These days, being a driven young woman with a full set of acrylic nails, career goals, networking activities, and social events can be exhausting. Striving to be the very best leader you can be, at the same time as all that, can feel beyond overwhelming at times, too. But one thing I feel like we young women fail to realize sometimes is just how brilliant, capable, and in charge of our lives, thoughts, emotions and time we really are.
When I was in college, my dad explained to me the thesis of what Stephen Covey described as the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ Keeping those 7 habits in mind changed my life…but after graduating college, landing a dream job, and moving to the District, I realized something. This city, and this country, is chock-full of young female leaders, as is evident with the existence of FFL. But how do we best tap into our potential in order to be the best leaders we can? How do we become those female leaders one day, by taking steps and actions to get there today? Well, I answered the question. I’ve got your back with the answers, girl.
1) Visualize your goals.
In order to achieve your goals, you have to visualize your goals. One of the most transformative things you can do for both your self-esteem and productivity is to turn the positivity switch on in your head, literally visualize yourself killing the game and accomplishing everything you hope to, and telling yourself that if you’re able to arrive at that goal in your head, you can by all means get there in real life, too. The power of suggestion is a potent one. Consider the converse: when you’re anxious or nervous, you resort to thinking about what could possibly go wrong, and likely not about what would go right. Remember, you have control over your own thoughts, and thoughts are powerful. Let yourself know you’ve got this. Squash those negative thoughts and worries before you start working toward that goal.
2) Prioritize your to-do list.
Girls, this is one that likely appears easy at first glance…but, astonishingly, isn’t all that easy for everyone to implement. I know you’re probably sitting there looking at your Google calendar or color-coded planner, your mind simultaneously blown at both the sheer number of things you have to on a daily basis as well as how insanely dope a human you are for accomplishing what you do every day. But I know there’s another side of you looking at your plate with an anxious eye, trying to somehow do the algebra it takes to divide and conquer those 45 tasks, projects and meetings set up for this week. Stop for a second. Look at that to-do list. Pick the top three most important things you must, can, and WILL get done today, and attack. Grab a coffee if you need to, but just go at those three. Be ruthless. Once you have those three most important things done, you will feel, literally, like a powerhouse. After that, the less important stuff comes easy. Your timetable becomes so much more amazingly easy to manage. It’s true, going easy on yourself by picking just three things might seem less driven or dedicated at first, but working smarter and not harder is actually one of the most game-changing things you can do for yourself.