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!