Last week, I wrote about feeling unmotivated at work.
Have you ever noticed the conflicting voices in your head saying things like; “I should be further along at work,” or; “maybe I should relax more and not try to do it all.”
Peeling back the layers of confusion about work/life balance.
I’ve been wanting to spend more time with my kids. But a couple big fears were stopping me.
Unearthing fears and beliefs is powerful.
False belief #1: If I spend more time with my kids, I’ll feel disempowered.
I was afraid I’d suddenly be in charge of all the cooking and cleaning and housekeeping duties in a way that would leave no space to get my needs met.
I’ve had this deep fear of becoming a 1950’s housewife.
You know, someone who wears an apron, greets her husband at the door by taking his jacket and briefcase (which he doesn’t have) and making him the center of attention, while I was this lowly creature who served him.
This is all in my head. (Or is it? Leave a comment here and let us know what you think.)
I have friends and women in our CWYL Program who had high powered careers, and took several years off to raise their children. Many of them feel like they can’t spend money on themselves or get their needs met. Not everyone, but I’ve seen several women I love and respect struggle with the power dynamic that’s created when one person gives up their salary. And that scared me.
I was conflating making my kids a priority with losing my power.
I’ve had to examine this fear and start to release it.
This has given me some space to make choices that are more truthful and aligned with my own deeper desires.
False Belief #2: You have to go BIG and make BIG sacrifices to succeed.
In addition to this fear of becoming a disempowered housewife, I also have this drill sergeant version of Steve Jobs in my head telling me what I need to do to be successful in business.
This inner tyrant has a very narrow definition of success. There’s no room for part time or flexible work, or taking on fewer new initiatives so I can be home in time for swim practice at 4pm.
I was scared my Stanford MBA business self wouldn’t approve of “half-ass’ing it” with my work.
Coasting. Taking it easy, working part time. It isn’t what “real” or “truly successful” entrepreneurs do.
Two sides of the same coin.
Lately, I’ve been wondering if the disempowered housewife and business tyrant are two sides of the same coin (hint: perhaps both versions of my inner patriarch.)
Letting go of the business tyrant and the disempowered housewife.
My work has been to let go of both these extremes, the business tyrant (villain) and the disempowered housewife (victim).
Both have been preventing me from living my truest life.
The more I’ve released these personas and the fears that come with them, and continued to practice self-compassion and honoring my truth, the better I feel.
I’m making some new choices. Including canceling a big retreat this year to go on a family vacation and take some “me” time instead.
My goal is to work three days a week, not four, and to take late June and July off to be with family and friends…doing the bare minimum in my business, including a couple keynote speaking gigs and teaching the 10 month Tactical Magic Mastermind program (which bring so much joy!).
We’ll be offering a BRAND NEW 15 Day Meditation Challenge in the coming weeks, and then I’ll be taking some time off.
So you may be hearing from me a bit less this summer, or in shorter messages.
I hope this inspires you to spend more time chasing your own dreams, giving yourself permission to do less and be more focused on whatever brings you joy.
We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let us know, do you struggle with an inner business tyrant or disempowered housewife?! What personas do you have? And what are the fearful voices in your head saying you “should” do?
This email feels SO SCARY to send, I can hear my husband’s voice saying; “You shouldn’t tell your community you’re less motivated to work!”
But I want to create a new paradigm for all of us. One in which we can thrive, and honor the ebb and flow of work and family in a way that works for each of us.
Things are constantly changing. We’re allowed to be honest about our needs and desires.
I’m also announcing this to you all because I want you to keep me accountable!!!
My ambition feels like a horse I want to reign in a bit right now.
I am ambitious, and it can be hard watching other people in my field launch new products or programs. There’s a fear that I’ll fall behind.
Plus, I am genuinely excited about the vision of what this business can become. I see so many possibilities and I want them all RIGHT NOW!! Yet I’m not willing to sacrifice time with my kids, time in nature, time with friends, time to move my body and exercise.
I want to have a really good life while building a successful business.
And I truly believe this is possible. So please cheer me on as I attempt to make it a reality!
In exchange, I promise to share with you anything and everything I learn that helps me do this. 🙂
Here’s to all of us letting go of our inner tyrants, releasing our fears, and chasing our dreams.
May you, too, create work and a life you love.
P.S. Know someone who has a deathly fear of becoming a disempowered housewife or an inner business tyrant?! Forward this blog to them, it might make all the difference.
Your recent emails struck a deep chord with me, as I’ve also been pondering more over the recent year or two what I really want (more time with kids and for myself) whilst battling the bullying voice inside my head (shaming me for even thinking of phoning it in, or not being as ambitious as the other women I’m surrounded by at work). I’m not a business owner (employed full time by a corporation) but it’s as if your post was written for me anyway. I can see why your husband might caution you from sharing how you plan to change your priorities for right now in your life, but wanted to let you know it resonated with me and didn’t sound so insane. There’s probably more of us out there feeling similarly and it’s time this truth was spoken aloud. Thank you for being one to do it and keep going!
Aww, thank you so much for these kind and authentic words of encouragement J! I really appreciate it. And I know plenty of women in full time corporate jobs who are struggling with similar choices. It’s the whole reason why Lisen Stromberg wrote “Work, Pause, Thrive” https://amzn.to/2oHF43M So more of these types of stories would be shared and women would realize it’s ok to take a break or step back for a little while, in fact, many incredibly successful women and working parents have done just that….but they feel pressure to hide these gaps in their resumes so the stories aren’t being shared broadly. It’s such an important conversation to be having, and I’m glad it resonated with you. I hope you find your way out of the shaming voice and into your truth. 🙂 Sending you big love and encouragement as you navigate this wild and wonderful journey!!
You use such colorful language when you write. Ambition as a horse really resonates with me as a novice rider. I applaud your ability to name these competing forces.
This year, I have taken time to reflect, ski, help my family and get married. I’ve been busy and productive. And yet, I have also struggled with how I will explain my time off to prospective employers… What will they think of me? I’ve decided that what matters most is what I tell myself first. If I am kind to myself, I will pattern the behaviors I want from others.
Best wishes on this journey.
ahh, YES….such wise words Andrea. If you’re kind to yourself, you’ll pattern the behaviors you want from others – SO TRUE!!! Thank you for sharing. Glad you liked the horse analogy, or is it a metaphor…I always get those confused. ha! I could google the difference but that would just take up precious time I could be spending with my kids as it’s the end of the work day, so I’ll just be honest and hit “send”. 😉 And a huge congrats on getting married, taking time to reflect, ski and help your family. What a productive year, especially when it comes to what **really** matters. Sending you lots of love!
I really understand where you are coming from and have the same fears, I am getting ready to resume teaching part-time after having my second son and being off work for 13months. My family are my priority now but I still want to keep that little piece of “me” going that I worked so hard for..balance is a work in progress!
Thanks for sharing Brenda. I love how you have clarity that your family is your priority AND you want to keep that piece of “you” going…I totally get that!! It is definitely a work in progress, and it’s always shifting.