Marie Forleo once asked, “How would you behave if you were the best in the world at what you do?”

After I heard it, the first thing I did was take my dogs for a run—because I know that the habits and attitudes of true success require a fierce commitment to self-care. You already know what you need to do to create success for yourself, but the million-dollar question is this: When will you take action? Starting small and taking daily action is key.

Would I be able to successfully complete all my duties and responsibilities as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and healer if my mind, body, and soul were constantly running on empty? Absolutely not.

And the same is true for you. You can’t be your best self unless you’re committing daily to a self-care practice. Whether you’re a long-established self-care practitioner or it’s a totally new idea for you, here are eight badass habits you need to learn if you want to be your very best, at whatever you want to do.

1. Be aware.

This is the foundation. Without it, nothing else works. Make awareness in every situation—relationship, struggle, tragedy, mistake, failure, victory, chore, duty, or joy—be your guiding principle.

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Be awake, aware, and responsive to the messages you’re getting from your environment, both internal and external. Pay attention. Show up for every minute of your life. Successful people practice awareness. This is how they stay in the creative flow.

2. Make a joy plan instead of a business plan.

I know what a traditional business plan looks like. I’ve mastered bookkeeping and spreadsheets up the yin yang. But those things aren’t what bring me success. The secrets to success are love, joy, freedom, ease, and abundance, all together. If your business plan created burnout, it’s time to redesign it and focus on the above as your core goals.

3. Prioritize your physical health.

If you ignore this, you’ll regret it. A healthy body is a prerequisite to success. Put this at the top of your to-do list until you feel healthy, energized, and inspired on a daily basis. People at the top of their fields take care of themselves.

4. Align yourself with your desires …

... or suffer the consequences. You want things. You have burning desires sitting unattended. Maybe when the kids go off to college or my husband retires, you think. Meanwhile, that yearning creates an ache inside that starts to smother your heart and soul. The consequences of not aligning your daily actions with the things you truly desire could manifest as anything from regret to chest pain. Your dreams matter.

5. Take action even though you’re afraid.

You love to write inspirational articles about healing and joy and what it means to truly come alive in your life, but you’re afraid of what others will think. You’re afraid you’re not good enough or that nobody will want to read what you’ve written.

You’re afraid you’ll look stupid, like a fraud, or that you’ll be made fun of. Do. It. Anyway.

If you don’t master fear, you’ll be paralyzed. And the results of not aligning your daily actions with the things you truly desire are the same as the consequences of not acting in spite of fear.

6. Make self-discovery your hobby.

Healing is a journey for the brave—and for the successful. The difficult (sometimes even seemingly impossible) work of peeling away the layers of crap that keep you from being you is a must if you expect to play in the big leagues. You’ll have to dive in headfirst. It won’t be easy. But the rewards will be so worth it.

7. Grab your self-worth by the tail and share your gifts.

Part of the healing process is rediscovering your self-worth. In fact, it’s one of the biggest parts. Without it, the confidence, freedom, ease and creativity you need to succeed will always feel just out of reach.

Standing in the acknowledgment of your worthiness isn’t a destination. It’s a daily practice of awareness. Your self-perception permeates everything you do and create. If you want to be a badass, you have to believe you’re capable of badassery.

8. Wake up and do it all over again—no matter what.

This might be the most important step—perseverance. Just because I feel worthy, brave, and inspired doesn’t mean I don’t battle daily doubt and fear of unworthiness. It just means I’ve learned how to maneuver through those feelings and take action despite them.

It means my chosen purpose wins the fight against fear every time. If you’re driven to achieve something, deep in the depths of your soul, you keep going, despite fear. Do what you know you need to do, every day, no matter what. That’s the only way you’ll get there.

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