I once bragged that in between conference calls I made a cake in 17 minutes.
My husband had called to say that a friend was flying into London at the last minute for a 24-hour period and that it was her birthday. I immediately told my husband to invite her over for dinner and said I would do something special for her birthday.
As I got off the call and looked at my diary, I realized that I was scheduled to attend back to back conference calls all day. The only gap I had in my diary was 20 minutes in between two calls, and so I seized on those precious minutes and frantically whipped up a cake and popped it in the oven in a record breaking 17 minutes.
I was super pleased with myself and bragged to my husband that if needed, I could rule the world because I was The Master Multitasker.
I was Superwomen!
Fast forward to a year later and Superwoman was curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor suffering from a panic attack. I would become afflicted with panic attacks and depression for the next 18 months. Apparently, I was not Superwomen and could not rule the world. I couldn’t even rule my own world and because of that my body and mind got sick because I thought that I could do it all.
Which begs the question, why do we women assume we have to do it all?
The answer is complex and multifaceted and is not one which can be answered in a short blog. However, what I will say is this – You don’t have to do it all.
As Gloria Steinem so eloquently puts it.....
“You can’t do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children, and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic ‘til dawn…Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement.”
If you find yourself chasing your tail, running around trying to be all things to all people, ask yourself these powerful questions:
The key take away items I want to leave you with this week are the following:
By setting boundaries realise that:
Do you worry that other people will think you think you are better than them? (now that’s a mouthful isn’t it?)
She stood on the stage looking embarrassed and uncomfortable. She was supposed to be telling the audience about her newly released book.
But she couldn’t do it.
When asked why she couldn’t talk about her book, she responded “I don’t want people to think that I think I am better than them”.
I knew exactly what she was talking about.
For in the past I too had and sometimes to this day continue to downplay my achievements, for fear of being seen as bragging or coming across as thinking I am special.
As I watched in agony as this woman stammered and apologised for her success, I wanted to run up to the stage, give her a hug and say “You deserve this. You earned the right to talk about your success. You go girl”.
I said a few encouraging words to her when she came off the stage, but I am not really sure in the few short minutes that I spoke to her, that she could actually take it all in. She was stuck in a moment of overwhelm.
I have been pondering this scene for a few weeks now and it has made me wonder, why we, especially women, tend to downplay our successes.
When you think about it, children receive awards and certificates all the time for their achievements, yet as adults we often don’t take the time to celebrate our proud moments. We reward our children to give them the motivation and courage to keep trying and to help them develop confidence, yet why don’t we do that for ourselves as adults?
Why do we fear that other people will judge our successes?
I believe it is imperative that we look back and celebrate our successes and proud moments, because like children, it helps us develop confidence and a positive mind-set to push forward, try new things and move towards pursuing our goals.
So, in that spirit, let’s take a minute and celebrate our successes.
Share your successes with me…
I’d love to hear about your proud moments…. I will cheer and celebrate your accomplishments alongside you. You don’t need to downplay your achievements with me!
Need help with this?... Here’s some food for thought:
Here’s to you and your proud peacock moments!
Much love, Claire xx
Overwhelm can manifest in so many ways...
Listen to the amazing Hanna Hermanson interview me on her Podcast "Dream Life is Real Life" where I discuss how I transitioned from suffering panic attacks and depression during my corporate career to now living my dream life..
Shift from Anxiety and Rock Bottom to Creating your Individual Utopia (iTopia) with Claire Rogers - Dream Life is Real Life
.Much love, Claire xx
I think so too and I’m a life coach.
A couple of years ago I read “If I could tell you just one thing: Encounters with remarkable people and their most valuable advice”by Richard Read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, however at the time I took umbrage with the comedic genius Stephen Fry’s comment: “one piece of advice I want to give is avoid all life-coaching lessons, they are snake oil, without exception, and the art of stating the so f*cking obvious it makes your nose bleed”.
Ouch, I thought, clearly Mr Fry hasn’t met the right life coaches. Fast forward to a few years later whereby I have now met several of the self-styled world famous, #1 life coaches and I now tend to concur with Mr Fry’s statement.
Some life coaches truly are hawking snake oil.
