I think very well-meaning people try to motivate and support and tell us that we can have it all. If we just step up and make the ask, we can have anything that we want. I don’t disagree entirely; you can have it all, but is that really worth anything? Does chasing everything and focusing on everything really add value to your career? To your life?
My answer is NO.
For two very good reasons, in my opinion.
If you are working toward having success in every area of your life in addition to your career, you may be expending a lot of energy/output to achieve success, but you are spreading yourself very thin. A little bit of focus everywhere can be good when you want to coast, take a step back, or just maintain the status quo, and if that’s what you need at the moment, no judgment, I get it; because believe me I’ve been there too. If, however, you want to move the needle professionally, then a more extreme sliver of focus is what’s required.
I love to cook. It’s how I show my love, and Thanksgiving is my favorite meal to prepare. I have a BIG 6-Burner Wolf range in my kitchen that I adore! When I’m preparing the Thanksgiving meal, I have all six burners going simultaneously, but my focus is only on one or two things at a time. I don’t have everything on a high flame at the same time because I can’t truly focus on six burners equally. I focus on one or two things at a time, depending on what stage of the dinner preparation we are at. Otherwise, everything burns! How do I know that? Because I’ve done it with 22 people at my house.
What is important to you at this time of your life? How about this time of year? What is most important to you in addition to your work? Consider picking one or two to focus on to make an impact, and make a conscious decision to put the rest on “simmer” on the back burner.
If you are putting a little bit of energy into everything, into everyone, then you are doing so at the expense of yourself. If you are giving and giving, no matter your self-care strategies (btw, do you have any?), you are depleting yourself. And, it’s this type of all-or-nothing thinking that gets us into trouble because we think we need to handle everything. We put pressure on ourselves to perform without really thinking about what is important to us. We just go on automatic pilot. We make ourselves omnipotent (having unlimited power, kind of God-like, and I know this because a therapist accused me of behaving this way!).
If you are looking to show up differently in your leadership and life, and it is leadership because you have to lead yourself before you can lead others, then you have to choose. It’s about creating MORE SUCCESS with less sacrifice – not “no sacrifice,” and that involves making choices, not taking chances.
So, play full out and think about what life stage you are in. Do you have kids? That may affect decisions you make about career next steps – for now, not forever. Is your husband or partner laid off? That might also factor into the decisions you make. But how can you make educated decisions and make intentional choices about what you will sacrifice to maintain or to move toward what you want?
For instance, I have made an agreement with my son that when I travel and speak to groups, I will come home, take my two home covid tests, and distance from my grandson for seven days. Each time I leave for a keynote, I know that is the sacrifice I am making, but I know why I’m making it. I am making an educated decision to keep my grandson safe and to serve my clients. My mission is to support you and women like you to think differently about yourself, your potential, and the power and influence you have to achieve it. It’s my purpose, and that matters to me too!
So, I empower myself and choose with intention.
The lie is that there is success without sacrifice. There isn’t. You choose what you let go of or set to the back, but you are aware of the decision you’re making and why you’re making it.
Until the next time, here’s wishing you the Clarity and choices you deserve!
If you’d like support to step into a more empowered version of yourself, in your career, business, or leadership, I invite you to www.TheClarityCommunity.com. Be surrounded by like-minded professional women in this coaching membership group, and advance to the next level of your leadership and life! Founder’s member pricing is in effect for a short time at $19/month!