The Recipe for Success

Times Square, NYC, August 2019

As ambitious women, we love self-improvement. It’s the satisfaction of reaching goals, learning and applying new skills, getting ahead, or seeing how much we have grown. Self-improvement is a powerful way to achieve the success we long for. 

But self-improvement can also have a dark side, one that secretly sabotages your success. Here’s how to become aware of it and how to create your own recipe for success.

A Pinch of Self-Improvement

Many ambitious women fall into the trap of pushing themselves to self-improve because they never feel they are “enough.” Deep down, they believe something is wrong with them that needs to be “fixed.”

And that motivation makes a big difference. Are we improving because we genuinely want to grow, or forcing ourselves to improve because we believe we aren’t good enough?

If we constantly feel the need to improve ourselves without accepting ourselves as we already are, we run the risk of being excessively judgemental and harsh on ourselves. This leads to pushing ourselves too far, and in extreme cases, burning out and jeopardizing our health and relationships. 

It’s a tragic paradox. Self-improvement may seem to be the key to confidence. But we are actually less likely to be successful and believe in ourselves if we always feel inadequate. Self-criticism and comparing yourself with others may seem like a motivator for self-improvement, but it actually secretly sabotages your success.

A Dash of Self-Acceptance

 “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change.”

~Carl Rogers

Self-acceptance helps you to look at more than just accomplishments to feel good about yourself, and enjoy your life day-to-day, whether you’ve reached your goals or not. People who accept themselves usually have a healthy sense of self-esteem. And they are more resilient to failure and setbacks, and take things less personally.

However, ambitious women tend to think that if they are kinder to themselves, they will lose their “fire.” Believing the faulty assumption that the only way to get better is through self-criticism. In many cases a (subconscious) thought pattern and conditioning from childhood years.

But look at it this way: if you were seeking a fitness coach to help you become healthier, who would you pick? One who yells at you, tells you that you’re lazy and fat, and points out all your problem areas in order to push you to do better? 

Or do you prefer a coach who accepts you, takes the time to learn your strengths and goals, helps you grow from where you are, encourages you to succeed, and congratulates you when you do?

Even though the first trainer might motivate you, that kind of coaching also tears down your self-esteem, sabotages your confidence, and makes you want to quit. You would be more likely to keep going, feel more confident, enjoy the process, and reach your goals with the second one. 

Be a patient and kind coach to yourself, it will supercharge your self-confidence and self-improvement.

Your Secret Sauce

“I am a perpetual work-in-progress. And you know what? I am quite all right with that.” -Cristina Marrero

~ Cristina Marrero

When you mix self-acceptance with self-improvement, you’ll create your own potent secret sauce. They are a powerful duo. Balanced with kindness (especially to yourself!) these are one of the best tools to find sustainable self-confidence and success long-term. 

Self-acceptance is about taking an honest look at yourself, your strengths, imperfections, and gifts. So you can leverage your strengths and increase your confidence while owning your imperfections without being self-conscious about them.

Self-improvement is about which ways you want to grow and work towards your goals while enjoying and trusting the process. Balanced with self-acceptance, this allows you to relax into yourself and become more “okay” with the unfamiliar and being outside of your comfort zone, which is essential for true growth.

The Main Ingredient is YOU

Slow down, Soften & Breathe.

Those are the recipe steps for when you notice you’re becoming critical, saying things to yourself  like “this isn’t good enough,” “I never do things right,” or “I don’t measure up,”.

Then, send some kind messages towards yourself instead, such as:

  • “I’m worthy no matter how much I accomplish”
  • “I’m only going to get better with practice” 
  • “It’s okay not to be perfect”
  • “This is an opportunity to grow.”

Choose one of these affirmations, or create your own. Say it to yourself whenever you’re disappointed with your results and/or get into self-criticism mode. Paradoxically, it will help you become more likely to reach your goals!

I guide ambitious women to find their path to ease & abundance and be more balanced, self-confident and aware of their innate gifts & talents. 

Send me a message via or book an introduction call here!

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