When it comes to success, I was a mess. I struggled for a long time to become a grounded, successful adult.
I knew what I didn’t want and I started hustling for a life with less efforts and less of those sad compromises I was seeing around me. You know, the ones that partially satisfy your needs and keep you stuck in a state of constant frustration and disappointment. I didn’t want a life made of that.
I believed I was here for more and I was determined to get it. I was ambitious, the push-through kind of woman. Working hard was never a problem for me. I had no other choice anyway: I wasn’t born in a comfortable situation and I didn’t have opportunities. So I embraced it. I deeply believed I could transform my life, no matter where I came from. I knew the alternative, it wasn’t appealing and this determination kept me so focused on the goal.
Unfortunately I had started with a big disadvantage: I deeply believed I wasn’t good enough. Being good enough meant achieving always the maximum for me. I was a perfectionist and I wouldn’t have settled for anything less than that. So there was a moment when I wasn’t good enough in my life and then there was another moment, when other people considered me a success and I considered myself a failure. This is the journey to success the way I experienced it and the way I’m going to present it to you.
I started The Brave Hearted moved by the desire of guiding women on a journey to a successful life.
I had read a lot of stuff about psychology, self-development and done an intensive work on myself to keep growing and improving and I couldn’t find anything that would talk about the full journey. Everything was about a small trip. To my eyes, the problem with self-confidence, affirming oneself and making a difference as a woman is a lot more complex that that.
The thing that is commonly called low self-confidence has an impact on all the aspects of your life: on your inner peace, health, money and relationships. But depending on where you are, you can experience different kind of struggle, pain, disappointment and frustration. I know how hard it can be and I want you to know that you are understood in this struggle, other women experience the same and there’s a way out of this – and this is what I’m here for.
STEP 1 – HEALING FOR SUCCESS
The first part of the journey and surely the deepest one in terms of inner work, is healing.
If there’re open wounds, they’ll keep hurting. They’ll keep consuming your energy, making you more sensitive to new potential wounds, keeping you from taking risks and opening to opportunities because you’re wounded. When we are wounded, we only want to protect ourselves and heal. Do that. You may be scared of suffering if you heal them, but I promise that you’ll suffer more if you don’t.
If you believe that you aren’t good enough to deserve love and success, there’s no possibility to actually achieve them. Because even if it happens to you, you’ll think you don’t deserve them and push them away. This step is about building self-esteem and self-confidence, quitting perfectionism, stop being a people pleaser.
The successful outcome of this first trip is being finally able to be yourself, believing that you are good enough the way you are and that you are able to achieve what you want. Once you believe this, the concrete obstacles that you can find on your path are logistic and easier to fix.
STEP 2 – DESERVING SUCCESS
The second part of the journey is believing you deserve to be successful.
It’s not the same to believe that you can be successful and that you deserve to be successful.
It’s a complete shift in terms of mindset. Everything related to low sense of entitlement, fear of failure, fear of visibility, fear of success and impostor syndrome (feeling like a fraud) goes here. There’s a work to be done in terms of mindset that requires you to face your fears and overcome them, to put yourself forward for opportunities and stand tall because you’re aware that you have everything it takes and that you’ve earned it. The outcome of this step is finally taking your place and feeling good in it.
STEP 3 – MAKING A DIFFERENCE
So far the majority of the journey was inside. Now it’s the time to go outside and this is when things can get a bit more complicated, because they don’t depend only on you. Here we are in the land of expectations, gender stereotypes, social boundaries and personal interests. Learning to navigate this is a fundamental part of the game. Learning how to say no, how to ask for what you want in a way that is more likely to get you to a yes, learning to negotiate and speak in public, learning to influence instead of manipulating, make sure you don’t get stuck in the contradiction of being confident and being not liked are all part of this step.
As a woman you are subject to a specific kind of pressure, you face different expectations from men, women and society and sometimes it may look like anyone has an opinion on what you should want, be contented with and long for. And also, to how you should behave.
There are specific techniques you can learn here, but if you haven’t done the job of healing yourself, it won’t help that much. You’ll know the theory but struggle to put it in practise. Sometimes this will become procrastination and self-blaming. Techniques are great, information helps women to feel more self-conscious and confident, but in order to deal with the challenges you face here in a successful way, you need to be grounded.
Being grounded means you stop fearing rejection and behaving as if you are less than at step 1. It means you became truly strong and you don’t need to behave passively or aggressively, you can just behave assertively. Less effort, a lot less pain and disappointment. When you are strong, things don’t hurt you that much because your wounds are healed, you are in your best shape and strong enough to stand up for yourself.
And this is the journey. If you want to know more about it, read the full version.