Without knowing anything about her, you may sometimes detect a successful woman in the wild. It’s not about having great stuff on the outside, but about how she conducts herself in a way that sets her apart from others. Here are a half-dozen traits shared by the most successful women.
Hundreds of executives, founders, and other great achievers have told me about their daily habits that help them thrive, and they often include exercise, getting up early, reading, and taking their to-do lists seriously. The most successful women are those who constantly do things that keep them healthy, informed, and productive. Rachel Hollis, an author and motivational speaker, is always talking about this (and she even sells a necklace which says “not sorry”). In essence, it entails living life on your own terms and pursuing your ambitions regardless of what others may think. In Girl, Stop Apologizing, she writes, “Embracing the idea that you may want things for yourself even if no one else understands the whys behind them is the most freeing and powerful feeling in the world.” It’s difficult to be successful when you’re not feeling well. It’s also difficult to feel well if you eat too much sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, or processed meals. All of this generates inflammation, which can lead to weariness, pain, and a general sense of dread. The most successful women avoid these problems by drinking plenty of water (and no soda), eating plenty of vegetables and lean meats, and reducing their alcohol consumption. It’s because if you’re terrified of failing, you won’t be able to achieve big things. The terrible reality is that men, as opposed to women, are more willing to take risks. In an article for Harvard Business Review, leadership and strategy consultant Doug Sundheim examines various research that have found this to be true. He writes, “Male risk-taking tends to grow under stress, whereas female risk-taking tends to diminish.” “One reason is that the brain activity involved in calculating risk and planning for action differs by gender. Given the stressful nature of our work life today, this appears to be a significant finding.”