There are the two key questions that I hear from my female clients in almost every initial session. The pain, guilt and fear driving these questions is palpable, and I can’t help but feel it deep in my core right along with them.
After all, I’ve been there.
"Do I need to sacrifice my career to have a happy and healthy family life?"
"Do I need to sacrifice my health and family to progress, or simply hold on to my career?"
I’ve asked myself those same questions. I’ve typed it in to Google, I’ve read countless blogs and stories of how other people have decided that it is or isn’t possible, and I’ve found nothing that eases that heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
While other people’s experiences and ideas are interesting to read, their situations, their goals, and their versions of what life should or shouldn’t look like aren’t going to be the same as yours. What results from this is a whole lot of guilt and ‘shoulding’ all over yourself, only strengthening the fear, pain and stagnation that you’ve been experiencing up until now.
It’s very rare for us to have a deep, non-judgmental, strategic look at our lives and ourselves.
Many of us aren’t clear on who we are, what we stand for and what the ultimate life really looks like for us.
What is my ideal career or business? What is the purpose driving what I do? What do I value the most? What do I want my family life to look like? What does a healthy lifestyle mean to me? What actions and behaviors do I need to be living out every day in order to reflect these to make that optimal life a reality?
Early in my career I headed out full steam ahead without asking myself these questions. What I felt, and most likely looked like, was a ship in the ocean without a navigation system. I was being tossed around by the waves, taken by the tide, and just hoping like hell that I’d end up on something resembling a tropical island sipping coconuts rather than making like the Titanic and ramming head first in to a big fat iceberg.
The anxiety that this created was something that I thought came hand in hand with being a driven human being navigating the world of management. As I looked around I could see that this was a pretty common theme amongst fellow leaders. In fact, I would have felt like I was doing something wrong or not working hard enough if I wasn’t feeling stressed, burnt out, and sacrificing my health and family in order to strive for the top job.
What a relief to learn that I could actually set up my very own navigation system. One that was designed by me and for me. One that could assist me in constantly correcting back on to my path, or that I could even adjust if I decided that there was another path for me.
I could think above the crowd and blaze my own trail.
After all, isn’t that what being a leader is really about? The ability to step up and do what no one else is willing to do? To find what works, rather than plodding along in default mode?
If you’d like some help with discovering what your ideal career path or business looks like, and setting your navigation system toward your optimal career and life, please reach out - I'd love to hear from you!
P.S. There are limited places available in my exclusive Women in Leadership program running in the Barossa, Riverland, Fleurieu and Adelaide Hills in 2018 – don’t miss out!