Today’s world offers more opportunities than ever before to embody our “best selves.” But when we consider what it means to live a truly fulfilled life, what does that actually mean for the modern woman? While the work of becoming truly empowered, fulfilled, and satisfied doesn’t happen overnight, these seven attributes of happy and successful women are an excellent starting point to begin making positive changes in your life from the inside out.
1. Cultivate Happiness
The desire to be “happier” is nearly universal, and yet, what does it look like to try to actively bring more happiness into your life? According to some psychologists, the cultivation of happiness relies on a few specific actions: staying present, expressing gratitude, and taking time for self-love. Fulfilled women know how to pay attention to the small pleasures of each time, and reflect with gratitude on the good things that come their way, or the good attributes they’re able to see within themselves.
2. Value and Understand True Friendship
When you are truly fulfilled, you stop competing with your friends. Instead of trying to be the “alpha female,” you instead look to your friend group as a place where you can both receive and provide support. Fulfilled women never hesitate to provide a resource or a patient ear to a friend in need. One of the great pleasures of true friendship is watching your friends do well, and sharing in their success.
3. Embody Real Empathy
Recent research in the brain has made clear what satisfied women already know: We are hard-wired to be empathetic to others around us. By staying open to the needs and feelings of our friends, loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors, we can provide the support and nurture they need, and then reap the benefits of that empathy in return.
4. Move Mindfully
Aerobic exercise has been proven to be one of the best natural antidepressants. Moving gets your heart rate up and floods your body with feel-good endorphins, and regular practice improves stamina and flexibility so you can move through your day feeling strong, capable, and happier than ever.
5. Nurture a Spiritual Connection
Forging a connection with a higher power can give your life a sense of purpose, humility, and wonder, but it’s important to keep in mind that the details are less important than the big picture when it comes to a spiritual practice. For some women, attending traditional church services with their family or congregation will provide the spiritual connection they seek, while other women may find their fulfillment on their meditation mat. What’s most important is that you find an authentic way to engage with a larger world beyond your to-do lists, and explore the mystery, strength, and peace that lies beyond.
6. Stay Accountable and Open
Even satisfied, fulfilled women make mistakes! What matters is how you respond. Stay accountable to your actions and own your errors when you make a flub at work or inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. Staying open to growth will keep you humble and curious, which can lead to greater satisfaction than if you simply decided you are “finished” with your personal evolution.
7. Embrace Your Community, and Savor Your Life!
Recognizing that you are simply one part of a larger community can help you truly appreciate the friends and family that populate your life. Be free with your love, kindness, and joy, and seek out relationships and experiences that you can savor and share with others. From a simple meal shared with friends in your backyard, to an unforgettable trip across the world, stay open to the moments that make you feel alive, and strive to create as many of those opportunities as possible!
The path to fulfillment is a journey that never finishes, but aligning your actions with these characteristics can help you get on track to find the life that you deserve.