Article written by our Community Womanager, Martine Stefanovic
No matter who you are or what you do, inspiration is a powerful tool. When used correctly, it can help you achieve great things in both your personal and professional life. So how can you go about leveraging inspiration in business? Keep reading to find out.
The Power of Inspiration and Your Business:
Some people believe that inspiration is an internal force. While others think it comes from the outside, inspiration is an internal force. Only you can inspire you. However you harness this power for your business will depend on what kind of person you are developing into currently. If you are looking to become more passionate about your business, seek inspiration.
The inspiration could be an action too. Whether it’s thinking, speaking, or listening. Inspiration is a form of energy. Utilize each day to inspire as well as be inspired. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back to seek inspiration. How are you building relationships with positive people?
Inspiration is an important element of any business. You must learn how to stay positive, protect your energy, and much more! Businesses have leveraged the power of inspiration in order to grow their brands with success stories that will inspire their clients and online community. Use the power of conversation to inspire.
There are many ways you can utilize the power of inspiration in your business today.
One way is by inspiring the ideal clients that will invest with you. If you want an investment in your business, learn how to inspire your clients and online community. This means taking the time to understand how your clients think or act. Understand your clients will become brand advocates if you continue to inspire them.
Your business can become a source of inspiration when you are focused. Start to have a deep investment in your passion to develop a purpose in your business. Take an in-depth interest in what it takes to inspire your community. Let inspiration aid in the success that we strive for as entrepreneurs.
Inspire yourself through any adversity. When your clients feel like they matter, they will invest in you. Give your clients and online community a direct call to action toward achieving success. Inspiration starts with getting 1% better each day no matter how challenging things may seem right now.
As an woman in business, it’s important to stay inspired in order to get the results you desire. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources, both within and outside of your industry. By harnessing inspiration for your business, you can create new and innovative products or services that will set you apart from the competition.
The benefits of power of inspiration in business are far and wide. It’s important to start incorporating inspiration into your daily routine today. If you need help getting started, there are plenty of resources available to you in the LBI Backstage Pass. Think about how you can stay inspired today!
I usually toggle between being super inspired and feeling wildly anxious. This could be just my general make up of optimism when it clashes with realism or maaaaaybe it’s just another manic Monday! In either case, after a full week away from technology and ‘work’, I’ve emerged more inspired by….myself. Can I even say that? Is that selfish, ladyboss? YES! I can say that because a) it’s true and b) we are doing things differently here at LBI!!
I do tend to see the world as very malleable, adventurous even in its challenges and I often maneuver easily into creative solutions whilst simultaneously noticing how chaotic our ‘systems’ can be for those of us women in business who really want to see the world change. And lately, I have even inspired myself in being able to maintain this outlook amidst a lot of setbacks.
If you’re in business for yourself, you know success is not a straight line and can feel downright evasive at times. Another call for finding safe spaces that truly feel collaborative, elevate us as natural leaders and leave us feeling inspired to continue doing business differently. ( Have you been Backstage , yet??) And how can we be inspired outwardly if we aren’t totally inspired by ourselves anyways??
Inspiration can be found everywhere…blah blah blah!!
“Take a look outside your window!’ ‘Stop and smell the flowers!!” – they say.
“Look up from your smartphone and be in the now.” – they also say. And sure, yes all these little life hacks can be great, tiny suggestions to experience the grand world around us as inspiration instead of chaotic. AND I’ve very recently discovered that in order to really remain inspired and not allow for anxiety to take control of the unknowns of my day to day in running an online business that is now emerging again into the real world, I have to slow down tremendously.
The old way of doing business was to grind hard,faster, stronger and longer. To essentially burn ourselves out for the ultimate goal of ….what exactly?
If I am to remain inspired in my life; both personally and professionally, then I want to actually enjoy the process of where and how I spend my time. If I am to be actively engaged in making inspired choices, I need to then take stock in how I spend my energy, with whom and for what purpose.
If the last two years on this planet have taught me anything, it’s that I am a powerful resource for this world and it needs me. AND I also must have this daily inspiration surging through me as I build better ways of doing business with women globally. It’s imperative actually and I implore you to make the same inspired choices for yourself in how you show up to work, in your personal life and shoot, even at the grocery store.
What if each of slowed down just 5% so we could care 5% more about something we want to care about instead of what we think we should care about!?
That week away was good for many reasons and quite honestly somewhat unplanned or rather outside of what I thought our schedule was to be. My inspiration meter was running on fumes and I needed a reset. PERIOD. And here I am reporting back with inspo for myself, our collective platform that supports more badass women to show up in their business authentically so that we can change the world and for the crazy, chaotic world we are living in.
If I don’t tend to my inspiration like a freshly sprouted plant or like one that has outgrown it’s original container, then what kind of garden am I growing? Am I living within?
For the record, in the past I had made some time to stop and smell the flowers but often I am doing that whilst simultaneously replying to a message on Slack, sharing production notes, reviewing a run of show for a huge online event we are hosting or other sort of ‘multi tasking’ hack!! But that’s not being honest to inspiration or fully open to those subtle miracles that happen every minute we are busy grinding. That’s performance inspiration that makes us think we are slowing down but aren’t truly engaging in the stunning world around us.
I am absolutely a work in progress and this bit of slowing down, so that inspiration can find me, is relatively new for me. I’d come from the patriarchy camp of the busier you are, the more inspired you can be, could be, even should be! But now I am actually beginning to see the joys of slow living.
