There was a time in my life when I felt torn between focusing on my career and finding a partner to build my life with. I feared that committing to something that big would take away my freedom and make me want to give up on my ambitious aspirations.
Ambitious women are leaders by nature. They naturally dislike being told what to do, and for so many, the idea of being in a committed relationship triggers the fear of being trapped.
Here are three tips for any woman who feels her ambition is preventing her from having a meaningful relationship:
1. Eliminate toxic people.
Sometimes, we find ourselves in a relationship with the wrong person. This causes us to feel alone because we feel that the person we're supposed to be closest to just doesn’t understand us. She/he doesn’t know how to support us without feeling intimidated by our passion to grow and succeed.
Being in a relationship is not simply about finding a partner in life. It’s about choosing the right partner who will equally love and support our ambitions. To find this right person, we all must fully understand what an ideal relationship looks like for us. What kind of values are we looking for in a longterm partner? What do we really want from a relationship? Close your eyes and envision yourself in the future sharing your life with the right person. What do you see? Describe a day in your life with this partner (including the relationship dynamic).
2. Learn from the past, but remember that it doesn't define you.
Painful past experiences can transform into a limiting belief system that results in living a lifestyle that's purely focused on career because we want to avoid any uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that surface.
What meaning are you giving your past experiences? The perception we have about our past experiences is what creates our identity and it is what shapes our future experiences. For example, if I keep saying, “No one wants to be with me because I care so much about my career,” I will end up taking on the identity of a very successful woman who believes that as long as she focuses on her career, she will not have find the right person to love her.
However, every ambitious woman knows deep inside that she can conquer any challenge she meets in life. Reflect on this truth and instead of doubling your focus on your career in an effort to ignore the negative emotions that surface from the past experiences, connect with the message they're giving you at that moment.
3. Don't be afraid of getting hurt.
The need for certainty is often a top priority for ambitious women, and we'll do anything to maintain certainty — including avoiding the uncertainty of a new committed relationship. This is something I've personally experienced many times in the past until I was willing to let go of certainty, when I met the man who would become my husband.
Mistakes can be fixed. Errors can be reversed. The stories we tell ourselves about our past mistakes are not going to get us what we want in a relationship. Instead, it’s going to drive us farther from intimacy and love. Reflect on your past experiences and ask yourself: What rituals and behaviors got me to attract these experiences and relationships? What is the silver lining I must take away? And what are the new rituals and behaviors I can create to attract what I want in my love life?
If we want to be masters in our relationships just as much we are in our careers, ambitious women must question and, if necessary, change our perception of our past experiences and so-called mistakes. After all, true fulfillment comes from sharing our success with someone we love.
So, I want to invite you today to reflect on who do you want to be? What must you let go of to feel fulfilled? What new beliefs must you adopt to create a balanced life in both your career and love life? I know you can do it! You are amazing!