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Executive Women and Happiness

Living With Shame

Many women leaders might not readily admit it, but they live with a lot of shame. True, the shame is by large unfounded, but nonetheless it is there.

Living With Guilt

High ranking female executives are often barraged with a sense that they are doing something ‘wrong’ in their lives, either by prolonging children, forgoing marriage, or placing their career before other aspects of their lives that society says they should be focusing on. On the other hand, there are women who feel a sense of shame for wanting the things that society says they should be focusing on, as the business world has told them that these desires are not favorable in order to be a great leader.

In other words, they are facing a double edge sword.

Not Good Enough?

For a group of women who are often perfectionists who are seeking the approval of others, this conundrum can be overwhelming and leave them with a sense of sadness and want. This self deprecation for what they perceive as ‘not being good enough’ can tap into childhood upbringing, social experiences, or the modeling of other leaders in their lives. Many female leaders express that they feel they are missing something in their lives, but they have a difficult time expressing what that is.

It is happiness.


Happiness is often the intangible thing that women leaders find themselves missing. Focused so much on self-sacrifice has left many female leaders feeling empty or worse, like failures. The truth is, happiness is not something that is defined by society. It is not something that is dictated by your upbringing, and it is not something that looks the same for everyone.

Your happiness is just that. It. Is. YOURS.

Happiness Is Yours

Happiness is the picture you paint for your ideal world and your best self. It has no relation to what you’re ‘supposed’ to do, but everything to do with what you want to do. Want to be a CEO and a mom? Do it. Want to stay single and travel the world as a high ranking official? You can. Define your own happiness, and model a future for other female leaders that their happiness is a product of their own mind.

What’s Your Next?

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