This blog by Christine Suva, M.S., CPC, first appeared on www.bizwomenover50conference.com, website for the “Maximize Your Career – Business Tools for Women over 50″ conference being produced Aug. 28, 2015 by Lillian Bjorseth.
How would it feel if you knew you were completely aligned with everything that is most important to you in your life? What if you were clear on the legacy you are creating and it absolutely filled you with joy? What if you could look back over your life and have few if any regrets?
There are FAR too many people miserable in their careers working jobs that leave them empty, frustrated, burned out and in many cases literally ill. Life is too short! Too many have a dream but play small. Both men and women get in their own way; however, there are some things I see far more often in women.
The “Disease to Please”
Women are often socialized to be nice, caregivers and non-confrontational. Do you struggle to say “no” or establish healthy boundaries out of fear of disappointing or upsetting others? Do you feel guilty thinking about what you want, being assertive and leave little for yourself? Over time, it can lead to being depleted, resentful, frustrated and, if taken to the extreme, illness.
Thankfully, with age comes wisdom! One of the beautiful things that can happen as we get older is we care less about what others think. We begin to learn to tap into and trust our own intuition. Our needs shift at different stages in life so check in regularly with yourself and give yourself permission to make changes.
Denying Your Gifts
If you were brought up in a home that placed high value on humbleness and talking about your strengths was frowned upon, it may be very difficult to OWN your worth in the workplace. Selling yourself in an interview, asking for a raise or promotion or even identifying what your real gifts, strengths and talents are can be crippling. In an interview, you MUST be able to identify and articulate what you’re good at.
One way to feel more comfortable is to talk about your strengths through stories of your accomplishments. Skills are demonstrated in the stories about circumstances, actions you took and results you achieved. Step out of your comfort zone and let yourself be seen! You can’t articulate what you don’t acknowledge. Your gifts may very well be the thing you take for granted. Pay attention to what comes easily to you and brings you joy!
Feeling Guilty for Wanting More
When was the last time you asked yourself “What do I really want?” Moms often feel guilt asking themselves that question. Many women put their own dreams, needs and desires out of mind after having children. When I hear moms say “It doesn’t matter what I want anymore. It’s all about the kids.” I cringe.
I’m a mom and by far the best thing I’ve ever done in my life are my kids! However, what is more powerful? TELLING our kids “you can be anything you want, go after your dreams” or SHOWING them what going after your dreams and living a life of purpose and meaning looks and feels like? Don’t just tell them . . . SHOW them! Many women completely wrap their entire identity into being a mom and run the risk of feeling they have no purpose when the kids grow up and leave home.
Actually, it’s the perfect opportunity to reinvent! It’s a choice to start showing up differently in your life and that choice starts with YOU. Drop the guilt and give yourself permission to live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life at any age!