I used to insist upon doing it all: myself, right, and perfect the FIRST time.
I used to expect, on the rare occasion that I asked for help, that people did it just like me, right, and perfect the FIRST time.
I used to shake my head in absolute knowing when people let me down, didn’t show up or didn’t do what I wanted to my super high standards.
And then I experienced serious, prolonged, and seemingly never-ending burnout… and I was left with no other choice but to ask AND accept help… REAL help.
Women breadwinners know what I’m talking about. 99.9% of all moms know what I’m talking about.
You want help. You desperately wish people would psychically know that you need help… but you refuse to bow to the level of needing to ASK for help.
It’s this kind of pride that winds you up in one of three states:
And, very often, in all three at the same time.
So here’s the question:
Is your pride hijacking your health?
Is your wanting to do it right, do it perfect, and do it yourself the FIRST time exactly the thing that is keeping you annoyed, frustrated, exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed ALL of the time?
It might be… and if you are the woman who’s bringing home the bacon, the financial provider of your household with all of the responsibilities that this role entails, what will it take for you to release, relax, and replenish so you have the health you need to keep bringing home the bread?
Here’s what it will take:
- Honesty. Pull out a calendar and see how far your 24 hour day will take you. When you’ve got 50 things on your plate, guess what? It won’t take you that far. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you get 3 MAJOR things done in one day. When you get honest with how little time you actually have in a given day (yes, subtract out bathroom time, commuting time, and all the other 5-20 minute tasks we love to forget we actually have to do throughout the day), you start to realize that, no, it won’t all get done today but at least two or three big things will get done. When you get real about your time, you begin to use it better (and criticize yourself less about all the things you didn’t have the time to do).
- Vulnerability. I don’t like this word. It sounds fragile, weak and painfully open but it’s clearly the thing you need when you have to open up your heart and ask people to REALLY help you. I don’t mean the “let-me-give-you-the-small-tasks-that-you-couldn’t-really-mess-up-if-you-tried” kind of help. I mean, “Can you watch the kids all day Saturday?” or “Can you cook all the meals this week?” or “Can you stay with the kids while I take a weekend away?” kind of help that requires the vulnerability it takes to say, “As much as I’d like to do this all on my own, I’m not an island. I’m tired and I need help and your help is absolutely necessary to my success.” That kind of vulnerability is scary but VERY necessary if you’re going to stay healthy and sane.
- Vigilance. There comes a point where you have to become a master of two words: Yes and No. Creating and keeping healthy boundaries are critical to keeping your life in harmony. Forget about having balance. The problem with balance is that it can never be maintained. The moment you add one thing to one scale, you throw the other scale out of whack. What we’re going for is harmony, different things taking a different level of priority at different times but all of it blending together to make beautiful music. Sometimes, work will take 70% of you and family 30%. At other times, family will be the 80% and work the 20%. Be okay with harmony and forget about balance. The best way to do that comes in being vigilant about creating and keeping your healthy boundaries.
Having all three is a work-in-progress lifetime process. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Just get it going.
Here’s your first step:
Delegate a major responsibility that annoys and frustrates you to someone who you know can and will handle it…
and then don’t micromanage how they handle it…
for the next 14 days.
Yeah… not easy but oh so worth it…