What All Accomplished Women Want More Of…

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Remember that you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it.
~ Margaret Atwood

“I know I’m successful, so why don’t I feel successful?”

This statement and about 68 different versions of this is what I hear on the regular.

We can easily scan across our lives and see we are fortunate and blessed. We see evidence of our hard work in our bank accounts, in our driveways, in our closet. We have eyes wide open to the disparity that exists, and that we have privilege. And yet, while we have “success” we still feel empthy in some ways.

What’s missing?

Today, I’d like to share some of what my clients want more of. Not in lieu of “success” rather to have in addition to it. It’s not necessarily the list one might imagine, and yet I can so fully identify with it.

Tune in to your own experience as you read on so you can think about how to redefine success to include more of what you want (or at least to determine what’s missing).

Myths about redefining success

Here is what you do not need to do in order to have a new version of success:

  • quit your job
  • close your business (or open a business)
  • move to the mountains and disconnect from life
  • renounce your love for money (or earn way more)
  • throw out the big title (or be promoted)
  • go on sabbatical

While each of these might be a choice you make (and I’m all for having choice), what you need to feel successful doesn’t require you make these kinds of changes.

Why not?

Because life always has her mix of stressors and adventure. Even if you carve out a new life, while it may get you closer (because you now live by the ocean) or you have more autonomy (because you’re working for yourself), there will still be your fair share of challenges.

What is worth leaving behind

Inside their successful lives, accomplished women tell me that on balance their lives are good, yet they feel overwhelmed, exhausted, disconnected from their kiddos or done with trying to make everyone happy.

Another way of saying this is that there are experiencing certain “states” inside their lives.

Overwhelm, exhaustion, disconnection, frustration… these are states accomplished women know well.

What is a state?

States are whole self experiences. That means they affect the entirety of ourselves, comprising certain beliefs, driving a range of behaviors, and being felt in our bodies.

We can experience resourceful (beneficial) or unresourceful (limiting) states.

As an example, let’s get to know the state of overwhelm.

When we’re in overwhelm, we may recognize it by what’s happening in our BODIES:

For example, in a state of overwhelm it might seem like we’re on a hamster wheel or on a merry go round that we can’t get off of. And even if we got off it, our body is dizzy and ungrounded. We may feel anxious or worried as our hearts beat a little faster and harder. We can’t seem to slow ourselves down.

If you were to watch someone in overwhelm, you might see some BEHAVIORS you recognize:

For example, they may be in constant motion. Or they may seem distracted or unable to fully pay attention to whom or to what is happening in front of them. Maybe they’re fidgety.

These behaviors are being driven from a set of BELIEFS:

For example, when overwhelmed, you may believe you have to get all the things on your list done, or that you must do the most important thing in the “right” way, Perhaps you don’t think you can stop until you’re done as you anxiously scan for where to put your attention so you can be productive.

Truth be told, everyone experiences overwhelm a little differently. You can get to know your experience by recognizing what’s going on with your own beliefs, your body, and behaviors.

It matters that you get to know overwhelm, as well as any other unresourceful states that deter or limit you.

In doing so, you can notice when it arrives, and begin to create new states instead.

Five other states to cultivate inside your success

Our states — because they affect our whole selves, radically affect our sense of success.

We are successful but we don’t feel successful.

We crave more lasting and enduring state experiences inside our success.

Here are five states that I hear women regularly ask for:

1) Easea sense of effortlessness. Work without the struggle.

2) Joya deep sense of contentment. More laughter. Fun.

3) Spaciousnessa sense of having some breathing room in the fullness of life.

4) Intentiona sense of showing up for what is most important in a grounded and focused way.

5) Presencea sense of “with-ness”. Connected to the people in their lives and what matters most.

Notice how each of these is also a “state”. An experience that affects your body, is based on a set of beliefs which keep behaviors alive.

Would success feel different?

Take your same life and add in more





& presence

and notice if your life, your work, your relationships, or impact would be any different.

Allow your mind and body to play with this possibility!

And if this isn’t YOUR list or you have something to add to it, share in the comments what you long for!

If you’re an accomplished woman who is on a journey of redefining success, consider signing up for my weekly letter where I share fresh perspective and practices to do exactly that: www.womenredefiningsuccess.com/the-tuesday-letter



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Susan Doerksen Castro

Susan Doerksen Castro


Entrepreneur & Integral Master Coach™ helping accomplished women redefine success so they can realize a new, more fulfilling agenda for their lives.