Do you know what it takes to be a powerful and confident boss lady? Well, have a seat, make yourself a stiff drink and let’s get right into it. We’re going to tell you the top 10 things all future #GirlBosses will need to know to make their dreams of success a reality. Everything you see below was inspired by incredible female leaders, thinkers, movers and shakers like Sheryl Sandberg, Elizabeth Gilbert and Kelly Cutrone. Here goes!
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1. TRUST YOUR TALENT AND ABILITY TO MANAGE THE HARD STUFF
Research shows that if you’re an over-achiever, you’re more likely to suffer from Impostor’s Syndrome, that nagging feeling that no matter how accomplished and good you are at your job, it’s only by fluke that you’ve managed to get this far. Like most high-achievers, you set the bar pretty high for yourself. Your standard of “good enough” is far (faaaar) higher than your average person, and so, you are going to be plagued by the sense that your work is never good enough. If you’re going to be a game-changer, you’ll need to rid yourself of these feelings of inadequacy and just trust your talent. As MrsGuided.com founder Alison Kornberg-Walch pointed out, ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.'”
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2. DON’T BACK DOWN FROM A FIGHT OR AN OPPORTUNITY
As a future boss lady, your ability to spot opportunities and stick to your guns will determine the swiftness of your meteoric rise to success. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship,” says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, “don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” Whether you are asking your boss for a raise, or standing up to a bitchy co-worker, confrontation is basically a non-negotiable skill in the work place. The same is true of opportunities. And like conflicts, they rarely come when it’s most convenient for you, so when they do, be ready and don’t hesitate for a moment.
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3. LEARN TO LOVE YOUR HATERS
One of the greatest misconceptions about life is that it’s supposed to be easy. This may be true for a very lucky few, but for the majority of us the world is going to be an unforgiving place where nothing good comes easily. With every step you climb, there will be a swarm of haters to drag you down. These are the mosquitoes and crying babies of the professional world. Take a step back, keep things in perspective and don’t take it personally.
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4. LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY
Ever heard of professional hubris? It’s what can happen when you are young, talented and you’ve never been turned down, so of course you’re going to think you are God’s gift to [insert your profession here]. Yes, you may be amazing at your job, but you are still going to make mistakes and learn a lot along the way. You should never feel like your learning days are behind you. Within the first three years out of college, your professional skills will likely quadruple. That is, as long as you are open to learning and accept that there is always some way you can improve.
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5. REDEFINE YOURSELF
Take a good long look at yourself in the mirror, who do you see? If the person staring back at you feels little different from your 18 year old self, you still have some spiritual and emotional growing to do. Though its amazing to feel young at any age, its a whole other thing when this means that you’re not allowing yourself to feel the power of responsibility that comes with being an adult. A boss lady is an ambitious and talented woman whose decisions can impact not just her own life, but the whole world. That’s the incredible power (and burden) of responsibility that comes with reaching for your dreams. Absorb the image of strength into your identity, and know that you are no longer just a kid playing grown up, but someone who can change the world.
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6. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day,” wrote Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love, “This is a power you can cultivate.” Be resilient, level-headed and confident. Take a chapter from Kelly Cutrone and go outside if you need to cry at work. It sounds harsh, but all she meant is that you are not your feelings. There is a huge difference between thinking “I feel angry” and “I am angry.” In one you identify a feeling, and in the other you identify WITH the feeling. This isn’t a big deal…until shit hits the fan at work and you end up falling apart emotionally. Feelings are just random impulses that happen to your body. By not identifying with your emotions, you will be able to stay cool and rational even in the most stressful work situations.
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7. FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
Fear can take many forms, for some it is the fear of looking stupid, or of looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. Being a boss lady means knowing that taking risks and looking stupid is an essential part of the learning process. Don’t overthink this, just go for it.
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8. CHECK THAT ATTITUDE OF SCARCITY
There are statistically very few rich people on this planet. We don’t know you, but we’re willing to bet that most of you reading this right now probably didn’t grow up in a home where you used dollar bills to light your Venetian marble fireplace. But what happens if you grow up feeling like you never had any of the things you wanted or needed as a kid? Some people develop an attitude of scarcity, plagued with a feeling of being stuck on the sidelines while everyone else has the time of their lives. It can be incredibly difficult to reach for your stars when all your life the world has been sending you messages that people like you don’t make it to the top. People who’ve grown up with financial (or emotional) deprivation will tend to obsess over what they lack, instead of taking stock of what they do have. Those who had very little food will over-eat, those who had very little to wear will become shopacholics. Studies reveal that an attitude of scarcity has a measurable short-term effect on both your body, and can drop your IQ by as much as 13 points, not to mention what it does to your self-esteem and overall motivation. So do yourself and your future success a big favor and start a gratitude journal. Write in it every day. Don’t let your past stand in the way of your future.
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9. FIND YOUR PEOPLE
You know the saying, “Build it and they will come”? It should really be, “Find them and it will get built.” Whether you are starting a new handbag line, or are freelancing as a photographer, nothing good ever gets built without a good team to help guide, inspire and motivate you along the difficult path to your dreams.
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10. IT TAKES YEARS OF PRACTICE TO REACH PERFECTION
Boss Ladies tend to have a serious perfectionist streak, which means that they feel disappointed with themselves when they can’t get things perfect from the start. Best-selling author Emily Giffin, put it this way, “Perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.” Whether you’re designing dresses or websites, whether you’re a photographer or a producer, your technique will naturally get better over time. It’s important to have that long term, practice makes perfect perspective and develop an attitude of “this is good enough for now.” If you wait until it’s perfect, you’re going to end up waiting forever.