Many opportunities exist today for women to be successful. Women who leveled the playing field before us faced numerous limitations, including the proverbial glass ceiling. Although external limitations still exist, the biggest challenges we face are often self-imposed, prompted by doubts and fears. Success results from the choices we make, attitudes we adopt and priorities we set. Following are my thoughts on some key factors for overcoming limitations.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Confidence is essential. We all have that nagging little voice that sometimes tells us that we aren’t good enough to succeed at x, y, or z, and that it’s only a matter of time before others realize this. Learn to silence that voice and remind yourself of past successes and how good it feels to try new things and succeed at challenging opportunities. One of my favorite books on this topic is Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE. Don’t wait for someone else to create your life map or your career path and your opportunities—only you can do that effectively. Step out of your comfort zone and set reach-out goals to further your growth.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE. Accept and enhance your natural strengths and talents, and be proud of your femininity. Surround yourself with people who are strong in areas where you are not so strong. A great book on the topic of recognizing your key talents is Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton.

FIND YOUR PASSION. I can truly say that I love my work—it energizes me. If you don’t love what you are doing now, then find a way to do what you love, and success will follow naturally.

RELISH MENTORS. They are a major key to success. I have been fortunate to have had many wonderful mentors throughout my career. If you don’t have a mentor, then read books about successful people you admire to understand the traits and behaviors that made them successful. Also make the effort to invest time and energy in coaching and mentoring future leaders—it can be life changing for both you and them.

EMBRACE CHANGE. The only constant in life is change. We can’t control all the changes that impact our world, but we can control our attitude and reaction. Embracing a positive acceptance of change is a critical factor for growth and success.