I say so-called world famous #1 life coaches because the analytical side of me wants to ask them “world famous according to whom?” …“You’re the #1 life coach according to whom?” “How can you be the #1 life coach when so and so also claims to be #1?” “Is there some sort of survey that measures and quantifies this?”
But I digress.
The reason why I agree with Mr Fry’s statement (for the most part) is because on meeting some of these coaches my impression is that they scream inauthenticity and arrogance and my internal radar tells me that they aren’t coming from a good place of wanting to empower and help people.
One such coach wrote such a beautifully well-written authentic book on coaching that I was dumbfounded upon meeting him to find he was one of the most arrogant, unemotionally intelligent individuals I had ever met that I can only assume a ghost-writer wrote his book, for the book certainly did not represent who he was or what he believed in in person.
Another coach I met claimed that for an extortionate fee each month they could guarantee instant, quick life changes for the client. I call BS on this – no one can guarantee life-changing results for a client. A client has to put the hard work in and change their own life – a coach is there to empower, inspire and facilitate the client with the tools to initiative and implement change, but is not able to do the changing for the client. That’s like having your personal trainer do your push ups for you.
I witnessed another alleged famous coach tell an audience member who had poured their heart out on their challenges that they were probably “f*cked up”before laughing and moving on to the next audience member. This coach charges six figures – can you imagine paying that kind of money and being told you are f*cked up? What really astounded me in this case is that the audience hung off his every word and several people kept telling him how “prolific” he was. I kept thinking are you kidding me? The guy is a jerk preying on people’s vulnerabilities.
So why am I writing this? Because I want people to be aware that there are snake oil coaches out there. As an African proverb says “Beware of a naked man who offers you his shirt”, which in this case means, beware of people who offer to coach you but don’t have their own house in order.
What makes a good life coach?
Watch here…. youtu.be/vZZiq3mt0H0
I don’t mean to disparage my industry – there are a lot of very good authentic life coaches out there; in addition to meeting the snake oil coaches I have also met some exceptional life coaches.
Truly excellent life coaches are authentic, trustworthy, self-aware individuals who are not afraid to show up and be open and honest about their own personal development journey.
In my case, I’d like to think that I am a good life coach because over the trajectory of my life I have screwed up, made countless mistakes, and ignored my gut instinct on several occasions. I have had trials, tribulations and successes. What clients are paying me for is the knowledge and learning’s I have gained not only from my successes but also my own failings. Sure, I have qualifications in coaching, which have honed my coaching skills, but what makes me qualified is the time and personal development I have put into myself to overcome and learn from my mistakes.
The thing to remember is that life coaches are human beings; we may be further along the road than some people, but note that along the road we have stumbled, fallen and had to dust ourselves off to keep going. A life coach should not be scared to admit this to their clients.
Beware of happy shiny coaches selling you a story of life perfection and quick fixes – it’s normally all smoke, mirrors and snake oil.
I have a few questions for you...
I am asking you these questions because I have a quick story I want to share with you...
Many years ago (the early 90’s to be exact) I lived in Tokyo and at the time there was no such thing as the internet, and there were no English TV shows or English newspapers. During the first few months of living in Japan I didn’t think too much of the fact that I had no access to the “outside” world, but it hit me hard when I went home to Vancouver (Canada) for a visit. When I returned home I remember thinking that Vancouver must be one of the most dangerous cities in the world… Why? Because I now had access to the news on TV as well as newspapers and I felt bombarded with all the negative news stories.
My point? Vancouver was not and is not one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but that is how I perceived it at the time because of my exposure to the news.
Someone recently said to me that she thought that the world had gone to hell in a handbag and when I asked her why she thought this, she rattled off a variety of topics circling the various news channels. My response to her was…. has the world really gone to hell in a handbag, or is it that we have much more access to information, and specifically more negative information than we are used to?
I don’t think there is any way to actually quantify and answer this question, but what I do think is that if we focus on the positivity and beauty that is everywhere around us, our own internal world will become a happier, nicer place to live.
I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the worlds challenges don’t exist, but what I am suggesting, is that we ask ourselves the question:
How is what I am focusing my energy on, serving me and making me a happier person?
I believe there is beauty and positivity everywhere, we just need to adjust our eyes and look for it.
Want to see a quick 2 minute video on the power of kindness? Watch the below: