Stop lying to yourself
I have a girlfriend who struggles with feeling as though she is not being very good at any one thing in her life. She is a working mother, wife, friend and daughter, and she often feels that in order to excel at one thing, something else in her life has to give. This often comes with feelings of guilt, inadequacy and downright despondence.
I often try to reassure her that no one is ever successful at every single thing at any given time. When we excel in one area of our life, invariably, another area is being neglected and suffers. The reality is, if you're focused on climbing the corporate ladder, someone is helping you to hold it down at home. And if you're committed to being a mom who comes home every evening to cook dinner and help with homework, the rise to the top may not happen in the way you imagined.
It often makes me wonder where on earth did we get the illusion that we could ever be perfect, at all things, at all times? With 24 hours in a day, I've decided it's simply impossible. But in thinking about it, the answer becomes clear to me - we've been programmed to give the appearance that everything is OK - perfect even. From a very young age, we are generally taught that when someone asks how you are, you smile, say: "Fine, thank you, how are you?" and keep it moving. If your tummy is hurting, or you're having a headache, it doesn't matter.
I've come to believe that this is where the lying starts - always acting as though things are perfect, like we have it all together and there are no issues.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that when someone asks how are you that you take that as permission to launch into every detail of what may be going wrong in your life (that is another story altogether). But I am saying that we don't have to feel the need to always walk under the veil of pretend perfection.
Here it is: no one has it all together. Yes; there, I said it. No one has it all together!
I'm convinced we are all winging it. I'm convinced that we are all just trying to figure it out and hoping no one else notices. So give yourself a break! Not having a great day? That's OK. Missed that recital because you had an important meeting at work? That's OK. Missed that meeting at work because you had a recital? That's OK, too.
The key is to always take the next right step and the next right step. Competing interests will always be jostling for your time, and you've got to decide what's most important to you in that moment, and be fine with that.
When I'm pressed for time and start to feel overwhelmed, I stop, take a deep breath and ask myself the question, "Right in this moment, what is my next right step?" And whatever it is, I do it - fully ready to face the consequences of making that choice, and always being comforted by the knowledge that I'm doing the best I can.
So for all the women juggling elephants in the circus of life and sometimes feeling guilty in the process, I'm wishing you strength, compassion to self, courage, and a sense of peace with the knowledge that on any given day, all you can do is show up, be your best self, and then trust that it is good enough.
Finally, allow yourself to be vulnerable today. If someone asks you, "How are you?", resist the urge to go with the usual rote. If you are "fine, thank you", that's perfect. If you are not, that's perfectly fine, too!
However, stand in your truth, honour how you feel in this moment, and for goodness' sake, step out from under the veil of perfection and stop lying. You would be surprised to know that other women will thank you for it and many of us can identify with what you are going through.
Do you. Be you. Tell the truth -
• Kaysha is the founder of Unapologetically WOMEN and co-host of Soulful Oasis All-Inclusive retreat for women. Check out www.unapologeticallywomen.com for more articles or email at email@example.com if you wish to just reach out. If your next right move is taking time for self, check out the website or Eventbrite: Soulful Oasis All- Inclusive retreat for more information on the retreat.
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