Apr 26 2016

Do You Recognise You?

We’ve all heard stories of women who seem to have it all. And as we struggle to work towards someone else’s ideal, we find ourselves slowly losing track of who we are ourselves. Do you recognise you?

As a married woman, a mother, a career woman – or all three, it is easy to try and hold yourself up to impossible ideals set by men and other women. But that isn’t always the best way. Often, your route to a happy, fulfilling and successful work and home life, is to just be yourself.

The trap of living for everyone else
Juggling running a home with a busy working life can be difficult. As a committed career woman or a hands-on parent, you will often find yourself grappling with to much to do, and too little time. In such situations, you may end up putting everyone’s needs before your own. It is in some ways the easier way out. You avoid confrontation and keep everyone happy.

Everyone that is, but yourself. The risk with living this way, is a few decades down the line, you will be a shadow of your original self. You may even find it hard to remember what life was like before you took on married life and being a parent. And with this may come grudges and bitterness of opportunities lost or sides of your personality that you blame everyone else for having lost.

Something’s’ gotta give – don’t let it always be you.
Remember, any relationship is a two way street. Whether it is at work with your coworkers, your team or even your boss; or at home with your partner, parents or kids. Rope in everyone to take some of the load off yourself.

Yes, this might mean you have to battle with some grumbling from the other parties at first, but they will eventually make their peace with the new normal.

Identify what you’re best at
Zero in on what you’re a whiz at – chances are, it is also something that will leave you most satisfied. Try and make sure you have the time to do whatever this is, whether it is a specific task at work or a passion you wish to pursue at home.

That way you will get to focus on what you’re good at, and what you love doing – and that’s a win-win for everyone involved. You will end up happier, more productive and more efficient. At work, you may find your mind more open to ideas and might tackle challenges faster and better.

Why investing in yourself is important for your family too
By putting yourself last, you indicate to your sons and daughters that they too, should put themselves last. They will grow up seeing that as the thing to do, or expecting that of others around them.

What many women often don’t realise is that by working hard at their careers or by pursuing their passions, they are actually sending out very positive signals to their kids. It encourages them to follow their dreams and make them happen.

This can often be a really positive life lesson for them, showing them much more than your doing the laundry or feeding them gourmet home cooked meals at the cost of your own interests could ever teach them.

Is it time you put yourself first?
What can you do today to invest in yourself?