In my walk through life I’ve met many people who don’t feel adequate. They pursue additional degrees, take extra courses, and enlist to participate in product trials and experiments, all with a view to improving themselves; to make themselves more worthy, more deserving, more attractive.
After years of coaching high-achieving women, my colleague, master coach and personal development expert Marcia Reynolds started noticing something troubling: many of the clients with whom she worked were plagued by anxiety over their own restless responses to the world. These women were jumping jobs regularly, defining and redefining their relationship with the marketplace, constantly questioning their roles as wives and mothers and sisters.
Business Coach, Carrie Greene, recently shared one of her pet peeves: “You know what drives me crazy? When I speak with someone and they say to me, “As soon as I get one more certificate I’m going to raise my prices.” Or, “As soon as I get more experience, I’ll charge for my services.”
A Boston agency recently posted a job listing online for a Director of Operations position at a company called Rehtom Inc. The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:
• Standing up almost all the time
• Constantly exerting yourself
• Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
• Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
• No vacations
• The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
• No time to sleep
• Salary = $0
It was described as “The World’s Toughest Job”. The job ad got 2.7 million impressions from paid ad placements. Only 24 people inquired and they were interviewed via webcam, with their real-time reactions captured on video. The interviewees couldn’t believe the job requirements. They were shaking their heads and many started to make painful sounds as the interviewer provided more details. In the end, it was revealed that the job being described was Motherhood. The video, which was really an advertisement for Cardstore.com got 8 million views in 2 days, with many people emailing links to their moms.
Charlotte Alter found that the cutesy ad did not do justice to the profession of Motherhood and that the idea that the 135-plus hour work week, the lack of breaks and holidays, the sleepless nights and the constant vigilance is just for moms and not for dads is part of the reason moms have it so rough.
I can see her point, but the other part I see is how qualified so many women are as mothers and caregivers, because they’re already doing the world’s toughest job yet they don’t see the skills they’ve acquired as managers of their households, kids, and budgets etc. as a valuable part of who they are.
A very good friend of mine was applying for a senior managerial position in a company and shared that she did not have any experience. I asked her what about her experience as a single mother, managing four children, and seeing to ALL their needs? Coordinating activities, planning meals, dealing with crises? She immediately understood where I was coming from, but still felt that she was not enough.
We ALL need to be reminded that we are ENOUGH. Today. Not when we get the certificate, or the degree, or the promotion or when we get married. That wherever we are right now in our lives – it’s ENOUGH!
In a recent Facebook update, bestselling author Anne Lamotte shared this: “My pastor said last Sunday that if you don’t change directions, you are going to end up where you are headed. Is that okay with you, to end up still desperately trying to achieve more, and to get the world to validate your parking ticket? …Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else’s needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to “help” and impress?”
Who you truly are and what you already know is enough. And I have news “there will ALWAYS be another class to take. Someone else is ALWAYS going to know more than you!”
I leave you with these words by Alexandra Hope Flood, intuitive coach and blogger:
1. You are a miracle. Never forget this fact. Just the science alone is mind blowing.
2. You are unique. No one will ever be as good at being you as you are. Seriously.
3. You are enough. Always. Never doubt this. There is nothing to add, but feel free to expand.
4. There is always more to learn, but that is not failure, it is a gift. It can be fun too.
5. Every obstacle is an opportunity to fall further into the miracle that is you.
6. Commit to being the best version of you every day. Recalibrate definition of “best” as needed.
7. Leave room for others when they fall off the wagon of their own miracle.
8. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive every which way. Forgive him. Forgive her. Forgive you.
9. Compassion is the key to forgiveness. Compassion means you feel the humanity in others.
10.The more you forgive, the more you’ll enjoy being you, because the lighter your load will be.
11. In the end, as in the beginning: You. Are. Amazing.