When people look at successful women from the outside, they see women who have it all — career, relationship and family — but checking all the boxes doesn’t necessarily lead to fulfillment. For those women who’ve ticked all the boxes but still find themselves thinking they have more to offer the world, Adriana Monique Alvarez, a third-generation entrepreneur and founder of AMA Publishing & Business Consulting, invites them to ask themselves: What really lights you up? What have you always dreamed of doing?
Then, she shows them how to turn their dreams into a fun, fulfilling and lucrative reality. Here are Alvarez’s three inspirational tips to help you go from unfulfilled to focused and inspired:
1. Refuse to feel sorry for yourself: Women entrepreneurs naturally tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard of excellence. We’re driven and we’re motivated — and, the flip side or shadow side to this is that sometimes we can also be very hard on ourselves when things go wrong. Maybe you just lost a contract. Maybe you feel like you’ve hit a wall. Maybe you have a nightmare client. Maybe you lost money on a project. Whatever it is you’re struggling with, remember to refuse to feel sorry for yourself. Instead, affirm to yourself, “I am figuring this out. I am learning this, minute by minute. I am smart and capable, and the solution is coming to me.”
Walk away from whatever it is that’s challenging you, take a deep breath, have a nap, go for a walk, play with your kids, take your pet out, get out in nature — completely distract yourself.
One of the best things you can do when you’re facing a challenge is laugh. When you really hit a wall, watch standup comedians, watch a comedy film, play a silly game — anything that helps lighten the mood and causes you to relax and unwind. The best solutions show up when you aren’t trying, when you least expect it. Solutions often come to me in a dream, when I’m playing with my kids, when I’m watching a movie, and so on. The more you can relax, the faster the solutions are going to come to you.
2. Remember to celebrate your successes: Our tendency is often to postpone celebration, to wait until something “really big” or meaningful happens before celebrating. Forget it! I tell my clients to celebrate everything — every little bit of money they earn, every new client, ever win. Most of us spend the vast majority of our time going for a particular goal, but then very little time celebrating once we achieve it. This eventually leads to burnout! If there’s not enough of a reward at the end of that journey, we begin to fight ourselves and self-sabotage.
Think about where you were in your life and in your business one year ago, five years ago, or even ten years ago. How far have you come? How much have you grown? Take that into account. Take a victory lap. Write down your successes or put them in a video. Share them with friends, family, clients, and colleagues. Give yourself a pat on the back and take the time to celebrate. And, for any goals you’re currently working towards, write down exactly how you will celebrate when you achieve it.
3. Name and claim your magic: When you get hired at someone else’s company, they assign you responsibilities and a title. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to do that for yourself. No one else is going to declare your brilliance, identify and praise your gifts, or give a title to what you do… until you do. Once you do, you give the people that work with you and interact with you the opportunity to reflect and repeat back to you what you have claimed for yourself.
Give yourself a title that is fit for the divine woman that you are. Then, make sure that you make public declarations about who you are, the work that you do, the gifts you possess, and the capabilities you have. What you say about yourself determines how others will respond and react to you, as well as their willingness to see you as the leader and go-to person for them.