Updated: Dec 5, 2020
(My baby was teething and I just couldn't put him down. I also had a client who needed her hair done. So I did what I needed to do.)
“You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” “Don’t overextend yourself.” “You can’t do two things at once.” “Just focus on one thing.” “You’ll never be successful at multiple things.” Does any of that sound familiar? Especially as a woman. Has anyone ever told you that you are doing too much? When it comes to your professional life you need to focus on one thing yet, when it comes to your personal life, you’re expected to do all the things, and be all the things, to all the people?
Be a fabulous employee and always be on time, but make sure you attend all of your kids’ extra-curricular activities. Be a great wife and mom. Have high quality, home cooked meals ready when your husband gets home, plus keep the house clean while doing all the laundry and running errands all day. Make time to work out and call your friends to check in on them, but careful not to give too much of yourself away because other people are also relying on you. Blah blah blah…. You get my point, right? As women, in our daily lives we are expected to juggle more balls than we can see, but then when it comes to a career, all of a sudden, we need to choose to do just one thing? Like all of a sudden we can’t, or shouldn’t be able to handle just one more thing? As if having more than one passion or option is detrimental to our success?
There are no limits. Let me be clear and listen to me closely. If anyone has ever told you this, it is a reflection of their self-limiting beliefs and their abilities, NOT YOURS. Sometimes people mean well and think they are giving sound (often unsolicited) advice, but in reality, they are only speaking to themselves. It is their fear, insecurities and deep-rooted limiting beliefs that is informing what they are saying. Do you want to work full time, teach yoga in the evenings and sell clothes online? Do it! Do you want to be a massage therapist part time, a fitness instructor and walk dogs on Rover? Yes! If you want to frame houses or work in the oil patch, and sell make up, while crafting and selling clothes, go for it! With a little more work, time management, laser sharp focus and adept communication skills it is entirely possible to achieve success in multiple arenas. And women ARE doing it! Going after success in any section of life will require some sacrifice, and that is okay!
(Pushing for a huge business goal with kids never looks pretty and is never easy. What you can't see is that the rest of the floor is littered with all of the stuff that once lived on the shelves beside my desk as the baby entertained himself. The office being destroyed by my tiny dragon was a sacrifice I was willing to make to go after a professional goal.)
Focus on Your Workflow. Envision this. There are multiple teacups set out and sitting on the table along with the tea pot. Each cup represents an area of your life. Physical health, mental health, spiritual health, family, self-care, career/finances, travel, dreams/vision, friends, and volunteering. There is only enough tea in the pot to completely fill 6 of the 10 cups. So, what cups do you choose to fill? Or do you steal some tea from one cup to fill another? Trying to keep some tea in every cup at the same time requires a lot of energy and it comes with lots of spilling and drips, lessening the total amount of tea you have to work with. This is what is happening for so many of us. We are trying to fill all of our cups with a pot that simply isn’t big enough!
What if instead, we re-arranged the cups? What if we stacked them into a pyramid shape? And then we poured the tea in the top cup and let it spill over into the other cups below, AND added another tea pot? What if we could fill more of our ‘life cups’ by adding something else in?
Let’s Break it Down.
Let’s take for example a young woman who is working full time, teaching yoga and selling clothes. Working full time can contribute to the finance cup, with a little spilling into travel too. Add in teaching yoga. Now you are filling the finance cup, the physical and mental health cups. Perhaps even the friends and volunteering cups if you do some free or fundraiser classes. Add in selling clothes, via a network marketing company, and you’re not only adding to the finance cup again, you’ll also fill the travel cup with free trips. Because being great at selling anything requires self-development, you’ll also help with the self-care cup and mental health cup. As you hit career milestones and help other women with their cups, your dreams and visions cup will begin to fill, as will your friends’ cups. The family and spiritual cups did not get touched. Those two cups cannot be filled by something else. They need to be filled with intentional presence.
(I was a mom of three kids, homeschooling, running a business and my own salon. I was tired of feeling tired and so I entered a contest. I got second place and it's something I'm most proud of in my life. I made time for me!)
Follow Your Passions. If you feel like you have more passions and you want to do more than one thing, DO IT! Don’t say no filling your life with more joy because you think you need to give all of yourself to just one passion. That is like saying you can’t have more than one best friend, or you couldn’t love and raise more than one kid. You already juggle all the balls in life, so you are more than capable of adding in just one more thing. Go after your passions with joy and gratitude. It is such a gift to find happiness in more than one place. There are some skills you will have to develop to do this well, but women, you’ve got this! Time management, delegation, strategic planning and organization are all skills you are capable of learning. You are allowed to be good, even great, at more than one thing. You are allowed to chase more than one dream. You are allowed to have multiple streams of income. Women, you are allowed to wear more than one title. You already do…