need – successful women do.
Try removing the softeners like “let me know” or “I just wanted to check.” Let’s ask boldly! “Let me know when you can meet for coffee” isn’t the same as, “I think I’d enjoy some company. Would you like to grab coffee with me tomorrow?” It is direct; it leaves no room for misinterpretation. If you don’t share how you feel and ask the real questions in your heart, you’ll never know what’s possible. If you ask and the answer is no, nothing changes. But if you ask and the answer is yes, everything could change.
Girlfriend, not only are you capable of having your best life, you deserve it! So this time, don’t quit on yourself. Go after that big audacious goal and this time, own it! It’s all yours!
Lindsey Hale is a wife, mom, and top leader at Thirty-One Gifts (and most recently, the author of Lifted: How to Ditch the Fear, Obligation and Guilt and Live Your Best Life ). She has an imperfect, messy, awesome life, and is passionate about teaching others how to create a life they can love! You can learn more about Lindsey at https//www.lindseyhale.org/.