Learning To Be Realistic – Answer to “Can We Have It All”

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Marney Reid – Founder

Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my guest authors for Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling (SOTGC).  We were talking about time management and such and she said something along the lines of “I’m not sure how you do a full time job,  post every day, and keep things with SOTGC moving along.”  I replied with “it’s because I have learned to be realistic.”  This is something that every woman I have spoken with has a hard time doing.  Let me explain what I mean…

“Being realistic” means that I’ve learned what I realistically can and cannot do given the amount of things I need to accomplish, the amount of time I have for each of those projects, and how much time I have to allocate to decompress and regain my energy.

It means that I’ve become realistic on the things I can commit to being at, helping with, or doing for people.  Instead of always saying “yes” I have learned to say “I’m sorry but I cannot help with this.”  Those times when I’m not able to come through I feel horrible and I not only let them down, but I potentially hurt the cause that they are helping with.  But because I still want to help in some way, I always offer suggestions on other people or resources that could help them.

I think a lot of the stress that we women carry, is stress we create for ourselves.  A lot of the debate around “can women have it all” could probably be squashed if we started creating our own individual version of “what it all means” and realizing that it WILL change as our lives, circumstances, and events change.  There is NO ONE definition of “what it all means” so why are we banging our head against the wall trying to attain it…?  We all openly acknowledge that we aren’t Superwoman, yet we still strive to be.  We want SOOOO much to be everything for everyone…even though we know deep down that we cannot be…and that is OK! So what do we end up accomplishing on this quest to attain “superhuman status?”   We over extend ourselves because we don’t want to let anyone down.  We commit to TOO much and we end up letting others and ourselves down in the process.

So I say it’s time we make a change to that.  What we need to remember is that people UNDERSTAND how busy we are.  Every time I have apologized and said that I cannot commit to helping with (insert random request or favor here) but offered suggestions about other resources for them…I have been met with “Oh no worries! I know how busy you are but thought I might as well ask.”  Everytime someone asks me WHY I haven’t tried working my way up the corporate ladder in my current company I explain that I want to have a family some day and I want to be able to travel and not worry about a quota that won’t be met…they nod their head and completely agree.  It’s really only my own insecurities that lead me to believe others will find me a failure if I cannot help with everything, or I cannot hold the high level corporate position AND settle down and start a family…

So I say it’s time to be realistic.  To learn and accept our limits.  It’s NOT a weakness to admit that we don’t have enough time or energy to help everyone with everything.  So why not try it out?  What is going in your life?  Please comment with things that you have focused MORE time on that enriches your life or on the brave choice you made of sacrificing certain things in your life to complete a goal on a different aspect. For me that would be the dream I once had of creating a brand new position for my company that I feel could increase ROI and help the company immensely…but that I’m giving up because I’m no longer at a point where I’m willing to sink in those hours and give up so much of my personal life.  Please let us know what you do less of now, that freed up time for a more balanced and rewarding life.

Below: Taking a hike helps to re-charge and clear my head

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