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March 6, 2020

Strong Woman Myths

Strong Woman Myths

My mother was a stay at home mom. She loved her work. She felt very passionate about her role as a mom. But she came from a time when the lines were more impenetrable between stay at home moms and working moms.

Now, we have hybrid lives. Things aren’t as black and white. We have co-sharing positions, telecommuting, easier opportunities for entrepreneurship and of course, still regular, traditional 9- 5 jobs. We can seamlessly move between work and home and we can travel the world and still work at the same time.

Redefining your superwoman

Although my mom grew up in the 60’s and she went to college, she very much believed that a woman’s place was in the home.

She felt that women who worked were sacrificing their families because they wanted to be like men- that they were copping out and were taking the selfish, easy route. I know It sounds incredulous to say these things now, but this is the truth of what I was taught.

I grew up desiring a career. I wanted to be a psychotherapist for as long as I can remember. But I was always torn about my place in that. 

And so I started out my career in ambivalence. I didn’t take the full time post-doc at the prestigious hospital because I had a 1 year old at home and felt that it was wrong to leave him everyday to go to work.

I walked the wire for years between being a stay at home mom and being a professional with an active career. I was in a constant state of guilt and I honestly feel that both my career and my family suffered.

As a result, I tried to do it all. I homeschooled my kids, worked almost full time and burned the candle at both ends. All trying to prove that I could do it all.

Maybe you get a picture about how the whole concept of redefining your superwoman was born in me.

This my issue and probably not yours. But you can see how the lies we tell ourselves about what a woman should or shouldn’t be doing- what constitutes a strong woman- can actually hinder our development and significantly affect the course of our lives.

I have learned over time that most things are not black and white. There are fine lines, and even those lines will sometimes move and permeate. I do believe there are absolute truths, but I also know that those truths are few and far between. 

It took me many years to recognize that my truths were lies. That strong women could do both. Although it can be messy and there has to be a lot of intention, it can be done very well.

So you wanna be a strong woman? The pursuit of true strength is not for the timid. In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the pillars of potential strength where we need to check our myths that might exist.

Time/Space Pillar 

Myth- I don’t have the time. 

Yes you do. I work very hard to get two related concepts regarding this out of my vocabulary. The first one is ‘I don’t have the time’, and the second one is ‘I don’t have the money’- or ‘I can’t afford it’. First, it’s usually completely false. It’s always the case with time and it’s almost always the case with money. Can I afford a 10 million dollar home? No, that’s accurate, I can’t. But that’s not usually what I’m talking about.

Can I afford that vacation or that car or to take a day off? Of course I really can. I just don’t want to sacrifice whatever I might need to in order to get those things.

Let’s speak honestly. So, whenever I feel like I want to say that, I correct myself and say: ‘it’s not worth it to me’ or ‘I don’t want to invest in that’. That’s the truth.

It may sound like a subtle shift, not worth doing. But your brain believes what you tell it and if you tell it you can’t afford it, it finds a way to manifest that as truth.

And when it comes to time- same thing. We all have the same amount of time, it’s just what we choose to do with it. It’s never true that I don’t have time for anything. Instead, I say It’s not worth the time to me, I don’t feel like doing it or I don’t want to invest my time in that. That is honoring that YOU choose how to spend your moments in life. Life doesn’t choose. 

Also, I’m learning that when it comes to personal time; strong women make time for space. This is one of the hardest for me because I have been conditioned To believe that space is waste.

Many of my clients feel this way too. But it’s not true. Space multiplies, busyness divides. Space is growth. A woman of strength recognizes that she has to create space in her life to breath, reflect and think. She needs some space in her psyche in order to be able to move forward in her purpose.

Spiritual Pillar

Myth- I don’t need God in my life.

You have to have a connection with God, who created your soul. Otherwise, you are missing out on an entire aspect of who you are. 

You are equally soul and body. If you ignore your soul and your relationship with God, you are cutting yourself off from yourself and you’re curtailing your ability to follow your purpose.

I have created many myths about who God was to me. You need to ask yourself about your myths that you create about who God is and isn’t in your life. 

Education Pillar

Myth- I’m don’t need to be educated.

Let’s be super clear here. I’M not talking about any degree, certificate or credential. And I have all that stuff, so I can say with certainty that none of it ensures that you are well educated. YOU ensure that you are well educated.

If you believe that you have made it and you no longer need to read, study or be educated; you are wrong and you aren’t growing. A strong woman needs to read and if you can’t read, listen. In this information age, you have no excuse to be uneducated

A woman of strength never stops learning. She purposefully seeks knowledge because she knows she can never have enough. She understands that she is constantly growing and changing and so is the world around her. Stagnation stinks  and that’s what happens when you don’t educate yourself. Before you know it, others have passed you by.

Girlfriend Pillar

Myth- I don’t need friends, friends carry drama. 

A woman of strength has girlfriends. I want that to sink in. A woman of strength builds up her character, builds up her ability to be vulnerable so that she can have healthy relationships.

I’m reading a fantastic book called Daring to live. The author talks about her group of women. Her warrior women. What I love is that she doesn’t sugar coat their journey. In her book, Sheri gets real about some of the drama that happens when you get a few or more women together. But she called it what it was and she owned up to her part. And instead of throwing in the towel on a very meaningful friendship, she dug in, got messy and did the hard work of maintaining relationships.

My best friend, Rosie and i have been doing life together for 18 years. There have been times when we don’t like each other. But we value our friendship and the benefit of it in our life to such an extent, that we’re willing to say the hard stuff, lay ourselves out so that we can come back together in love.

So, I’m not saying it’s easy. I know relationships with women come sometimes come with drama. But I can tell you that no truly strong woman walks alone.

Our friendships sharpen us. The skills we need to navigate and maintain them are the same skills we need to succeed in life. So, if you want to be a strong woman, you need to cultivate relationships with other women. It’s just a myth that you don’t need friends.

Health pillar

Myth- I don’t have time to take care of myself.

I am guilty of it. My friend Rosie and I call eachother out when we see this in ourselves all the time. 

Once again, this goes back to the time myth. Yes, you DO have time to take care of yourself. You are just putting yourself last on the priority list. Put yourself first- take care of you and you know why. You’ve heard it before. Just do it. 

Make the doctor’s appointment, schedule your workout time, schedule your me time… Don’t fall into the myth that you don’t have time for yourself.

I hope you’re addressing some of these myths in your life!

Would you like to listen to this post? Click here to listen to the podcast version! Enjoy!

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