Many women today struggle to find the balance between the expectations stemming from so many roles they have including a working woman, a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, etc. You might find yourself wondering: “Which of them to give priority to and when is the right time to put me first, when is it my turn?“ Additionally, another question arises:” How do I acquire what I need without feeling or appearing selfish? How do I best accommodate what I desire and what others want from me?” Before you enter panic mode, take a deep breath and continue reading. Like anything in life, figuring out the best way for communicating needs is a process that takes time but is worth investing in. Let us take it one step at a time.
What is preventing the change you seek?
The role of a modern woman is often overwhelming. Every so often it is easy to cope with all the responsibilities. However, what happens when it is too much to handle? Who can you rely on and ask for help? Do you feel alone in this struggle or have someone to turn to? Obtaining multiple resources within the family and outside of it makes those difficult times bearable. However, people around us are not always so perceptive to our needs or inclined to help. The question remains – how do I get help and understanding I need?
Before we dive into details of how to get help while enjoying the modern woman role, we need to address the why and why not. As humans, we tend to postpone change when we anticipate any type of negative consequences. Therefore, before diving into modifying behaviour, we need to figure out how to prevent or deal with those potential consequences. Think about it and answer for yourself: “Is there a reason why it would be wiser to put my head down and simply power through? What do you anticipate would happen if you start advocating for your needs?”
Through coaching experience with clients, I have found that often what prevents change is fear of people’s reactions to it. More concretely, fear of seeming selfish and ultimately losing people, resulting in loneliness. Another reason that keeps reappearing is the fear of losing the identity of who you are if you change. Some find hard to ask for help since it jeopardizes their role of a strong, independent, modern woman. Who will I become if I require help often? How will I be perceived and how will I feel if I need to rely on others? Therefore, before making any adjustments we need to address the fears that prevent us from making the first step.
Balance is key
The metaphor of boiling the frog could be useful here – if the frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out. However, if the frog is put in warm water brought to a boil slowly, as there is no sudden change it will remain calm. When you decide to make a change, take it one step at a time and be mindful of people’s reactions. When you are gradually implementing change significant others and yourself have time to adjust to it.
In a way, we can compare this process to the process of implementing change in any company process. Direct coaching for women in business advises us to first look into what is needed and plan accordingly before implementing anything. Think to yourself, who do you turn to for what kind of help? What is it that you are lacking and want to provide for yourself? What kind of reaction can you expect, and what to do about it? What can you give in return to that person? In life, as in business, you need to turn to people that have the most chances of delivering what you want and avoid having only one resource that can do it.
Furthermore, no recipe can be applied to every relationship you maintain. What you ask for, the way you do it and how the person will react differs from relationship to relationship. Be mindful of the reactions and readjust your plan according to the challenges you meet as you go along. In the words of Rob Liano: “If you expect life to be easy, challenges will seem difficult. If you accept that challenges may occur, life will be easier.”
Finally, we need to address the other big inhibitor of change. Very good, you guessed right – it is you. The modern role of a woman offers many rewards – when you are independent, capable, and a high earner you gain affirmation from it. It is not always easy to ask for help if asking for help could jeopardize that role and validation stemming from it. Perhaps you are wondering: “How can I be strong if I demand other’s help? Am I genuinely independent if I am relying on others?” Conceivably a more practical question is “What kind of help can I accept and still remain strong and independent?” Try asking yourself too: “What price will I pay in life if I continue doing it on my own exclusively?”
Nobody fails or succeeds alone
One of the key concepts in Small Business Coaching is that you need others to rely on and work together with towards success. Even entrepreneurs recognize this and rely on other freelancers to build a complete product. Anyone who has achieved something will inform you about the influences and help they got along the way to success. For example, one of the most brilliant minds Albert Einstein relied on other people too. His first mentor Max Talmud introduced Einstein to key texts in math, science, and philosophy and guided him for 6 years. Choosing those resources carefully is as important as obtaining them. Often time we are uncertain what road to take and how to start. Coaching for success is a good first resource to consider on the path of discovering and multiplying other resources.
30 June 2019 Article Submitted byMilica Markovic