The 9 Skills Every Woman Should Master - Christine Kane

There’s a popular Esquire Magazine article called “75 Skills Every Man Should Master.”  There’s stuff about baseball, neckties, and other things that most of the extraordinary men in my life could care the least about.

It got me thinking about the happiest, coolest, most successful women I know.  And how they would take the question of mastery about 40,000 leagues deeper than neckties and baseball.

In fact, it dawned on me that the burning desire beneath my outward goals is almost always the mastery of one of the following skills.  The goals themselves – be they money, fitness, etc – are really the means to becoming a student of something much much cooler.

So, here are 9 Skills Every Woman Should Master…

1 – Reveling in your own preferences.

Taking the time to notice your delight. Trying new things, and honoring yourself enough to make time for them.  (No matter how stupid they seem.)  This is the key to the authenticity we women crave.

Unapologetically reveling in your own preferences gives you permission to be real – and serves others by letting them see your joy and choose (or not) to bask in it with you!

2 – Listening without judgment.

I’m convinced that suffering comes from judgment.  Not just self-judgment. But ALL judgment.

That being said, many people think that “listening” means “waiting my turn to talk.”  Which means that much of our time is not spent actually listening.  It is spent judging what’s being said.

Learning how to truly listen without judgment – whether to another person or to yourself – awakens the intuition.  It heals and empowers the speaker.  It enriches the present moment.

3 – Discerning “Nurture” from “Distract.”

Many of us lead exciting, challenging and sometimes stressful lives.  We are serving children, clients, parents, co-workers. Our self-care matters if we are to be of true service in the world.

There’s a huge difference, however, between nurturing ourselves with what we truly want and need – and distracting ourselves in order to stuff the stress or fill the time. Learning that difference, and honoring our true needs (ie, getting a massage vs. eating a sleeve of Oreos in one sitting) is crucial.

4 – Letting go of the need to “fix.”

Most of us know that when we try to fix another person, we rob them of empowerment. (And often, our “fixes” are more for US than for them.)  Allowing others to find their own wisdom, to make mistakes and to be exactly where they are on their path teaches us to accept the present moment as well as the mystery.

It also teaches us that we are not the ultimate deciders of what is right and wrong!

5 – Becoming an Imperfectionist.

Having a purpose, taking action, trying new things – all of these contribute to our deep satisfaction and joy.  When we expect ourselves to be perfect before trying new things, we cut off many avenues to happiness.

When you become an Imperfectionist, you finally recognize your ego voice exactly for what it is:  Your own personal Success Prevention Expert.

6 – Getting Out of the Comfort Zone.

Our growth and success are often proportional to how often we’re willing to let ourselves be uncomfortable.  We kid ourselves (and our souls) when we convince ourselves to play it safe.

Getting out of the comfort zone doesn’t mean extreme sports or stepping onto a stage. Sometimes it can be as seemingly small as saying no – or trying a yoga class.

7 – Saying No with Clarity.

Learning to say no is really about learning to say yes.

When we say no to something we don’t want to do, be, or have – we are actually saying Yes to our deeper desires.  Many women don’t believe they can have what they truly want, so they learn to settle, and their lives are filled with “maybe’s.”

Saying no – with clarity and without explaining – is really about honoring other people as well as ourselves.

8 – Allowing disappointment.

When we say no, or when we follow our dreams or true callings – people might be “disappointed” in our choices.

Life is not a campaign. We don’t have to get votes.  People can love us and still feel disappointed that we didn’t do it their way.   Too many women go on campaign trails to get others to agree with them before they take proactive steps.  This only serves to rob them of the creative energy they need.

Allowing people their disappointment sets us free.

9 – Making support mandatory.

I can’t remember NOT having a coach.  It’s now a requirement in my life in the same way it’s a requirement for a world-class athlete.

I feel the same about hiring people and about asking for help. Too many women hope for the best and go it alone.  (Been there, done that!)

Well, remember this little ditty from Einstein:  The problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

Translation?  Get support, training and encouragement.  Make it a mandate.  You will soon discover a new level of lightness and velocity!


Got some suggestions on this topic?  Take a second to share what skill YOU think every woman should master in the comments below. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts!

  • Tiffany

    I love these. Number 4 resonated with me especially. I love your view on life and self mastery Christine. Thanks so much for this.

  • Danelle

    I love this, every part. A commenter above talked about only allowing positive people in to your world and that brought up a question I wanted to ask you. If you have a person in your life that is draining emotionally but keeps coming back, how do you in a kind and respectful way, move away from that relationship without being mean, when they are contstantly coming back to you and calling you out on your lack of interest of being around them? I have tried honesty with them once and they weren’t able to handle it well or see the truth, which made the situation worse. Thanks….

  • Tais

    Hi, Christine! Happy belated birthday!
    This post is so great I’m sending it to all my friends!
    Lots of love from Brazil!

  • Tracie Andrews

    Happy Birthday Christine, thanks for the article. I really responded to the disappointed comments. I am currently in that space-soon I will be brave and have the tough conversations.

  • Jeanne B

    #3, Nurturing vs Distraction. Nail, meet hammer. Big epiphany for me last night about how I’ve been using external things (shopping, creating projects for no other reason than to keep me from being bored) to mask a deeply unfulfilled place within me (hence the reason the ability to continue doing said external things has been graciously relieved from me to reveal the truth). They just distracted me from what my soul has been saying to me, which isn’t very nurturing, is it? Time to find fulfillment within, radiate it outward, and pave the way for more fulfilling things to come my way.

  • inge

    1. how to be a true friend.
    I used to have tons of friends, but it wasn’t till I learned how to BE a real friend, that I could totally experience friendship, realize what it’s worth and FEEL it.
    2. how to really love a child.
    sark has some amazing tips on that ^^ I for one got them hanging on my fridge and framed on my desk.
    3. how to let go.
    #stillworkingonthat ^^

    more best birthday wishes comin’ your way!!

  • Betsy Wuebker

    Hi Christine – Happy Birthday! I shared this post on FB – Numbers 5 and 6 are particularly resonating with me right now. Thanks for a wonderful and inspiring summary.

  • Daniele Largo

    Hello Christine,
    I love this article! I couldn’t agree more! This year I am determined to not let my fear talk me out of anything. Every time I step out of my comfort zone I am pleasantly surprised by the results that happen.. so needless to say I’ve stepped up the process and I’m being braver than I’ve ever been before in my life. I’ve been following you for awhile now and can’t wait to meet you in person. I’m coming to you with a whole NEW MINDSET! Thank you for consistently sharing the wisdom flowing through you it has inspired me and in turn I’m inspiring others… YOU ROCK!!!!

  • Nneka Kelly


  • Stacey of Shine Weight Loss

    Love this from #7: “Learning to say no is really about learning to say yes.”

    This is so true with our health. Saying no to unhealthy food and lack of physical activity is about saying YES to not only your well-being but also your wealth.

    It’s about deciding to choose what’s best and leaving behind the rest!

  • Thauna

    Definitely things I needed to hear today. 🙂 But then again, everything I read here is something I need.

  • Kerry Dexter

    wishing you a great birthday…
    “to accept the present moment as well as the mystery.” good perspective in areas besides letting go of the need to fix someone else. as a musician and a writer, that’s a point that resonates with me — helpful to remember in creative process as well as in relationship to others.

  • Tricia

    Hi Christine
    Happy Birthday!
    One skill that I am REALLY trying to master right now is the habit of negative or obsessive thinking! I find that at times, I can get myself into a tail spin just by latching onto a thought. Usually having to do with worrying about money or my children or things I’m not getting done.

    What seems to be working:
    I went to a book signing for an amazing woman out here in Seattle who has mastered the art of tapping into and working with chakras. Marie Manucheheri. Her definition of the 4th chakra which is essentially your belly,is the place where we hold and process our true emotions. When I catch myself going down the “crazy road” as I like to call it, I put both of my hands on my belly, take some deep breaths and ask myself if what I’m thinking is true…..It’s amazing this little practice gets me deep quick!
    Thanks for ALL of your insight and wisdom. I am learning a ton!

  • Jessica

    “The problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”
    This is all about growth. I find it’s amazing how fast you can grow if you allow yourself to jump in and learn along the way and not wait until you are perfect at something to try it (which you’ve talked about, Christine). I come to this website/community because there are very few people who are moving on the same wavelength as me, at the same pace. These ideas push me. Many of the people in my day to day life don’t understand what I do, because it’s online. I sometimes think they’d be happier for me if I had started something more tangible, like a flower shop, but oh well. They don’t have to understand me, as long as I understand myself, and what I need to make my dreams come true.

    • Christine Kane

      You said it, Jessica! And thanks for joining this community! We love having you here!

  • Alexandra McLean

    Hi Christine! Hope you’re having a great birthday so far 🙂
    Love this article. My favorite skill is the allowing dissapointment one. So many of us are expected to go down a certain path someone else wants and when we go off the path we are full of guilt and don’t want them to be dissapointed in us. In turn we stop and go back to their expected path for us and end up being miserable and full of resentment. Once I started just letting people be dissapointed in my decisions, I could feel myself feeling more free and open to so much more possibility in my life..what a great feeling.
    I think another great skill to have is to try and only allow positive people in your life. Chooose people that are there to help guide and support you in your life with no agenda but to be a positive influence in your life and have fun while doing it.

    • Christine Kane

      Alex – Thanks for the birthday wishes!

      And yes, the positive people thing is huge. I meet so many women who think they have to allow all the naysayers a say in their lives – and it just drains them. What freedom to cut yourself away from that and open up to more light and love!

  • Charis

    I think this is one of your best articles ever!

  • Nneka Kelly

    I am in imperfectionist training thanks to you!!! Taking action everyday is repatterning my neurons to believe that I really can do the things I want to do even if I don’t do them perfectly.

    Making support mandatory is now also on my must have’s. I hemmed and hawed for years about taking your Uplevel program. I kept thinking that I wasn’t ready yet, or it was 2 expensive. I had 2 major shifts in that program. I learned how to eat to lose weight and keep it off through your recommendation of “If I’m so Smart Why Can’t I Lose the Weight”. I am taking the action to launch my business. I’ve even enrolled in Uplevel Your Business to keep the momentum going and to have continued support.

    Thank you so much!!!

    • Christine Kane

      “Making support mandatory” — LOVE this Nneka. And so true!

  • Ruth Greenwood

    A sense of humor is precious, heals many many wounds, and is essential to our well-being!!!

  • Lauren McMullen

    Hi Christine,
    Thank you for the great list. My favorite one is “Listening without judgment. I’m convinced that suffering comes from judgment. Not just self-judgment. But ALL judgment.” How true…
    It is so easy to begin to formulate our reply while the other person is still talking but then we miss so much of what is being said. I am really going to work on that one.
    Thank you for all you do and Happy Birthday!!! I hope you are taking this day to do exactly whatever you want to do!

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Lauren! (And yes, listening without judgment. It’s such a key skill – especially if you do any kind of coaching.)