Boss Lady

How to forge your own path of success despite naysayers


Have you ever dreamed of ditching your current career in search of something new? Recent advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to access alternative work opportunities, and as a result, more and more people are choosing to forge their own path of success. But what do you do when you lack the support of those around you?

When I first stepped into my current role as Chief Operating Office of Stockdale & Leggo, I had very little industry experience – and as such, it was a move that many did not support. Although I had previously held a number of senior level leadership positions, real estate was relatively unchartered territory for me, and it’s fair to say that I was out of my comfort zone.

But despite the naysayers, I was determined to succeed. I had worked hard to build my career from the ground up, and I was ready to take the next step. While it can be extremely difficult to stand tall in the face of criticism, I believe that life is all about taking risks and going after what you want. So, here are my foolproof tips on how to go against the current and forge your own path of success.

Stop trying to please everyone

First and foremost you need to understand that no matter what you do, you’re never going to please everyone – so you may as well stop trying. Overcoming your own feelings of self-doubt can be challenging enough without adding to the mix the concerns of (hopefully) well-meaning colleagues, friends and family members. As women, we are particularly prone to being people pleasers, but by constantly trying to please those around you, you are likely to be inadvertently holding yourself back from reaching your full potential.

Identify what success means to you

Success means a lot of different things to different people, and it isn’t necessarily measured by your salary. Different people might define success as freedom, purpose, independence, or something completely different altogether. For some people, the idea of success can be forever evolving, but it’s important to have a clear idea of what it means to you so that you resist the trap of assigning other people’s idea of success as your own. Think about what truly matters to you, and the reasons why you are seeking to forge your own path rather than take the traditional route.

Make a plan and set goals

Once you have a clear idea of what success means to you and what you want to achieve, it’s important to set yourself some goals and make a clear plan of how you are going to get there. Think in both the short and long term, and always try to be specific. Most people find they work better when they have a realistic deadline, so be sure to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to achieve it. It’s a good idea to write both your goals and your plan down, and it can be helpful to create a system where you are regularly monitoring and keeping track of your progress.

Be flexible and learn from your mistakes

While having a plan is an important part of creating your own path to success, it’s vital that you remain flexible and understand that things may not always go as you had hoped. Life is filled with unexpected surprises, and while we all make mistakes from time to time, the key to staying on track is to bend and not break. When an unplanned event occurs, consider the situation from all angles and try to learn from your experiences. Make a conscious effort to look for the good in every bad situation, and remember that it’s okay to reroute and differentiate from your original plan.

Forging your own path despite critics and naysayers can take a lot of courage, and will challenge you and force you to grow as a person. While the road to success is never easy, it can be especially challenging when you’re trying to find your own way. Ultimately, it’s up to you to take responsibility for your own success, and if you want others to believe in you, you need to first believe in yourself.

About Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas is the Chief Operating Officer of major Australian real estate network, Stockdale & Leggo. She was recognised as a Telstra Business Women’s Awards Finalist in the Corporate and Private Award in 2016, a 2017 Finalist in the Real Estate Business Awards ‘Industry Thought Leader of the Year’ Award and a Bronze Stevie winner in the Woman of the Year category in the 2017 International Business Awards. She is also the Founder and Brand Ambassador of the ‘Empowered Women in Real Estate’ initiative, a community empowering women to believe in themselves and step forward into leadership roles. Twitter:

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