I am a CEO (Chief Everything Officer) maybe you are as well? I run a successful lifestyle management company and my company’s superpower is giving people back the most precious commodity of all, TIME. I know first hand that balancing parenthood and business can be a challenge and that’s one of the things I am so passionate about coaching my clients on. Surrendering to the DO of life and learning to BE. We have TO DO lists, what about creating TO BE lists?
Don’t worry, this isn’t some woo-woo post, chant this three times and all will be good with the world. No, this is about getting real, raw, honest and breaking down the layers of your ego and bringing it back to the simple truth of who you are, what you value and helping you live it. I can tell you from personal experience, I was doing a lot of DOing and not a lot of BEing. DO DO DO for everyone else but didn’t know how to DO or give to myself. I had a very outdated “story” that in order to be worthy of love I needed to give to everyone else, that everyone else’s needs were more important, that having needs made me needy. Hold up!?! WHAT? Nope, it actually makes you human.
I used to wear far too many hats during the day, I’d rush home, make dinner, do all the grocery shopping, pay all the bills, host all slumber parties, play chauffeur, doctor, teacher, maid, take the dog to the groomers, vet, do all the laundry, try to stay on top of my house, AND keep up and stay relevant with a teenage son who challenges me everyday in every way. Calgone take me away! Oh and let’s also try to squeeze in some time at the gym to make that monthly membership worthwhile shall we?
I’ve built a business on being highly organized and can manage my time better than most people I know. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a single mom and I’ve just had to do it all, or maybe it’s because through building my company I’ve learnt about the art of delegation. As a self-professed overachiever, and perfectionist I’ve come to realize that we don’t have to do everything ourselves ALL the time. Go, go, go. Do do do. It’s exhausting, isn’t it??
What’s the way out?
Well, sometimes it’s just a matter of setting our own ego aside and getting over the thinking, “I’m the only person in the world that can do this”. Spoiler Alert: We’re not.
But I get it, this Superwoman syndrome thing is real. Society has conditioned in us to think that we need to juggle many glass balls, at once. We need to be supermom, super-wife/partner, super-boss, super-daughter/sister/friend, super-sexy/fit/ super put together. If we are not all these things all at once, we are failing. It seems this behaviour is more about pleasing others, rather than achieving goals to better ourselves. Companies outsource for efficiency so why don’t we?
Here’s the truth, we are not meant to be Superwomen. Sadly, we have found ourselves in a society that encourages women to try to reach this unattainable goal and wear it like a cape of honour. This doesn’t help us as women, if anything, it encourages jealousy, guilt, depression, and conflict. Listen, if you have 10 balls in the air, 9 are in free fall and it’s impossible not to drop a few unless of course, you work for Cirque de Soliel.
So why does asking for help activate the belief that we’re somehow failing at life and are not capable if we can’t accomplish everything ourselves?
Fear of failure, plain and simple. So, let’s look at that for a moment – what is failure anyway? Failure is actually one of THE best ways we learn. When people succeed, they celebrate. But when they fail, they reflect and ponder. They generally stop and think, and ask questions. “What happened there? What could I have done differently?” It’s only through self-evaluation that we learn how to make better decisions. So, when you make mistakes, learn from them; use your experience to improve your judgment and make better decisions next time. Mistakes are allowed to be made we’re human, but mistakes we’ve already learned aren’t mistakes anymore, they’re choices.
If you can relate at all to what I am saying you are probably saying … what can I do? Well, as mentioned above it starts with getting over our own perfectionist streak and realizing that we don’t need to do it all. Only Superwoman can do it all, and she isn’t real. I know, sorry. And sometimes is realizing that asking for help is actually a sign of strength. To surrender and admit that you can’t do something on your own. That’s strength, that’s bold. It’s humbleness. That’s power! It’s selfless too. Every single time I have asked for help, the outcome is SO much greater than me trying to do something on my own. Ten times out of ten.
That’s why coaches, mentors, leaders, doctors, therapist, teachers all have jobs. Also, people like helping others because it makes THEM feel good too. Asking for help for the win!
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed get some support, outsource the mundane aspects of your life that are weighing you down. Things that someone else can easily take off your plate and help you achieve more balance and freedom in your life. This is one of the very important reasons that my company was born. After a close friend was diagnosed with cancer, I came up short in my search for companies that with one call or click, I could get support across all aspects of life.
Also, observe and learn from the men in your life. Men know there’s only so much they can do at once. If they have a deadline, the grass doesn’t get cut. If they want to golf, guess what? They golf. It’s that simple and they don’t harbour guilt, in fact, I don’t even think they give it a second thought. Why? because their worth isn’t attached to DOING … ahhhhh… ding ding ding!!!! Something to think about the next time you find yourself overwhelmed and trying to make it all happen.
If you think you’re the exception to this rule — which all perfectionists do — consider this: perfectionism is so unhealthy that it’s actually a risk factor for depression and weight gain. This should make delegating and outsourcing come easier.
I understand first hand that delegating can be scary, but realizing that we aren’t superhuman and don’t have to be and knowing it’s actually okay to ask for help is the first step.
Listen, we all have our Kryptonite. I’m not preaching something that I don’t know about and that I haven’t recovered from for myself. The key is identification, and getting clear on who you want to BE ( we are human beings, not doings after all )
What do you want your days/life to look like once you’ve shifted? With that clarity, you’ll find it becomes easier to make the kinds of decisions that will support you in the direction you desire to go.
Your life is the outcome of the decisions you’ve made and the actions you’ve taken as a result of those decisions. Different decisions produce different results.
Decide today if you’ll accept life as it is or if you’ll start living life on your own terms, with more energy, time with loved ones and for the things that really matter. The longer you wait to create your future, the shorter it will be when it arrives.
Where do you need to surrender your cape and ask for help?
OH! and don’t think you can’t still be fabulous without your cape because you can!!
Here’s a little giggle to put it alllll into perspective. Asking for help doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. Thank you Kristina Kuzmic for this brilliant slice of perspective.