High pressures situations are a common element of our lives today. Work related, home related, kid related, studies related. As a woman, it only manifolds. At home, in the office, as a parent, as a wife, as a daughter, daughter-in-law and the list goes on.
If you dig deep, you will observe that the root cause of all these pressures is the same –FEAR. Fear of performance, fear of failure, fear of being rejected, fear of not fulfilling other people’s expectations. All these fears get mixed up in our minds causing us to be unhappy with what we have.
Many of us women, at some point in our lives, have been scared to attempt something or not doing something just to avoid being accused. The all too familiar phrases – ‘You are at home all day, what do you do?‘, ‘You don’t know how it works?‘, ‘She leaves on time, we are left to do all the hard work.‘, so on and so forth.
Some of us are strong enough not to let it bother us, but some of us do find it upsetting.
Nevertheless, all of us face inequality at some point in our lives due to such sentiments.
While the at-home women feel an obligation to constantly prove their house skills to match up with those who work, the working ones feel constant pressure to not only prove themselves at work, so that people do not say they belong at home, but also perform at home so that they justify their going to work.
Sounds all too familiar, eh?
So, what should you do?
Well, clear out the clutter and get empowered. Empowerment doesn’t mean you should be able to get away with no contribution, but it means not having the constant pressure to prove the worth of your existence.
According to me, true empowerment does not come with privileges, but with treating women as equals, as human beings. Be it in successes or in failures. From a working woman perspective, it does not only mean getting an opportunity to work or to get promoted, but it also takes into account how you are treated while in that position and how you are perceived if you make a mistake in that position.
Recently, I read a case about a woman leader against whom a probe was initiated. However, problem arose when people started questioning her right to sit in that chair in the first place, and then went on to discuss what she wore at various events!
So what happens when you make a mistake? Do people question your judgment, or do they start questioning your right to the chair itself? Whatever it is, if we let it bother us, we will not be able to have the confidence in ourselves.
Every woman is expected to play an important role in the society – to be a nurturer. Nurturing her family, her children, her spouse, her parents, her in-laws, and so on.
However, the nurturer also needs some nurturing!
So what are you doing to nurture your own self? Have you done enough today to ensure your soul gets the desired rest, nourishment and healing to take on, if not the world, your entire set of responsibilities?
Here are a few recommendations that one can learn from the women around us and enable ourselves to juggle our multifarious roles:
1. Set your priorities. Decide what is more important for you and chalk out your activities for the day accordingly. Once you have taken care of the most important things for you, it will be easier to focus on the rest of your activities.
2. Often, we tend to make the mistake of being preoccupied with what we left behind instead of what we are doing at the moment. At work, we are thinking of home, and at home, we worry about work. Though at times it becomes necessary, set loose compartments for yourself to deal with current issues.
3. Take out some time for yourself every day to think, introspect or simply lazing around. Maybe a walk, some bedtime reading or just plain watching television of your own interest.
4. Treat yourself to a nice spa. If that does not fit into your schedule, simply call for massage service at home. There is no other rejuvenation like a relaxing massage.
5. Meditate and counsel yourself to not worry about other’s opinions of you. Run your life to ensure that your own expectations are met.
6. Most importantly, keep in touch with your friends. Even if it is not possible to meet up with friends often because of busy schedules, take time out for a quick phone call for some light conversations.
7. Love yourself and take care of yourself. After all, good health can boost your confidence and increase your sense of well being.
What we need to focus on is fulfilling our own expectations and be gentle with ourselves in the process.
Nurture yourself first!