If you don’t read Forbes magazine every year or have a soft spot for biographies of successful women leaders, you could easily overlook them: The so-called alpha women.
Susan Wojcicki (CEO of Youtube), Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) or Janet Yellen (Vice-President of FED) are just a few examples of women who polarize through their charisma, their successful careers and their commitment to the compatibility of family and career and who have long acted as role models for young women worldwide.
But what makes these women so successful?
Not every woman who studies and diligently gains practical experience automatically rises to a management position. Our self-perception and the perspective from which we view our own career path are crucial to achieving lasting success.
Already in 1882 (supplemented in 1887) Friedrich Nietzsche wrote down a concise sentence in his work Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (‘La gaya scienza’), which I would like to recommend to every woman as a personal credo:
What does your conscience say? -‘You shall become who you are.’
Experience abroad, practical experience, language skills, specialist knowledge – the list of potential fields of practice and knowledge is long and the apparent compulsion to acquire expert knowledge in each of these fields is very great.
However, if you keep to the famous philosopher’s phrase, you quickly realize that the key to success lies not only in the education you acquire, but also in the inclination you have within you. Just because I have top grades in all science subjects doesn’t mean I’m drawn in that direction professionally. There is a certain point in life when you realize that your mind and heart are in agreement about your being. This is the moment when you realize who you really are and where you actually want to go. For some, this moment comes quite early, for some it comes relatively late. Many experience it, but suppress this experience in order not to deviate from their chosen path. But the fact is: We don’t have to make something of ourselves first, because we already carry within us what we need and what makes us tick.
Creating change through self-knowledge
So if the key to success lies within us, what separates us from the so-called “super-achievers“?
Quite simply, it is self-knowledge.
We are ambitious and have the will to shape our career path, but we adhere to alien paradigms. We do not ask ourselves who we are but only where we want to go. We often take predefined paths, then do not dare to leave them for years and create a cozy “comfort zone” in which we feel protected and at home.
This comfort zone must be left behind. He who stands still does not develop, and he who does not develop does not recognize.
Only through experiences, mistakes, successes and failures do we realize who we actually are and only then should we dare to take the step and ask our heart whether the path we have chosen is the right one for us.
Follow the tips and experience reports of role models, but do not adapt other people’s biographies because you believe that this is the only way to successfully build a career. Think about what feels good in your life, what you excel at, and what fulfills you. No certificates in this world can confirm to you what is hidden deep within you. Doubt, throw plans overboard, change, stay in constant (physical and mental) motion, because only in this way will you recognize your own being and the paths that suddenly open up to you with this new realization.
About the author
Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .