Life Design Coach and creator of The SELF Approach™

This is my corner of the web where I share unfiltered advice, practical tools, and laughter at life's sometimes fuckedupedness - all meant to help you live & love the absolute hell out of yourself and your life.

I'm Jen Vertanen

Hey hey!

A lovely midlife woman resting her chin on her hand with a yellow circle and the words Successful Women Do Things Differently

8 Ways Successful Women Think Differently (& How You Can Too)

Before we get started, let’s define how we’re going to use the word “success” within the context of this post (and my work).

I’m talking about success from the perspective that you are living and loving your rebelliously fulfilling life in spite of your economic or social status…in spite of your past…in spite of the naysayers in your life.

You are grounded in who you are, what you desire from life, how you love on your people, your role in supporting the world, and that you are inherently worthy by the very nature of your existence.

It’s a mindset; that the world is full of possibility and challenges aren’t impenetrable barriers.

Successful women:

✨ Think differently

✨ Make decisions differently

✨ Aren’t afraid to fail and bounce back quickly

So…how do they do it?

1. Successful women are the epitome of courage

Sure – she has confidence in spades but what makes her stand out is her courage.

Courage to go against the grain, stand up for herself and others, and get her own needs met because she knows she matters too.

Courage to call herself out on her own b.s….to work on her inherent biases and internalized racism…to do the work to heal her past.

Courage to apologize when she’s been the asshole. It wasn’t intentional…she’s an imperfect human too but she’s not afraid to apologize when she’s in the wrong.

She brings this courage into everything she does.

2. Successful women get their own needs met

We’re women. We literally can’t help taking care of others but the successful woman extends that same care and attention to herself because she knows she matters too.

It’s the annoying and proverbial “put your own oxygen mask on first”. But it’s true.

She knows that putting herself first sometimes is the opposite of selfish and instead, allows her to show up for others in the very best ways possible because she’s not resentful or

She gets creative with how she gets her needs met and while she enjoys when others are able to meet her needs, she doesn’t expect them to and doesn’t get huffy or disappointed when they can’t but instead, takes ownership and responsibility for her own wellbeing.

3. Successful women don’t believe their inner mean girl

She doesn’t self-abuse or spend long in destructive patterns because she knows that’s not productive.

She treats herself with kindness and compassion much like she would a beloved friend or child.

She checks in with her thoughts and feelings often to see if they’re productive – i.e. moving her closer to her goals – or moving her further away and course-corrects and pivots as necessary.

She’s developed a respectful relationship with that inner voice…she knows it’s just trying to keep her “safe” and she does the work to understand what the voice is actually trying to tell her.

4. Successful women are honest with themselves

She knows what she wants. She knows what she doesn’t want. She knows who she is. She knows her strengths. She knows and mitigates her not-so-strengths (I hate calling them weaknesses so I just won’t).

She knows what changes she needs to make and makes them with the courage from #1 above.

She calls herself out on her own b.s. She owns her mistakes.

She plays when she wants to play. She rests when she needs to rest. She’s honest about her limitations and doesn’t overextend herself for great lengths of time before recharging and recentering.

5. Successful women aren’t afraid of failure and are masterful at the pivot

She knows she is a work-in-progress and isn’t afraid to iterate and fail and pivot and iterate again (The I in SELFISH).

She picks herself back up, dusts herself off, finds the lessons to be learned, gets curious, and tries again.

She doesn’t expect perfection from herself or others for that matter.

She doesn’t waste time beating herself up but instead, reminds herself of her worthiness and value.

Ross Gellar from Friends is trying to get a large couch around a staircase and is yelling the words Pivot..Pivot! PIVAAT!!!!!!

6. Successful women see the world differently

She is optimistic and always on the lookout for silver linings and lessons to be learned.

She isn’t about fake positivity or spiritual bypassing but she also doesn’t wallow in negativity and woe-is-me-ness. She explores her feelings and the world around her and takes courageous action to keep going even when things are shitty.

She doesn’t allow setbacks and obstacles to discourage her but instead, uses her brain, inherent strengths, and resources to continue moving towards her goals and dreams.

She says to herself, “I’ve got this…I can get through this.”.

7. Successful women reach out for support

Whether it’s coaching, therapy, confiding to her spouse or best friend, she knows she’s not alone and when she needs extra support.

Yes – she is strong and courageous but even strong people need to fall apart every now and then. She doesn’t let pride get in her way but instead, shows vulnerability and courage by asking for what she needs.

Going back to #2 above, she gets her own needs met whether that’s internally or externally asking for support.

8. Successful women allow themselves to dream big

She is both immensely grateful for her life and allows herself to pursue her dreams.

She keeps her dreams realistic and attainable and takes inspired action in thoughtful, planful ways.

She’s not afraid to go after what she wants and back to #7, asks for support along the way so she doesn’t have to go at it all alone.

She knows that her dreams have a positive impact on the world and she is just as deserving as the next person.


TBH, some people might read this and think “How privileged…how SELFISH!” and I get that…on the surface.

Because yes – I am a woman with many privileges. You probably are too though I don’t want to assume.

I’m also a deeply caring woman who wants to save the world and what I know is that if more people were walking around getting their needs met, the more good (i.e. positive impact) we’d all be able to do in the world.

Successful women have the ability to change the world

If you found yourself reading along and saying, “Hey…I want that!”, I’d love to support you through my 1:1 coaching.

jen v. xo

Hey there!

I'm a magical mix of coach, perspective-shifting mentor, hair-holder, consultant, wing woman, get shit done'r, silver lining finder, & slightly annoying cheerleader

I'm Jen Vertanen, Make Shit Happen Coach + creator of The Fuck Yeah Methodology

I used to roll my eyes at the notion of self love and loving my life because it felt so far outside the realm of possibilities. I thought both were saved for those who'd escaped childhood unscathed.

But a perfect storm in 2015 had me wake TF up and heal my childhood ish. Along the way, I started to not only love but LIKE myself and I stopped wanting to escape from my life and instead, intentionally create my exciting future. That's saying a lot when you read my stories!

And now? I get to help women all around the world fall in love with themselves, their lives, and create the future THEY want. How cool is that?!?

© 2024 Jen Vertanen & A Fuck Yeah Life

An ADHD &  LGBTQ woman owned business