When you do what others say you “should” do, are you being authentic? Are you acting in accordance with who you are? Part of being authentic is to know that everything in your life is serving you or your purpose. This month’s feature article (and our July 17 event) helps you identify those activities in your life that are on YOUR agenda – not someone else’s.
In our Career Fulfillment Model™ we emphasize the importance of taking care of your basic needs. If you don’t take care of your basic needs, unmanageable stress creeps in. (We always have stressors – it’s whether and how we manage them that impacts our performance in life.) This month our resource corner gives you two tools to help manage the stressors in life.
Last month we asked you to watch our website for more events and an expanded curriculum. We’re hosting two summer events and are rolling out a new virtual curriculum on 5 Strategies to Own Your Career. Check the sidebar here or visit our website to learn more!
Susan & Lynn
Who Am I?
We recently heard this comment from a woman: “I really enjoyed my last job. I loved going to work every day. But when I finished the assignment I felt that I had left my family behind.” The question that was coming to the surface for her was this: “Who is this person that can get so tied up in work that she pays less attention to her important relationships? Who am I?”
There were two things happening in this conversation: First and most obvious was that this woman had an awareness of her need (and her challenge) to keep her career and her relationships elevated in importance in her life. The second was the “should” standard she was applying to herself. Instead of accepting that she needed the stimulation of her job to be fully engaged and energized, she was concerned that she “shouldn’t” feel that way.
So how “should” we feel about our work? The answer is simple….whatever is authentically you is how you “should” feel. The hard part is getting clear on what that is.
Another woman we know was struggling with her role as grandmother. We’ll call her Angela. Angela had been a full time career executive with no children of her own. She had married into a family with adult children, and soon…grandchildren.
Angela’s step-daughter had chosen a path of full time mom and was energized by motherhood. Angela, the grandmother, loved her grandchildren, but just didn’t care much for being around babies. She loved spending time with her grandchildren once they could walk and talk but felt guilty when she didn’t want to babysit the youngest children.
Angela respected her step-daughter’s choice of motherhood as her primary career. Yet she was concerned that if she didn’t express a similar enjoyment of caring for babies, she would not be seen as loving, kind hearted and a “good” grandmother. After all, good grandmothers really “should” like babies.
It took some time (three grandchildren) for Angela to get comfortable with the fact that she could be a good grandmother, a business executive, and NOT like caring for babies. Once she realized and admitted it, it relieved a stressor in her life and freed her up to be more authentic in her relationship with her step-children and grandchildren.
We receive multiple messages from friends, family, business colleagues, and our culture on how we “should” feel and what we “should” do. But we are each different. We must each follow our own path. Getting on the right path takes time and space for reflection and learning.
Career Tip: If there is something in your life that you’re not looking forward to doing, ask yourself these questions: Why am I doing it? Am I undertaking this activity because it means something to me, or am I doing it because someone else thinks I “should”?
On July 17 we will be hosting a free after work event entitled, “Shedding the Shoulds” where we give you insights on how to shed those unnecessary activities to free up your time for what is important and stand firmly on YOUR view of what needs to be done.
Know Your Trigger Points
In this short video Heather Dawson of Praesta Partners talks about the “extra” skills needed to succeed in business, including the importance of knowing your trigger points. When you are reaching a trigger point, what can you control to “change the pace and change the activity”?
Stress Relief in the Moment: Using Your Senses to Quickly Change Your Response to Stress
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.