It’s Time to Get Tough!

Listen up, ladies. We need to talk.  We’re still on the ‘D’ word. But now we’re getting to the nitty gritty.  This form of Discipline is what separates the women from the girls. This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is, in short, the BIG SECRET to SACRED SUCCESS.

And I got it straight from the mouths of women who make millions.  If you wanna play  a bigger game, you gotta  toughen up! That means disconnecting from your Inner Pleaser and growing thicker skin.

By  nature, we women want everyone to be happy with us. Successful women are no different. Almost all I interviewed confessed to a “little girl inside me who wants to be liked.”

However, success requires us to make difficult, even painful, decisions that often have negative consequences for other people.

“You have to do the hard stuff,” said one mega high earner. That ‘hard stuff’ included firing employees, ending partnerships, holding tight during demanding negotiations, enforcing an unpopular policy, firing high paying clients, even enduring multiple rejections and disappointments.

In fact, virtually all the women I interviewed told me that their biggest regret was not making tough decisions sooner.

‘Toughening up’ didn’t mean these women had to harden their hearts, numb their senses, or go all macho.  It did mean a dramatic shift in their mindset.

The shift sounds like this:   ‘I’d rather be respected than liked.’

As one woman told me: “I tried to be nice rather than stand by my convictions. But I learned,  you can’t always be liked, but you can definitely be respected.”

The recognition that earning respect is more important than gaining approval was what one woman described as a “watershed moment.” It definitely was life-changing for me…and liberating.

This one shift in thinking– ‘I’d rather be respected than liked’ –means developing a “rhinoceroses hide” while keeping an open heart. This is precisely how we’ll become strong, effective leaders without compromising our feminine nature. This is what will allow us to be powerful without being punitive, forthright without being unfeeling, responsible without being ruthless.

Where do you need to toughen up?  If you’re like me, I bet it’s not just at work, but on the home front too.  Leave a comment below about what “toughening up” looks like in your life.

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Comments & Feedback

  • Would it not make more sense to work on our self esteem rather than perpetually be held hostage by the “little girl inside” who desperately needs to be liked?

    This internal conflict can be soooo tiring.

    Ask yourself, why do you need external validation from people around you? And sometimes, from people you don’t particularly like!

    Firstly, love and accept yourself as you are.
    Answer: Emotional healing.

  • Barbara, I could not agree with you more. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my early management days was I was not always going to be liked. I strove for respect instead.

    I would extend this today to include personal relationships. When you are living in your truth, you often have to make some of the same tough decisions regarding who you are going to let in and who you are not. And sometimes that means not being liked all the time.

  • You have to trust yourself and your inner compass. It may differ from those around you but this is about you not “them” be it your professional life or personal life. If you follow your path , you will be fulfilled.

  • Thanks for writing about this Barbara, it’s THE topic at my ‘growing edge’ right now. I can see that a change in that area will make a huge difference in every area in my life. I don’t have any answers…I just wanted to comment that I too am looking.
    I wonder whether those who have become disciplined are more in touch with why they do the work that they do than others. Maybe because their connection to their vision is so strong that little, smaller, personal issues that tend to distract me right now, don’t register as being as important in comparison.
    What do you think?

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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