Have you been asked, “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you do for fun?” and you didn’t know how to answer those questions?
I’ve been meeting and finding people, especially women, who:
Something is holding them back from their happiness. Those questions are common. Not knowing how to answer them is also common! Not knowing the answer feels super frustrating! The crazy thing is that you're smart and successful and you should know the answers to these questions, shouldn’t you?
This happens because there are problems in our culture. Let's talk about the seven ways that basically our society or culture is screwing you over. These are the seven reasons why there are problems in our culture that are stopping you from knowing the answers to this question.
The 1st Problem: As women, we are seen or expected to be Superwomen.
Maybe you've heard of the Superwoman syndrome. I teach about that in some of my workshops with female leaders. We are expected to do it all.
We are expected to be:
We are looking to be amazing at every single role or title that we could possibly have. Why is that? Because we grew up in a time many of us (if you're my age) where our moms were mainly housewives.
There are a lot of moms out there that right now are housewives, but we're now in another time where we're also expected to be a great housewife and have a successful career. We're also expected to do a billion other things extremely well.
My role model is my mom. I think about how she was there, driving me around to sports, part of the school PAC, baking zucchini muffins and so much more! I feel like I’m not doing those things, and I ask myself, “Am I not a good mom? Do I need to step up?”
We're expected to be Superwomen. But the truth is, we're not. We're not Superwomen. But we are amazing. We are extraordinary, but we don't need to be perfect at every single title that we could possibly have.
The 2nd Problem: We keep so much in our heads.
We have to have so much in our heads:
We have to keep everyone else's schedule in our heads: when our family members have to go to the doctor’s and birthdays. Everything! I'm not saying just in your head, but maybe in your planner.
We have to control these things a majority of the time. From what I've seen, this is the case with so many women.
The 3rd problem: We are constantly asked to help.
We are always asked to help:
We’re constantly asked to help. In my case, I feel guilty that I'm only now attending the PAC meetings. I look around and see all these other moms. Well, where are the dads? Are the dads getting asked to be on the PAC? Are they? I'm not seeing it. I see one or two dads then the rest are female staff at the school or the moms.
We're constantly asked to help. My husband has never been asked to do a meal train. EVER. I wonder if he even knows what it is! We're usually the ones that do drop off and pick up for everything. We're often the ones that are asked.
No wonder you don't have to have time for hobbies because you're constantly being asked to help others. And what do we do? We often say “Yes.”
We get asked and we say yes. It's not a problem to say “Yes.” But the problem is that we're often asked, and then we feel obligated to say “Yes.” All. The. Time.
The 4th Problem: Giving selflessly is rewarded.
We often hear statements like:
We are rewarded when we give selflessly. I would really love it if women can be more self full. Full of self. Full of knowing themselves. Full of giving back to themselves. But it's not happening enough.
The 5th Problem: Being busy is a badge of honor.
I can't just sit and do nothing. I can't even watch a movie and not do anything. I'm watching a movie AND I am folding laundry. Do you relate to this? Do you feel like you can't just sit and chill?
You have to be doing something. Then people say, “Oh, you're so busy. You've got so much going on.” Yeah, I do. But the thing is being overly busy is killing us.
I was asked to be part of a board that they said would be great for me. I said, “I can’t, I’m busy.” They said, “We’re all busy.” I said “No, you don't understand. I don't have the bandwidth to do this.”
Recently, I've been having to say this more. No one told me this, but if you've ever had grief, it is debilitating! It screws with your focus. I am a rock star when I coach my clients, but man, I can't remember someone's name that I saw the other day. I do so many things that I'm tired. I'm so tired. So I've had to be kinder to myself.
Being busy should not be a badge of honor. We should be able to have quiet time, chill time, time for ourselves or time to rest. And celebrate time for ourselves.
The 6th Problem: People can be shocked when you have your own time.
I have friends whose husbands go on hunting trips, fishing trips, rugby trips, and even business trips and no one ever says to them, “Oh, but who's taking care of the kids?” or “Doesn't your work need you or anything?” Nothing like that is said. It's always like, “Cool, have fun.” or “Where are you going? How long are you going for?”
Whenever I take a trip to another country to have a conference or workshop, can you guess what I’m asked? They ask, “Oh, how is your husband going to handle the kids? Isn’t he also working when you’re away? Oh, he’ll have to cook or did you leave him some meals.” Well, I handle the kids a lot of the time. I friggin work, too! And my hubby never made me meals when he left on one of his trips.
It blows my mind that they’ll ask if I’ll take the kids with me. No, I’m not taking the kids with me. Do we ask guys if they are taking the kids with them on their trip? No! Because we think moms are at home.
Let me tell you about another thing. I play soccer on a Sunday morning. I'll say, “Oh, I can't go to that event because I have soccer.” Then someone often says, “Can’t someone else drive your child?” I’m like, “It’s MY soccer.”
I think they’re shocked that someone who is not younger is doing something that they love. Would we be shocked that a guy is playing a sport? I don't think so.
Another example is once a year, I'll go to Whistler or I'll go somewhere and I'll have an overnight. Just me. It's the most amazing thing. I drive there, go to the spa, hang out, shop around, go hike, sleep in, stroll around, etc. Sometimes I come back when the kids are in bed so I wouldn’t have to do bedtime! People are shocked. Why isn't it okay that I go? It’s not crazy that I went away. We need to rest and recharge.
The 7th Problem: We honor success and accomplishments over satisfaction.
We're constantly looking at people and see that they:
But the person can be miserable. I know people that are in unhappy marriages because
But they're not happy. They're not satisfied. What if we focus first on what brings us joy and satisfaction. I'm not suggesting we break up marriages. I'm definitely not saying that. But I'm saying we need to focus on what brings us satisfaction rather than striving for success.
These are the seven problems that prevent you from being able to do the things that you need to do for yourself. Can you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments!
Read my other related blogs:
1. We are Starved for this - How to Deal with “I am NOT Enough”
2. The Three Things That Make You EXTRAORDINARY
3. The Price We Pay for Our Decisions
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