Power Women Don't Do It AllJul 06, 2022
Power Women DON’T Do It All. By: Sarah Grace
Welcome to the world where power women do not do it all - and before you scoff and say, “yeah right,” just think for a moment about all your tasks in your life. How much of what you do is actually for you? When you think of your priority or to-do list, are you on it? If not, why not? Just like every car needs regular oil changes, clothes need washing, and groceries need shopping, YOU need time to recharge your battery for optimal performance and functioning.
What makes a power woman anyway? In my book, a power woman exudes confidence, knows when to stop saying yes, and pours into her own cup just as much (or even more) as she pours into the cups of others.
Power women often operate under the notion that they have to do it all, for everyone, all at the same time. And I am here to say no, that is not true. Power women set the example for boundaries, self care, self advocacy, and protecting themselves and their passions from burnout. True leaders know their strengths, build their areas of growth, and take care of themselves.
How to Set Boundaries as a Power Woman
As a woman, it is often hard to live each and every day without feeling like eyes are on us at all times, judging us and leading us to second guessing ourselves constantly. Even when we feel like we have built enough confidence to take the world by storm, we also often feel that someone or something is waiting to tear us down - and the hard truth, we often let it happen. But why? Societal expectations and competition with others - that’s why. No matter what we look like, how we present, how we lead, how we interact with others or what “labels” we fall into, it is 100% possible to lead by example and be a true power woman at the same time.
Navigating + Validating Barriers
First things first - let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. It is incredibly easy to point to stereotypical barriers for why the world is the way it is - sexism, genetics, “pretty privilege,” financial inequities, the ideas of what women should be and do, the list goes on. And those are valid no matter when or how you may have experienced them. But, have you ever stopped to process times when you point to other women as your own personal downfall or enemy? I have often found myself blaming other women for things when in reality it was my own inner demons projecting onto them unfairly. To move on and grow is to recognize times when competition between women was uncalled for, and then set the intention to not let it happen again. Give yourself grace where you may actually be the villain in your own story and then work to be better. That is what strong leaders who empower others do - you create impact when YOU are your authentic self, human in true form, and create space for others to be the same.
Creating Purpose + Empowerment
What is your legacy and what do you want to be remembered for? Oftentimes, we claim our purpose by the paths that have been set up for us. Being wonderful mothers or corporate ladder climbers is amazing, they just don’t have to be the only things you are known for. Take a second to reflect on how you want to be defined.
Leading by example means empowering yourself to live each day the way you want and need for your own personal success. Remember, you are living out your own story, and while there will be many other side characters and chapters as part of it, it is still your story.
The best thing you can do for yourself as a leader is to turn off the fear, anxiety, judgment of yourself and others, and just live. Easier said than done for sure, but free yourself from the notions of what you THINK you need to be and just be who you WANT to be. Go into situations KNOWING you will get pushback, and do it anyway, unafraid of the consequences. A power woman does not ask others to do what they would not do themselves, does not take no for an answer, and absolutely does not compromise who they are for any reason.
Self Advocacy + Care
If you do not stick up for yourself, who will? Break down expectations others and yourself put on you to be a powerful woman and leader. How are you, as a power woman, taking care of yourself? That process will and should look different for everyone; we all have various interests, passions, and personal needs. Mental self-care has become this weaponized facet that if you just take a spa day, all your life problems will go away. Some of us do not even have the privilege to afford a spa day or a mental health day from work, and I want to acknowledge that. Mental self-care, rather, is the small things we do for ourselves everyday that become habitual and normal, and help us to lead by example.
Self-care is within your power, the first step is to build time for it: can you block time into your schedule to go for a walk, put your phone down, call a loved one, read your favorite book, literally anything for you that brings you joy or peace? Try adding one or two timeblocks for you this week and see if that makes a difference. The smaller you start, the easier it is to achieve! The best part? You get to decide for you what self-care looks like within your life as a power woman.
Saying “No” + Setting Healthy Boundaries
Saying no is often one of the hardest things to accomplish, especially as a woman when you are constantly expected to say yes and always be agreeable to others. Honestly, learning to say no is a great way to practice self-care. Give yourself permission to say no at any and all times you feel it is warranted - trust your gut too! The first few times may be difficult, but then it becomes as normal as saying yes.
Learning to say no can help you create healthy, emotional boundaries for yourself in which you are not only protecting your time and personal wellbeing, but those of the people who rely on you, too. If there is one takeaway that resides with you today, let it be that you are only able to give what you have. If your battery is constantly depleted, and you only plug it in for short charges, you won’t last very long now, will you? Take breaks to get a full charge, and don’t wait until your battery needs to be plugged back in to actually do so. Show the people you love and the things that matter most to you in your life that you value them by truly valuing yourself.
Your “purpose” will come a lot more naturally to you when you provide the space necessary within your own life to explore all things you like and are interested in.
How to be your own power woman
Take a break. Literally - cancel your plans and do something different. Or, don’t do anything at all!
Make changes when something you have to do brings you dread or looms over you like a chore.
Be at peace with the notion that you cannot do it all, and, honestly, why should you?
Assess when your passions are no longer what they used to be and determine if your passions are competing for your attention.
Give yourself permission to stop, to be, to exist, to try something new, to do something different, to break or build routine.
While it may be easier said than done, there is always a starting line and you have the power each and every day to cross it.