It’s back to school time! Maybe that means your schedule gets more hectic or maybe it means that life becomes more structured. For some of you it just means heavier traffic, longer commutes and all your colleagues are back from vacation.
One thing is certain: as the end of the year approaches, there will be more deadlines, more rush to meet the year’s goals and plenty of demands on your time. That’s why this month we’re giving you a few tips to help you manage yourself in the midst of the endless needs of others.
Be in an environment surrounded by other success minded women;
Have insights into yourself you’ve never had before;
Be prepared to apply these insights in practical ways;
Be equipped to lead yourself to achieve what you want.
Check out what some of your colleagues have said about the workshop by clicking here.
We’d like to see you in October!
Susan & Lynn
The Good Selfish
“I had cooked dinner, helped the kids with their homework, worked on their school fundraiser, finished a proposal for my work and now they were all in bed. All was quiet in the house and I had an hour to myself. A nice hot bath was in my plans. Then the phone rang. ’Hi Darling. I just left the office and am missing your good cooking. Do you have any dinner left?’ The flattery, the deep voice, the one that makes my heart melt. I wanted to say NO. I’m going to take an hour to myself and take a relaxing bubble bath. But instead, I found myself heading to the kitchen, pulling out food from the frig and saying, ‘How long will it take you to get here?’”
This was a story told to us by a very bright, ambitious, caring, energetic professional woman. The kind of woman that does it all. Do you know one of those? Are you one of those? When she told the story, she was annoyed with herself for not saying, “Not tonight, Dear. It’s my time.” In fact she told us, “I wanted to be selfish and just have some time to myself.”
Since when is resting at the end of a long day, after giving, working, doing for others, considered selfish?
It can seem that way to women. We feel we can only rest after everyone else is taken care of. Which means never. Yet the irony is that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we are no good to anyone else, at work or in our personal lives.
Taking care of one’s basic needs is not selfish. It’s not selfish for men, it’s not selfish for our parents, our children, our bosses, and it’s not selfish for us either. In fact, taking care of one’s basic needs is what we call the “Good Selfish”.
It’s sometimes hard to exercise our right to the “Good Selfish”. Let’s take a look at what the woman in our story could have asked herself to make it easier to claim her time.
Does your gut tell you to acquiesce or stand firm? Your inner voice is the strongest indicator you have for making good decisions. She knew as soon as she said “yes” that she wished she hadn’t.
Are you recognizing all you do for others? If you know that you’ve been called on a lot to “do for others” and you have no negative intent in turning them down, then you can feel comfortable to move forward and take care of your needs. The woman in our story certainly had done a lot for the others in her life that day.
Is someone imposing their needs on you? In other words, are you and your needs being respected? We can tell from actions over time, and also the language that is used. In our story, had the friend asked, “What are your plans for this evening? Would it be ok if I stopped by?” the woman would have had more emotional space to claim her time. It also would have been a sign that the friend was being considerate. If the preponderance of evidence shows that the other person is well intended, consider the request. If there are too many requests without courtesy, let them make their own dinner.
Do ‘they’ depend on you too much? Liz Wiseman, author of “Multipliers”, tells us that if we help others too early or too often, we are starving them of the learning they need. In other words, by helping too much, we’re actually hurting. Everyone has a need to learn on their own and feel independent. Don’t deprive them by thinking that you’re being selfish. It might be selfish to help.
Are you at the end of your proverbial rope? We hope it doesn’t come to this, but when you’re too stressed, too busy, too burned out, and the end of the rope is in front of you, it’s time to do whatever you need to take care of yourself.
If you want to get better at claiming your time and taking care of yourself, you’ll benefit from our October 18 workshop, Building a Foundation for a Fulfilling Career. Other women we’ve worked with have come to understand how important this is and how it can be achieved. As part of our Career Fulfillment Model, we’ll work with you to identify and take care of your basic needs as one of the three building blocks to a fulfilling career. Click here for more info.
If you’d like to catch up on previous newsletters, click here.
Want to be Happy? Stop Trying to Be Perfect.
Brene Brown is the hottest thing in social psychology after her TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability went viral in 2010. Check out her article on a topic with which women struggle: perfectionism.
Why Even Strong Women Sometimes Have a Hard Time Saying No
Suzanne Gerber gives her view on why one of the shortest words in the English language can be the hardest to utter.
Susan Hodge and Lynn Rousseau created Women Leading Together in order to provide seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling careers. Visit our website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com.