I’m going to say it loud and proud – I have ambition. I have things I want to achieve, places I want to go and glass ceilings I intend to break. Unfortunately having that itch for the corner office can be somewhat paralyzing. Quite honestly, even typing it out here gives me an overwhelming sense of vulnerability. We all know that having the dream is the easy part of the equation, but what about getting there? I’ve spent a good chunk of my 20s wondering what it will take to achieve my goals and hunting for a recipe for success. I can’t tell you how many Forbes, “What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast” articles I had to read before I realized there really isn’t one.
The popular, “you do you” anthem has become my main motto as I’ve gotten older, and it especially rings true as I attempt to draft a road map for my career. I’ve finally let go of the mentor fantasy (you know, the one where I run into Tina Fey at Whole Foods and she thinks I’m so promising that she decides to take me under her wing and teach me every thing there is to becoming a bonafide badass?) and I’m taking responsibility for my own progress. My approach? Take one day at a time and find motivation and inspiration in my daily routines. So, here’s my home-grown, partly stolen from the internet but dashed with a sprinkle of Allie, recipe for success.
A Girls Guide to Becoming A Badass
Find Your Circle of Trust and Listen
Of course, this circle includes my close friends and family members, but it also includes those elusive mentors I mentioned – the Tina Feys and the J.K. Rowlings of the world. Yes, I’m grounded in reality enough to know I probably won’t run into Tina while picking up my groceries, but social media gives me ridiculously easy access to their ongoing relationship with success. There are so many nuggets of inspiration in their Twitter and Instagram feeds just waiting to be actualized.
Read. Read. And then Read Some More.
Anyone who knows me knows that books are my main accessory in life. But over the years, I’ve turned to reading as an escape from the stresses of adulthood instead of using my love of books to enhance my professional aspirations. I’m not making the argument that strictly reading fiction is a bad thing (I honestly think reading Harry Potter as a teen made me a more compassionate human being) but I’ve made a promise to myself to read at least one non-fiction, career-building book a month. I’m kicking off January with Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Set A Deadline and Declare it Publicly
If you’re one of those people that can hold themselves accountable, good for you. You’re one in a million. I am not. My mind will find wildly broad excuses for why I don’t need to go to the gym today or why I’m actually better off buying that overpriced sweater instead of saving money because, “think about how much use I’ll get out of it!!” Lies. Every time I’ve set a goal and found success, I’ve given myself a very specific time frame and I’ve told the important people in my life about it. My Mom is my best accountability partner – she’s the perfect blend of being invested in my life and unapologetically nosey.
Be Patient and Gentle with Yourself
Like most people, I crave instant gratification. If I don’t receive it, I often get discouraged and unknowingly allow my motivation to slip away. I’m hoping that by acknowledging my weakness upfront, I can stay motivated by reminding myself to be patient and gentle with myself. Sure, my next promotion won’t happen overnight, but I have to trust that staying true to my every day routine will eventually get me to that ultimate “badass” status.