As women of a certain age, most of us grew up being told we can have it all. But as we get older and start to appreciate the complexities of life, most of us question if it’s true.
So I want to share with you my take on the question and explain how I manage a demanding career, running a business, having a family and being a great friend/daughter/wife (if I do so say myself!), just to name a few of my roles.
What does having it all mean anyway?
To start, the term ‘having it all’ feels like an outdated concept to me. As if there is one defined ideal life that every woman aspires to.
In reality, we each need to understand and truly lean into our own unique desires and aspirations. For some, this means defying societal norms (what you don’t want to have children?!) and for others, this means embracing a stereotype. Regardless, we each need to have clarity on what it is we want and understand why it’s important to us. We can then define what having it all actually means to us on a personal level.
From there it’s easier to order and prioritise our desires and start working towards them in a systematic and logical way.
Realise life involves trade-offs
We might like it to be different but the truth is, we can’t have it all, all the time. Instead, with our aspirations and values clear in our mind, we can evaluate opportunities and situations and make the best right decision for ourselves at the time.
Not everyone will be pleased or support our decisions. And sometimes we have to make sacrifices or allow things to fall through the cracks. But that’s okay, provided we do so in alignment with what matters to us.
And we need to respect our own choices and protect our priorities by having clear boundaries and non-negotiables we enforce.
The reality vs. the Instagram post
We all know that the reality of someone’s life and what is on public display are usually vastly different. And I’ll be honest, I’m no exception. My Instagram posts have me in (mostly) clean clothes, with my family and life looking happy and orderly. But in reality, this is not always the case.
So when we’re considering if it’s really possible to have it all remember that the picture-perfect idea we have in our head or see on social media, is not how it will look in real life.
The reality will be messier. It will be a constant balancing act and at times, things will go wrong. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have it all, because we can if we’re willing to make it happen.
My golden rule to having it all
Finally, there is one golden rule that I live by when it comes to having it all and that is to be fully present in every moment.
This means I embrace the moment and show up committed to being the best person I can be in that moment. It means when I am with my family, I am being mother and wife. I am not checking my phone and responding to emails or scrolling the ‘Gram.
Similarly, when I am coaching, I am 100% there at that moment with my client, rather than worrying about what’s for dinner in the back of my mind. Doing this requires me to be organised and to be rigid about my timetable and priorities. But it also allows me to be confident knowing I am showing up as the best version of myself in every moment, without ever compromising my values or ideals.
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