I am of the mindset that everyone’s exterior is telling the story of their interior. What is your exterior really saying? As woman we cloak ourselves in strength, selflessness and the illusion that superwoman exists. We value multitasking, independence and success. We look around, creating magical “stories” for one another and then use that fabricated story to judge and compare it to our own inside inventory. Do you want to know what is going on inside almost every woman? I know! Exhaustion, exasperation and envy. Trying to ‘keep up’ leads to being overwhelmed, overworking and a bottomless burn out.
Recently, I was at a fundraiser to support abused woman. Over 500 woman were in attendance, uncloaked, open-hearted, vulnerable, united. It confused me. I know as woman this is who we are: loving, kind and united. My confusion comes when we leave these fundraisers, when we exit the doors and compete, criticize and judge each other. All of a sudden we are not united anymore. It is a ‘save yourself’ society. However, in this ‘save yourself’ mentality we are suffocating ourselves with stuff. We are drowning in expectations, depleting ourselves of attention, love and self care. We are disregarding our own needs. Once the kids are fed, the house is clean, the work is filed, the dates are set, the laundry is done, the groceries are bought, the calls have been made, the planning is complete, the scheduling is set, then, and only then, do we pay attention to ourselves.
We are essentially excluding ourselves from our lives. It is an excruciating way to live and it needs to change. If you find yourself overwhelmed, overworked and headed for burnout then stop! Simply by eliminating these three massive mistakes that many smart woman make, you will be revitalized, re-energized and reunited with a happy, healthy life.
It may sound simple enough, but asking for help can be extremely challenging. Many feel it symbolizes our inability to cope. The truth is we need to co-operate with each other to thrive. I believed for a long time that asking for help exposed my lack of skills or intelligence. It showed I was unable or ill-equipped to deal with the project, task or situation on hand. Unfortunately for me, it meant I wasn’t good enough, which meant I wasn’t enough.
What I have realized now is: ‘the bigger the village the better my day ‘ and some days I need a BIG tribe to get through a day. Asking for help, guidance, and assistance broadens my world. It allows me to do more, to be more available for others and for myself. It gives me more free time, more space to grow internally and externally. It allows others the opportunity to give, to be a part of the solution and the success. It shows my vulnerabilities which in turn makes it easier for others to do the same. It symbolizes that I am human which makes me more approachable, easier to get along with, more compassionate and understanding. It unites me with other woman, my family, my friends, my clients and my community.
Learning to communicate my need for help has catapulted my life into a realm I never could have created on my own.
I am smarter with outside insight. I solve problems quicker. I am more at ease with who I am because I know I am enough, just as I am. I need your help on this journey. The more I ask, the more I receive, and the greater and wider my world becomes. ASK, you will be amazed with what you receive.
I am not sure where my desire to be perfect came from. In fact I am unclear when it even happened. What is clear to me now is that it was external perfection I was seeking. Yes, It was my outside appearance but more importantly it was what YOU thought of ME. Was I smart enough? pretty enough? rich enough? kind enough? I became so focused on the external image I was trying to represent that I was no longer attached to who or what I actually was on the inside. I had become a chameleon, doing and being, what I thought you wanted. I had become completely detached from myself, missing meals and running on caffeine. I had no hobbies or quiet time. I let go of relationships. I tried as hard as I could to use outside influences, things, ideas, people, places and situations to fill my internal core. Note to self: Outside things will never fill inside spaces.
It’s hard to recognize being in this state when you are in it. I needed balance. Balance is giving as much as we receive. It is listening to our own voice within, that craving desire to be fulfilled, to find our purpose, to attend to and meet our own needs. Stress happens when we are not attending to our own needs. Slow down, delegate, ask for help, let go of what does not bring you happiness, look at the clutter in your life, focus on the cause of and reach for the cure. YOU are what you need! You need your own time and attention. You need YOU!
Now that you have learned to ask for help, you can use the free time to meet your own needs.
This is by far the BIGGEST myth, misconception and mistake we make in order to save time: get it all done and move onto the next crisis. Who can remember life before multitasking? We all do it. Studies prove woman are better multitaskers than men. Articles are written explaining how to do more so we can achieve more.
Multitasking is mutilating our relationships, is mismanaging our time, manipulating our bank accounts into damaging debt and more than anything morphing any positive energy we have into malfunction. It is a one way ticket, a sure fire system for self-sabotage and burnout.
Our bodies and minds are not made to function at the speed society is demanding. We must release the urge to parallel the computers processing abilities. Again it is about achieving our own internal power. Break the cycle. Set your own rules for life. Become pro-active instead of re-active. Allow yourself limits. Say no and opt out of the rat race.
These may feel like unavailable options. The reality is if you do not ask for help, focus on our own needs or break the pursuit of multitasking then what is your purpose? A life so cluttered by responsibilities and expectations, is internally empty: sad, void and non-existent. You deserve better. Simplify your life, remove the clutter, the chaos and the crisis. Create a state of calm.