Money, status, power – these are traditional measures of success in American culture. If you don’t have or are not striving after status symbols, you are not seen as successful. This creates a challenge for women, who typically have an expanded view of what successful women should be. It’s not that money and power are unimportant; it’s just that women have some other equally important priorities.

Encourage Other Women Physicians to Apply for Leadership Positions.

An Emergency Medicine Chairperson shared that “Getting paid more is great, but controlling your schedule and doing what’s important is awesome.” In her comment, you can hear the physician’s values of freedom and meaning.

During a coaching conversation, a physician researcher is evaluating the impact a significant career change would have on her family life. She valued being present for her children. Equally compelling was the possibility of impacting gun safety legislation nationwide.

In a book by Valerie Young, ED, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women, she states that a woman’s susceptibility to imposter syndrome may not be fear of success, but rather is a mismatch of what constitutes success in our society …. “having different priorities is not the same as shooting low.”

Being Successful Women is Not The Obstacle.

Lack of clarity about how to define success is what gets in the way. There is bound to be tension when you are achieving in a system that is at odds with what you value. Feeling pulled in opposing directions is sure to be an energy drain and a drag on your momentum.

Clarity on What You Value is Key to Your Success.

Try this:

  1. Set the timer for 10 minutes, and write down what success means to you.
  2. Flip the question around if you get stuck, and ask instead, what am I not willing to sacrifice for success?

American novelist, Anna Quindlen, writes, “If your success is not on your terms, if it looks good to the world but it does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

How will you define success in 2018?

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