In honor of International Women’s Day (3/8), a day that should be celebrated through the entire month of March!
Start a company, support your family, save the world, all while looking no older than 25. And by the way, don’t break a sweat while doing it…after all other women seem to be keeping it together, what’s wrong with you?
That’s the mind chatter that’s been stamped into our brains as 21st century super women who look like we have it all together, but are really smiling the stress away gritting our teeth. Behind the façade of perfection is the reality that almost every woman feels completely overwhelmed and overworked, without a clue how to manage her life any differently. Although few of us would ever openly admit just how stretched and full of self-doubt we are, the truth is that most of us are overworked, overwhelmed, and over it!
Dig even deeper behind the mask, and you will reveal that as insane as it may be, most of us super women wear our busyness like a badge of honor, trying to prove to ourselves and others that we are worthy because we can get so much done.
It’s important to realize that this insanity of our lives is not totally our fault. We didn’t start off as achievement junkies, doing addicts, and obsessive perfectionists—we were conditioned to behave like this; we were not born this way. After decades of receiving the message of self-esteem, girls and women today have more self-confidence, and independence than any generation of women before. We have more choices than our mothers and grandmothers combined, but with those choices have also come mountains of stress and more self-criticism, without the pay off of more happiness—a fact backed up by a study conducted by Rockefeller Foundation and Time Magazine in 2009 which compared the level of women’s happiness in the 1970s to that of women today. The results were revealing. Yes, women have more opportunity and equality but we aren’t happier. More work and less happiness. What a raw deal!
So yes, women have been liberated in many ways, but in the process, we became trapped in a new jail cell, with a nameplate bearing the motto we all live by—and unknowingly teach our daughters:
“I feel empowered to do, be, and have anything, but I feel pressured to do, be, and have everything.”
The solutions thus far have been focused on giving girls and women around the world self-esteem, teaching the message, “You can do anything.” And there lies the problem. The focus is on ‘doing.’ While self-esteem has been a critical step for raising the confidence of women and girls around this country, the unintended impact is a generation who defines themselves and their value by what they ‘do.’
We have conditioned our selves and our girls to believe that if we are not doing everything, then we are failing, ultimately leading to the damaging and crushing belief that “You are not enough.” The unintended impact of the over value on self-esteem and the under value on things like self-compassion and self-care. Sure we say we want to relax, take good care of ourselves, but when you look at our actions and how we spend our time, money and energy, we are not.
No matter how much a woman or girl does, she will never feel like she is enough, and therefore she will never attain the happiness she works so hard for.
So what is the new solution?
Self-Love. Learn more this Friday, March 8th 6:30 to 8:30pm in Christine’s workshop at the Dupont studio: Know Your Worth.
About Christine Arylo
Christine Arylo, an m.b.a. turned writer, speaker and teacher, is an inspirational catalyst who teaches women how to give up their doing addiction and to stop being so hard on themselves. A recovering achievement junkie and doing addict herself, Arylo is the co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School and the author of Choosing ME before WE, Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love www.mebeforewe.com & her new best-seller Madly in Love with ME, The Daring Adventure of Becoming Your Own Best Friend. Known as the “Queen of Self-Love,” Arylo created Madly in Love with ME, the international day of self-love (Feb 13), dedicated to making self-love a tangible reality for women and girls around the world. www.madlyinlovewithme.com