What does it really mean to be a "successful business woman"?
Is it a certain dollar amount in your bank account?
Is it being on the cover of magazines?
Is it having a business that is blowing up?
Is it being beautiful and fit?
Is it having perfect kids and the right partner?
Is it being celebrated in the media?
Is it being the best at (fill in the blank)?
Is it being dressed in designer labels?
Is it a fancy house by the beach or a sports car?
Is it the watch you wear?
Is it who you know?
Is it the zip code you live in?
Maybe. Or maybe not.
Healthy Tribes of Successful Women
First of all, there is nothing wrong with having a nice home, expensive watch, or flashy car. These material items can be a fun way of celebrating one's hard work and success. I like a good pair of shoes, and I have a fun zippy convertible. But it is not what success means to me. And it certainly is not how I define success in other business women.
I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with women of integrity, courage, strength of spirit, humor and creativity in my personal and professional life. We are a bad ass tribe of women who stand in support of each other's successes, and who cheer each other on. We are an imperfect band of ladies who inspire one another and want each other to succeed.
The women I love to hang with celebrate one another privately and publicly. We find joy when another woman achieves a dream. We rock the casbah when one of us realizes an accomplishment. And we support and encourage each other without judgment (or secret inner glee) when one of us feels discouraged, or when a goal crashes and burns.
We are women who are fierce about having each other's backs, listening without judgement, and are not willing to be part of an unhealthy herd. Instead, we join forces, linking hearts and elbows in helping each other move forward.
Toxic Women = Unresolved Trauma and Fear
It is so disheartening to still observe women in this century who do not celebrate and lift other women up. Instead of empowering each other, they gossip, criticize, jab or "joke", manipulate, and take advantage of. Or equally damaging, they silently snub each other.
Instead of pulling each other up, they hold each other down in all kinds of minimizing ways. They have little insight into themselves, and refuse to take ownership of negative behaviors. Their words and actions do not match, their public and private faces contradict who they are attempting to be. These women would sooner swallow their own tongues than extend an apology and risk vulnerability.
Successful Women Share Certain Traits
When I reflect on the most successful women I know, there are specific traits and behaviors that are present in each one of my valued female colleagues and beloved friendships. I listed these out in the image above.
Are you a successful woman? Do you find yourself on this list? How do you celebrate and support other women in business? Why not take a moment below and share something about yourself and another woman you admire? Or pass this blog along to someone who might be inspired to become a successful woman.
Kindly and in support (celebrating YOUR success),
Mari A. Lee, LMFT, CSAT-S