In a conversation with a friend last night, and following a FB discussion on a very similar subject, I couldn’t fall asleep before writing my next blog. Once again, it’s about women who think they have to please the world around them first. On top of that, apologize, justify, feel guilty, and doubt themselves. Yes, it’s all in their genes.
The society we live in has created “rules” that have been carried on throughout generations and very often independently of age and generation, we tend to carry on these “rules” that we rarely seem to question. Women and children are just one of those pet peeves to me. When you don’t have children, you are asked how can you not have them. If you decided to have one, “why don’t you have two?” You have two, “Oh, they are smart and beautiful, why don’t you have another one?” Be careful now, we are moving into a dangerous area. Having three or four is gets you into the “Why in this world can you have so many children?” comments. You might fall into the category of being anti-social.
You are a woman, have a family, and want to have a job at the same time? Great idea! Just be aware that to one part of society you will be the wonder woman who can combine a career and her family, and to the other part of society, you will be the cruel mother who leaves her children to be taken care of by strangers. Just saying, be prepared.
Next comes the nonsense about age. You’re too old for this and too young for that. Is it about starting a family or climbing the career ladder. A few comments you might be familiar with:
- “You’re 48 and your children are so young?”
- “You are 23 and have 2 children, oh my God, you should have lived your life first.”
- “You’ll never get this position, you’re too young!”
- “Don’t even apply for this job, you’re almost 50.”
As the saying goes, age is just a number. Don’t let that get in your way because everyone has a different point of view on that anyway. If you fall into that trap society pushes on you, no matter what you want to do, you’ll never succeed. Did you hear me, you’ll never win. Why? Because society will always find a reason to criticize something.
Another issue is the area of job search. What I hear in my coaching sessions or in general conversations with women are things like:
- “I’m 45, nobody will give me a job at this age anymore.”
- “I have to stay in this position although I hate it.”
- “It’s just another 20 years to go.”
Really? Only 20 years? Every single day in a job that you hate is hell. I can tell you all about it. Been there, done that. If you are bored, not challenged, and continue to go through the dull same routines every single day, then this is the hell you live. Thinking about the good money you make doesn’t help. The only thing you will discover one day is that you don’t care about anything you have, you own, or you wanted to buy one day. The only thing you want to do is run away. Congratulations on the upcoming burnout! Yes, it can be caused by not being fulfilled.
Am I sounding sarcastic? Yes, I am. I’m being sarcastic because I see it every single day when women limit themselves. Women with talents, education, and endless potential who don’t apply for a position because they decided they were not good enough, or who don’t ask to be involved in projects because they are “just” assistants for example. For me, as a coach, these are big red flags.
Ladies, go and get what you want. Don’t care what mom, dad, grandparent, neighbor, colleague, or a so-called friend thinks about you. Don’t listen to them and don’t allow it to become your own belief. They are projecting their unfulfilled life on you. It’s not about them, it’s about you, and you want to live your own fulfilled life. One full of self-confident decisions, your own decisions.
Stop pleasing the world around you, it’s like chasing butterflies.