Recently we were asked, “Do you have any quick tips for working moms in very senior level positions with a demanding job, family life including caring for both children and aging parents.”
This is a question so many women are grappling with right now. It is stressing them out and contributing to overwhelm. If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone.
Implementing these 5 tips are going to help you shift from chaos to connection. Best part – you can start right now!
1. Get Clear On Your Values:
We talk about values a lot. They are a crucial part of self-care and supporting you to live in alignment.
Values are those non-negotiable characteristics that make us who we are. Like emotions they are always there whether you acknowledge them or not. When we aren’t living our values we feel disconnected, like nothing is going right. When we align with our values we feel connected, congruent and experience less resistance and conflict as we move through life.
Most women never take the time to get clear on their values, making it impossible to live in alignment. For example, if you value spending time with your family and you are working at 50+ hour work week, then you will never feel in alignment and will always feel resistance and conflict.
The same is true if you value your work and you are spending all your time with your family. The key is understanding your values so that you can start to live in alignment. To do this, do a quick google search on values.
Make a list of your top 5 values and define what they mean to you. There is no right or wrong answer.
Values and the definition of values are different for everyone. Sit with them for a week and see how they feel.
2. Look at each identified value and reflect:
How do these values make me feel good about myself?
How do I feel when these values aren’t present in my life?
How do these values represent things I would support, even if my choice isn’t popular and puts me in the minority?
If you have trouble answering the questions above then keep being curious. Ultimately, you want to narrow your list down to 3 top values to live by.
*This can take some time, so give yourself the time to explore.
Once you have identified and defined your values look at how you are living them, or not. The idea is to be in alignment with your values. If you are not living your values then reflect on how you can start to bring your values into your life.
3. Understand What You Want :
In our experience, most women know what they don’t want but aren’t clear on what they do want. If you don’t know what you want you will never achieve it. Now that you have identified your values, it will be easier to get clear on what you want.
Use your values as your GPS to help navigate, identify and discover exactly what you want. For example, you may not want to be working a 50+ hour work week. It isn’t supporting your values. However, putting in a long work week now may support achieving your greater want in the future. It is important to get clear on this so that you can make it happen.
Use your values to support you through this process to help you live in alignment.
4. INSTILL BOUNDARIES:
Boundaries are SO IMPORTANT. I admit, I suffered from the ‘disease to please’ and not having any boundaries contributed to that. It was stressful, I was resentful, and I was saying yes to things when I wanted to say no. I wanted to help and it was at the expense of my happiness (and my family).
Understanding my values, my wants and then instilling boundaries was a game changer for me. I know it can be a game changer for you as well. Boundaries are the non-negotiable rules or limits we set to identify what is permissible with ourselves and others. Simply, it is the line we draw in the sand that we aren’t willing to cross. If you find yourself saying yes when you want to say no, you need a boundary.
If you find yourself constantly complaining, feeling resentful, feeling taken advantage of, angry or compelled to do things you don’t want to do – you need a boundary.
Look to your values and your wants to help you identify your boundaries. Then put them in place. If our boundaries are too tight we isolate ourselves, which can be as destructive as having boundaries that are too loose or not there at all. Having boundaries is self-care, not selfish. Without them, it is impossible to calm the chaos and connect – to yourself and others.
5. Practice Self-Reflection:
Understanding who we are and how we show up is so important to our success. If we don’t understand ourselves and how we show up in our lives as leaders, parents, family members and friends then we are no good to anyone. Practicing self-reflection allows you to dig deeper, better understand your intentions and impact on others.
What kind of awareness do you have in how you show up your conversations?
How are you building your relationships?
How does your team see you as a leader?
What do your kids see in you as a parent?
Reflecting at the end of each day: what worked, what didn’t, what roll you played and how you could do it differently will help you get clear on who you are.
Reflection helps you stay on track to living the life you want.
Lastly… Invest In Yourself!
The most important relationship you are ever going to have is with yourself.
If you aren’t investing in you then who is?
I liken it to the “put your oxygen mask on first”. There is a reason we are asked to do this. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves first then we can’t be effective for anyone else. When we aren’t investing in ourselves then we are self-sabotaging. We are holding back, operate from a place of fear, reacting, feeling we aren’t good enough, judging ourselves and others along the way.
You can’t build healthy relationships from this place. Or lead effectively at work and home. Most importantly, you can’t speak your truth which keeps us in a place of stress. The good news is that you have the power and control to change this at any time.
The only person that is keeping you from what you want is you.
Give yourself permission to put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Invest in yourself. Continue to learn and try new things. Adventure. Play!
We all know that successful people, people who live happy, whole, full lives are people who take care of themselves. The difference between them and everyone else is that they actually do it. This looks different for everyone.
Take the time to understand exactly what that means for you. Then do it. You will thank yourself.
Co-Founder of The Institute of Curiosity, Co-Author of The Power of Curiosity, Communication Ambassador for Wealthy Woman Warrior™
We specialize in high-quality conversations that build high-quality relationships. That means we help people STOP reacting (to people, emotions, events) and learn to start RESPONDING to engage and inspire others, especially in emotional or high stakes situations.