One of the hottest topics of the working world in our current times is the plight of the working mom. That often seemingly illusive quest to “have it all.”
Some believe it is possible, others see it simply as a pipe dream.
We watch with interest and scrutinize every comment and decision Marissa Mayer the new mom CEO of Yahoo makes. She has unwillingly become the face of the modern working mom.
Many of us hoped she would use her newfound status to become a role model in shifting how we do business. To show a model that better supports working moms to find that true life balance and feeling of success we desperately crave.
Many have been left feeling disappointed.
So we wonder. How can we possibly ever feel the success we desire when a working mom as prominent as Mayer is not leading the charge towards the working mom's revolution in the workplace as we had hoped?
The truth is that we can.
No matter what any other working mom is doing, regardless of her position, we ourselves are the only ones who have the control over whether we feel successful as both a mom and in our work.
The biggest secret to feeling successful as a working mom no matter what your job, your business, your position, or beliefs may be about what Marissa Mayer should or should not be doing, is defining your own personal success code.
How to Define Your Own Success Code
The single most important thing we can do to feel successful is to become clear on what success means to us personally. Everyone has a different idea of what feeling successful involves.
We will never feel successful if we base our criteria for success on what others tell us it should be.
It is already clear that as a mom success can have very different meanings.
For some it is being there at all times for their kids. So they choose to become a stay-at-home mom. For others it might be the need or desire to provide income for their family. It could be the need to express themselves or be of service to others through their career while balancing taking care of their family. They become the working moms.
Other examples of how we might view success could be having family dinners, picking our children up from school, travel, security in our finances, doing work we love, owning our own business, a flexible schedule. Each of our lists will be unique.
Whatever our lifestyle choice as moms we are all faced with the challenge of how do we feel successful.
As moms whether we work or not there is pressure that can come from many different sources on what we “should” do or be like to be successful.
Our friends, our family, our workplace, society in general and even our children will have their own opinion on what success is.
We must make sure through all the opinions and noise coming at us that we become clear on our own unique success code.
Here are 3 tips on how to get to the heart of and develop your own success code and start to feel great about your life:
1. Clarify Your Deepest Core Values
How successful we feel in our lives is dependent on how in alignment we are living with our deepest core values.
They are the very foundation that guides us on how we live our lives, the choices that we make and what motivates us. We may have many values in life, but our core values are those that are so important, so essential to our wellbeing that they remain constant no matter what is going on in our lives.
If we haven't clearly defined and connected with our core values we can end up making choices based on a circumstance or social pressures and oftentimes other peoples expectations instead of our own. This is a frequent challenge for working moms as we try to filter the advice and opinions thrown at us about what we “should” be doing.
When we have clarity on our core values it provides our compass in life. When we are faced with a choice we can simply ask, “does this align with my core values?” If it does do it. If it doesn't move on.
When we start to live our life and make choices based on our core values we naturally start to feel a sense of purpose, direction, happiness and wholeness. This in turn leads us to feeling successful in our work, our family and our lives in general no matter what it is we are doing.
So take the time to ask yourself what the most essential values in your life are.
The ones so important to you that you cannot live without them. The ones that define who you are.
2. Ditch the Limiting Beliefs About Success
From the time we are children our beliefs about the world and our place in it begin to develop.
Our parents, our friends, our teachers, the media, our workplace, our spouse, our own personalities have all contributed to defining and developing the beliefs we hold today. The beliefs we have about life, being a mom, work, money and what it means to be successful.
We all hold beliefs about what it means to be a successful working mom.
Some of these beliefs may inspire us to live our greatest lives.
Some do not.
These are our limiting beliefs. The ones that simply hold us back and keep us stuck in a place we don't like or feel successful in.
If we are to clear the path forward to feel the success we want it's time to uncover our limiting beliefs. They need to show their faces so we can kick them to curb.
To get started on kicking your limiting beliefs to the curb create a list of ones you might be holding onto about being a working mom. An example might be “it is impossible to feel successful as a mom and in our work when we are trying to juggle both.”
Now ask yourself these 5 questions:
• Where did I get that belief from?
• How true is that belief really? Find examples that demonstrate the belief doesn't have to be true.
• How has that belief affected my life?
• What more powerful belief can I replace this with? (e.g. I can be successful and fulfilled as both a mom and in my work)
• How would your life be with this new potential belief? What would you do differently?
Once you have created a new more powerful belief whenever you find yourself thinking of the old limiting belief consciously replace the thought with the new one.
By shifting our beliefs we will find ourselves making new choices and taking different actions. It opens up new opportunities and enables us to take the steps we want to create our own unique successful life.
3. Write Your Own Success Code
When we become clear on our deepest core values and are aware of the limiting beliefs that have been keeping us from feeling successful we are now free to develop our own unique success code.
It's time to identify exactly what we need in our lives to feel successful as a mom and in our work.
Start by doing these 3 exercises:
• What is your personal definition of success?
Close your eyes and envision what your life would look like for it to be successful on your terms. How would you be spending your time? Who would you be spending it with? What would your lifestyle be like? What kind of work would you be doing? How would you feel?
As you do this stay connected to your deepest core values and block out any of those limiting beliefs that come up that try to tell you what success should look like.
• What changes do you need to make?
Now you have a clear vision of what success looks like to you write down what in your life is currently contributing to your own unique definition of success. Create a list of any changes in your life you need to make.
It might be your thoughts, your beliefs, your job, your business model, how you prioritize, what you spend your money on. Get really clear on what is currently serving your success best in your life and what things need to be shifted.
• Create a plan on how you will achieve your own success code.
Once you have clarity on what success looks like to you and what you need to do to get there it is time to strategize.
Develop a plan of how you will make the changes you want in your life to feel successful as both a mom and in your work. Outline the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Brainstorm ways you can get the resources, help and support in making the changes you want.
As working moms it is time to take the reigns of our own lives and success.
Too many times we are left feeling inadequate fulfilling the many roles we have. We need to block out all the noise, the “have to's” and the “should do's” and get focused on what truly is important to us and our own family.
It's time to get proactive and create a life that truly fulfills our own unique definition of success.