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Picture the scene. You’ve got everything you want: a nice car, a comfortable house, a successful business and a stable partner. But something is missing, and you can’t quite put your finger on it.
Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the reality for many women who have overcome inequality to achieve boundary-breaking success but still feel unsatisfied. Many life coaches may tell you that there is one solution and one solution only for this looming feeling. However, professionals who genuinely have your interests at heart will acknowledge that all women’s circumstances are different. The problem could be at home, in your business, in your mind or something entirely different.
Rachael Evans built her livelihood in the male-dominated automotive industry but now finds herself as a business coach specializing in female empowerment. While you should always be wary of quick fixes, she believes that massive catch-all communities and year-long programs aren’t the answer to most people’s problems. The Brave Media Network CEO and founder instead wants to highlight the three ways women can start putting themselves first in their business, life and relationships:
1. Align yourself with your goals
It’s common for women to reach their 40s without having discovered a career they love day in and day out. Fear not—it’s never too late. It may be slightly more difficult, but it’s entirely possible to enter new fields well into your career—according to a 2018 survey commissioned by EdX, 29% of their respondents aged 25 to 44 had “completely changed fields since starting their first job post college.” The answer is to get to the bottom of it quickly (in one or two focused days) rather than dragging it out over several months or even years.
“Step one is to pause for a moment and give yourself the space to ask, ‘Am I in alignment with the things that I am feeling in my life right now?’” Evans says. “If the answer is ‘no,’ that’s not cause to panic—it’s a reason to make an action plan.”
2. Act on your fears
Okay, this might be a controversial one. Fear doesn’t denote just one potential outcome. Feeling scared or nervous could result from self-limiting beliefs attempting to stray you from life’s natural course. For women who have spent much of their lives putting other people first, fear could be the call to action they need.
“It’s important to recognize if fear is present,” Evans says. “Most of us equate fear with getting stuck or turning around and running away. I believe fear means ‘go’—it will probably lead to unlocking the thing you are after.”
You might feel that your fear is too overwhelming to make the leap you want to, especially if you have an established family and income. But the impacts of inaction, such as relationship breakdown or declining mental health, are more significant causes for concern.
3. Find the coach for you
It’s a common misconception that seeking out a business, life or bravery coach means signing yourself away to somebody else’s beliefs. The best personal development professionals help you slot in the missing pieces of your own puzzle instead.
“Seek a mentor who has the results you want,” Evans explains. “For example, high-powered women who have created a successful business but whose lives and experiences have since changed should work with someone who prioritizes their new aspirations. That doesn’t necessarily mean closing your business. It could simply mean reassembling your management team or looking for a buyer.”
Just as several small alterations may bring the change you need, you also shouldn’t use coaches unwilling to encourage bold action. You’d be surprised how quickly you could feel a difference following a short retreat or a discussion with a coach. The minimum you should expect to walk away with is an action plan to design a more fulfilling lifestyle.
As culture gradually changes with the times, women might fear they’re giving less of their energy to their family. But, Evans believes a woman cannot provide effectively if she does not feel fulfilled. After all, fears are there to be grasped and overcome.