It’s real, it’s all consuming and we’re our own worst enemies. Give yourself a break BEFORE you break! #passiton
My name is Amanda OReilly, I am a CEO (Chief Everything Officer) aka mom, and I am also the Founder and President of Balance InStyle — My company’s superpower is giving people back the most precious commodity of all, TIME. I know first hand that balancing parenthood and business can be a challenge and that’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about the company that I have built. I provide solutions to busy people like me who are trying to squeeze 36 hours into 24.
I really feel the responsibility of being a successful CEO and a single mother because I never really get to turn “off”. The ability to provide for my family and my employees rests solely on my shoulders. Maybe you can relate?
I run a business, wear far too many hats during the day, I rush home, make dinner every night, do the grocery shopping, pay the bills, host slumber parties, play chauffeur, doctor, teacher, maid, take the dog to the groomers, vet, do all the laundry, try to stay on top of my house, AND keep up and stay relevant with my 15 year old son who challenges me everyday in every way. Calgone take me away!
I’ve built a business on being highly organized and can manage my time better than most people I know. Maybe it’s because I’m a single mom and I’ve just had to do it all, or maybe it’s because through building Balance InStyle I’ve learned about the art of delegation. As a self-professed overachiever, I’ve come to realize that we don’t have to do everything ourselves ALL the time. Sometimes it’s just a matter of setting our own ego aside and getting over the thinking, “I’m the only person in the world that can do this”.
The Superwoman syndrome is real. Society has conditioned in us to think that we need to juggle many glass balls, at once, without dropping them. We need to be supermom, super-wife, super-boss, super-daughter/sister/friend, super-sexy/fit/ super put together. If we are not all these things all at once, we are failing. It seems this behaviour is more about pleasing others, rather than achieving goals to better ourselves.
Here’s the truth, we are not meant to be Superwomen. Unfortunately, we have found ourselves in a society that encourages women to try to reach this unattainable goal and wear it like a cape of honour. This doesn’t help us as women, if anything, it encourages jealousy, guilt, depression, and conflict.We all have our Kryptonite and the things we fear will make us lose their super-powers.
Mine is delegating tasks to others, as I’m not good at asking for help. This is because it activates the belief that I am somehow failing and not capable if I can’t accomplish everything by myself. Fear of failure was another for me. Sound familiar?
Let’s look at that for a moment — what is failure? Failure is actually one of THE best ways we learn. When people succeed, they celebrate. When they fail, they reflect and ponder. They generally stop and think, and ask questions. What happened here? What could I have done differently? It’s only through self-evaluation that we learn how to make better decisions. So, when you make mistakes, learn from them; use your experience to improve your judgment and make better decisions next time. Mistakes are allowed to be made, but mistakes we’ve already learned aren’t mistakes anymore, they’re choices. I’ve been getting my spiritual butt kicked for months now with my coach — and this is what I’ve learned when you know better, you do better!
If you can relate at all to what I am saying you are probably saying … well what can I do? Sometimes it’s as simple as getting over our own perfectionist streak and realizing that we don’t need to do it all. Only Superwoman can do it all, and she isn’t real. I know right?! Get some support, outsource the mundane aspects of your life that are weighing you down. Things that someone else can easily take off your plate and help you achieve more balance and freedom in your life. This is one of the very important reasons that my company Balance InStyle was born. After a close friend was diagnosed with cancer, I came up short in my search for companies that with one call or click, I could get support across all aspects of life.
Observe and learn from men. Men know there’s only so much they can do at once. If they have a deadline, the grass doesn’t get cut. It’s that simple and they don’t harbour guilt, in fact, I don’t even think they give it a second thought. Um… something to think about the next time you find yourself overwhelmed.
If you think you’re the exception to this rule — which all perfectionists do, consider that perfectionism is so unhealthy that it’s actually a risk factor for depression. This should make delegating and outsourcing come easier. I understand first hand that delegating can be scary, but recognizing that we aren’t superhuman and don’t HAVE to be and it’s okay to ask for help is the first step. There’s a popular African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Now replace the word “child” with “project,” or “company,” and you will see how this analogy can easily be applied. We are more powerful, stronger and effective when we work together and share the load. When we leverage our time instead of trying to do everything on our own, we succeed. It’s not just a theory, it’s our reality.
Listen, we all have our Kryptonite. I’m not preaching something that I don’t know about and am not in recovery for myself as my greatest struggle, my Achilles’ heel, my weakness any day of the week. The one person I’ve ignored more than any other in this lifetime is ME. We are our worst kryptonite. We self-destruct slowly and softly in the name of a person, an idea, a belief, a way of life, a job, a sense of accomplishment or security or worth or whatever makes you stress so much, over so little.
It’s time to let go of the guilt and the excuses and put on your oxygen mask.
Beating burnout requires that you step into your most authentic self, and that involves confronting the limiting beliefs and mindsets that are working against you. Some of the ones I hear most frequently that keep my clients stuck and overwhelmed are:
- I have to be perfect.
- I can do it all, I don’t need help
- Good mother and wives do XYZ ( fill in the blanks ) make homemade meals every night, don’t put their kids in daycare, make every soccer game, is home every night to tuck the kids into bed.
- I have to do this, otherwise, I won’t be recognized as an equal in the office
- I don’t need me time
- No one but me can do this, I have to or else it won’t get done.
Being a woman is hard at times and we have a ton of pressure on us to be everything to everyone. Recovery isn’t easy and recovery doesn’t ever end, but it’s necessary to avoid burning out. You’ll have good days, you’ll have bad days. You’ll take a step forward and then find yourself taking three steps back. But learning the art of delegation, asking for help and setting boundaries is just that an art, and it takes practice and patience to perfect.
So take a break. Take a breath. Take a minute. Take a nap, take a bath, take some time to take care of yourself. The wake-up, clean, work, cook, clean, work, sleep, and REPEAT is a vicious cycle that seems to go on and on leaving some unrecognizable as to who they even are anymore. WHO we WANT to BE has gotten lost in translation somewhere between the DO of life, the errands, the deadlines, the stresses, and life.
OH! and don’t think you can’t still be fabulous without your cape because you can!!