9 habits of successful women and photoshopped mannequins

Reading Time: 2 minutes

valorie burton

I’m reading Successful Women Think Differently, a book written by personal and executive coach Valorie Burton.

I nearly didn’t buy it because of the front cover. Valorie’s face has been Photoshopped to the point where she eerily resembles a sex doll. Equally disturbing is her habit of breaking into scripture to emphasise a point, but considering she looks like a mannequin it sort of suits the tone.

Valorie believes there are nine habits successful women develop over their career. (I  would also include luck, but I guess it’s hard to write a chapter on such an elusive thing.)

Here are her nine habits for success:

  • Believe you can do it
  • Get off the Hedonic treadmill
  • Stop trying to fix your weaknesses
  • Build your self-control muscle
  • Cultivate positive emotion
  • Be prepared for battle
  • Don’t be a maximiser
  • Don’t go it alone
  • Write it down

Like I do with every other self-development book, I soon forget most of Valorie’s advice.

Except for Number Nine: ‘write it down.’

Writing, says Valorie, encourages us to plan, reflect, imagine and record future hopes and dreams.

She encourages a writing exercise called Your best possible future self. This involves envisioning yourself as a successful woman. For example, if I want to be a mega-successful author, I would write about my outstanding reviews, best selling books and author engagements as though it were happening right now.

Mental health professionals would call this fantasy or self-delusion, but Valorie believes it consolidates our thoughts and projects them towards our future self.

She says writing down our goals dramatically increases the likelihood of achieving them. Writing also slows us down and makes us more aware of our present environment, health and relationships.

She advises us to self-coach by writing out our questions and then answering them.

She also suggests focusing on our fears. What is stopping us from success? Is it family, money, lack of support, education, skills, or something else entirely? Once you’ve written about and analysed your fears, Valorie says you are equipped to move forward.

I’ve decided to start these writing exercises immediately. I will email my friends pretending to be my future successful self. This will either help me achieve my goals or I will suddenly lose all my friends.

I wonder if Valorie envisioned her future self to look like a sex doll?

Sue Bell

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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