Women, choose to challenge the way you work. You can be powerful and feminine!
In the 1970s married women began entering the labor force in great numbers. At the same time, women also stepped into a world that had been designed and built to work for men. We were expected to work and succeed in a business world built on masculine paradigms. Our anthem became Helen Reddy’s song, I am Woman. We rose to the challenge, and we proved that we could compete and fight… and win!
Because of that, most women I know assume that working harder and faster is the way to get greater and greater results. We believe we can keep up with this strategy, year after year, decade after decade, hammering everything in sight with the same tool.
That approach may work, and get results for a while, but it’s not sustainable.
Not if you are a woman.
So many women I talk to are successful, but they’ve been working until they drop to achieve their goals. Their life looks amazing on the outside, but inside something is SCREAMING for attention. Exhaustion levels are high, and they are STRUGGLING to keep their energy up.
We all know that we need to do things differently, we’ve been talking about work-life balance for years, but are we really much further? Has much really changed? Can it really be different if we don’t move out of the outdated way of thinking? (The truth is, It doesn’t really work anymore for men, either.)
I am this woman. I entered the workforce in the 80’s when we put on our heels, shoulder pads in our suits and made it our mission to rise to the top and show men we were just as good, if not better than they are. We were brought up on the idea that we could, “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man.”
By the time I was in my late 30’s, my adrenals were worn out and I crashed. If you’ve never experienced this, it’s kind of like being a zombie (except for the eating brains thing). You’re flat lined emotionally and your body never quite reacts to stress the same way again. In fact, my body wanted to avoid stress. Because I didn’t have the tools and information that I do today, it took a long time to recover. I began to look for answers.
What I found was, despite our pursuit of work-life balance, there are three frequently unrecognized mistakes that we women do that keep us exhausted and deplete our energy.
1. We’re stuck in Man-Mode: Do, do, do …..
We work too hard and juggle too much and compete with men to show them we’re just as good or better. This approach takes a lot of focus, and focus takes a lot of testosterone. The average man has 20-30% percent more testosterone than women do. We’re just not physically made to work the same way.
Why is this important? Because of the impact on our health. (remember my story?) I talked with a woman last week with a similar story except she ended up in the hospital.
Since the 60’s we have seen:
- a 60% increase in female cancers
- 75% of women experiencing adrenal fatigue
- 1 in 5 feeling depressed
- the number of heart attacks in women tripling (every 34 seconds a woman dies of heart disease)
2. We don’t prioritize our desires.
This is the engine behind success! When a woman is out of touch with her dreams and desires, she slowly dies inside because of not doing what she desires.
3. Our mentors are in man-mode also.
‘Boss babes’, ‘slay all day’ are common phrases and memes we frequently see to motivate women. Yet, even Gloria Steinem, one of the founders of the feminist movement, has said that they put too much expectation on women. She said, “We set women up to fail telling her she could do it all, all at once.” The truth…is no one can. Not even men.
With all of your responsibilities women take on we have become disconnected from our true power and are finding ourselves doing life and work in a way that drains us much of the time.
Living our lives in ‘Man-Mode’ is not sustainable for women. It’s time for us to re-balance ourselves and learn to use our natural strengths…as a woman.
Does this sound like you? This is no fault of yours, it is just how we were taught to do life!
But there is another way, a way that fills you up, let’s you shine and live your purpose in a way that is supported by community.
This “other way” allows you to understand and re-learn how to be in your true power, as a woman, to then be able to fully shine your gifts!
What makes a woman confident is her ability to call upon her feminine wisdom.
So often in our world we tend to think of strength as a quality that arises from a place of firm determination and a will to succeed no matter the cost. Even though we might want to think of a strong woman as being defined in this way, what really makes a woman confident is her capacity for listening to her true self and being able to call upon her feminine wisdom to any situation that may arise. A woman does not need to step into an assertive role or act like a man in order to be effective at what she does–she simply needs to get in touch with her insight and sense of compassion to truly demonstrate the depth of her strength.
Listening to the feminine side of ourselves may not seem easy at first for this type of energy is something that is often overlooked in many aspects of our everyday lives. If we can connect with this part of who we are, however, we will find that there is an unlimited wellspring of strength available to us.
As we celebrate National Women’s History Month in March, let’s raise a glass and toast to the leaders of our past and present that got us where we are today. Then consider our future, where we are going and how we want to get there.
The theme for this year is #ChoosetoChallenge. Personally, I love this!
From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge the way we’ve been working and living. Our capacity to tap into our intuition and listen to our inner self, to take into account the needs of those around us, and to view a situation with compassion and love are ways that we can show the world the true power that is part of our feminine nature. Not only will we see the world in a different light, but we will truly start to realize the potential for this form of energy to both empower ourselves and those around us.