“Alice”: Learning to Celebrate Success
Success drives us, and creating personal success is an individual and life-long achievement. As we age and grow, our goals and priorities will shift as well – leading the marker for optimal success to constantly move. A key to life-long success is recognizing our own personal definitions of achievement and celebrating those achievements along the way, a skill many professional women do not put to practice in their daily lives.
“Alice” was feeling lost both professionally and personally when she reached out to Life-Work Planning Center. She was grieving not only the loss of her parents-in-law, but the loss of her children being small and in her care, loss of connection and support at work, and the loss of what anyone would call a “normal life” due to the pandemic. “The world was spinning and spinning and wouldn’t stop. I had no direction,” “Alice” said. When “Alice” learned about Life-Work Planning Center from a friend, she was not sure participating in group workshops was something she would or could do, logistically or emotionally. When she made the call and learned that services were being offered virtually, “Alice” decided this was something she could try after all. Success.
While meeting one-on-one with a Self-Sufficiency Counselor, “Alice” discovered “sometimes all we need to do is say things out loud.” “Alice” shared that she felt validation through the questions being asked, and being allowed to “figure it out myself, not telling me what to do.” “Alice” participated in the virtual Strength • Balance • Self-Respect workshop series, during which she said, “everything else stopped during the workshops to focus on you and connection.” Success. Through workshop participation “Alice” had the opportunity to re-learn the importance of slowing down, and that it is okay to have boundaries. Success. She accepted the invitation to participate in Life-Work Planning Center’s 6 month strengths-based leadership program, Uncovering Treasures. Success. “Alice” shared that the program involves a lot of self-discovery and has allowed her to find her center once again. Success.
For several years “Alice” has been struggling between decisions from the brain, or the heart, while at work. While advocating for and supporting her client, “Alice” was faced with opposition and push back from others who believed they knew better, despite her long history with the client. “Alice” is currently making decisions from her heart through continued advocacy, and decisions with her brain to establish goals and action steps necessary to move herself forward. Success.
“Alice” has recognized she holds strong core values, one of them being loyalty. “Alice” shared, “I grew up with a traditional family, a mom and a dad and one sister.” Her dad was a barber for 40 years who grew up during the depression, and her mom was a non-traditional worker in a machine shop her entire life. Growing up “Alice” wanted to be a doctor, but fear of the debt medical school would create, she followed the path of least resistance and went on to technical school. She was offered a position right away following school. Success. During the interview, “Alice” discovered that the position was already filled by someone, and the plan was to terminate her upon a return from vacation. “Alice” made a big decision from her heart and turned the position down. She knew where she wanted to work instead, though unfortunately there were no openings. This did not stop “Alice” from going back with her resume repeatedly to tell them all she had and wanted to offer the company until she was given the job. Success.
As “Alice” grew, and life changed, so did her goals, priorities, and personal definition of success. A move to a different city also meant a career change. With that career change, “Alice” continued to grow and change, and eventually got lost in that definition of success. She is currently studying for exams necessary to obtain her next goal, her next success. She is taking time for herself and celebrating all of her successes.
“Put limits on time spent worrying and don’t let it consume you.” This is what “Alice” wants other women to know. Julia and Elizabeth of the Behavior Elevation Academy agree with Alice on this advice. “When professional women are overwhelmed, they do not celebrate their career or life successes.” At Life-Work Planning Center, we are celebrating “Alice’s” success, and empowering every woman to celebrate their success as well.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the subject of this story.*