I can still do business with purpose and even swiftly, at times, but I now much prefer the occasion to enjoy my precious time on earth and hopefully serve as inspiration to others as we collaborate, elevate and inspire each other as frequently as possible.
How often are you slowing down to let inspiration find you? Sound off in the comments!
As a woman in business, you likely face unique challenges and hurdles that your male counterparts don’t. It can be tough to maintain your confidence and stay motivated when the going gets tough. That’s why it’s important to find inspiration in others, whether it comes from other successful women entrepreneurs or motivational quotes.
Leadership quotes to inspire women in business from women who lead:
“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” – Lisa Cash Hanson
“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.” – Padmasree Warrior
“Leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.” – Jacinda Ardern
“Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.” – Dianne Feinstein
“Leadership is turning problems into opportunities. It’s showing up for yourself and your people every day. Choosing to pursue your passion and using your talents to enhance other people’s overall experience.” – Jess Parker
“Part of leadership is knowing when to go ahead with a decision that’s within your authority because you’re really convinced it’s the right thing, even if other people don’t understand it at that point.” – Dr. Ingrid Mattson
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter
“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.” – Joanne Ciulla
“Leadership is hard to define, and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” – Indra Nooyi
“To me Leadership is a position of honor and stands as a source of influence, whose ripple effect has the potential to go far and wide. Leadership is a game of dominoes and you must take sustained responsibility for your actions, behaviors, guidance, counsel and stewardship.” – Crystal Rae
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg
“A good leader is able to paint a picture of a vision for the future and then enlist others to go on the journey with her. A truly conscious leader recognizes that it is not about her, but that the team is looking to her for inspiration and direction. Keeping her ego in check is essential.” – Tamra Ryan
“For me, leadership is making a difference. It’s using your agency to bring about change.” -Melanie Verveer
“Leadership is about the team – the culture they keep and embrace, it’s about empathy for your customers, clients, employees and the communities where you do business, it’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons, being confident enough to take risks and responsible enough to think of those who your decisions and risks may affect.” – Kat Cole
“Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it” – Marian Anderson
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton
“The fastest surging woman leadership position is heading non-profit organizations. Women are not rejecting leadership positions — they’re rejecting politics.” – Celinda Lake
“Women in leadership roles can help restore balance and wholeness to our communities.” – Wilma Mankiller
“Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” – Indra Nooyi
“Women are leaders everywhere you go, from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to breakdown walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nanci Pelosi
“One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company. I think of myself as a steward of a great institution.” – Ginni Rometty
“Leadership is influence. It’s not about being in charge, it’s about having an impact.” – Jennie Mustafa-Julock
“You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power, and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you see in the organization.” – Anita Roddick
We hope the words of these strong, dedicated, and impactful women will motivate you to step into your power among the ranks of women who lead in this world!
As a women in business, being a leader isn’t something that we can take off and on like a coat. Stepping into leadership requires skills and the ability to operate from a position of service to our community, and is something we do on and off duty. But what makes someone a great leader?
When it comes to leadership, the greats succeed because their skills are engrained in everything they do – from the way they act in public, to the way they act behind closed doors. Women leaders are especially adept at this, as they often have to straddle both worlds – the public and the private – in order to be successful. In leadership roles, it’s essential to be able to adjust your style and strategy depending on the situation. Whether you’re dealing with a difficult employee or trying to close a big deal, the best leaders know how to adapt on the fly and always put their best foot forward.
This isn’t always easy, but it’s what separates the good from the great. When it comes to leadership, great leaders are those who have mastered the following skills:
Treating People with Respect
Authenticity and Self-Awareness
These are just a few of the skills that make leaders great. But there’s one more important skill that all great leaders share, and that’s the ability to lead by example.
Leadership is about more than just having a title or official position. It’s about setting the standard for your community and serving as a role model for others. Women have always been natural leaders, but they haven’t always had the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills. That’s beginning to change, as more women are stepping into leadership roles in all sorts of industries. We are running for office, starting businesses, and making our voices heard. We are proving that leadership is not about gender, it is about character.
As women leaders, we have a responsibility to lead by example. We must be strong, confident and capable, but also compassionate and empathetic. We must be able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. Only then can we truly serve our community and make a positive impact. When we lead by example, we create and foster an environment where everyone can thrive.
Ready to step into your birthright as a woman who leads? Anyone can become a leader in their community, regardless of their background or experience. All it takes is a little effort and a willingness to step up and take on responsibility.
One way to build leadership skills is to get involved in community organizations (like the LBI Backstage Pass community!) and participate in group activities. This can help you learn how to work with other people and resolve conflicts. Another way to develop leadership skills is to attend workshops and seminars on the subject. There are many resources available online and in libraries. Finally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and offer your services as a leader. Whether it’s organizing a neighborhood cleanup or starting a petition, every act of leadership makes a difference.
What are some of the leadership skills you have? What makes you a great leader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
In today’s world every business needs branding on social media. Below you will find 3 best practices applied to the publication and management of branding your content on social networks to maintain a professional and reliable account.
If you’ve been struggling with how to “market yourself,” social media is the place to start.
Social networks are a powerful tool to establish a business identity, build your image and stand out in your industry. Brands on social networks are becoming increasingly important due to the multiple benefits they bring to business and professional goals.
But you can’t build your brand in a day. It requires continuous effort and the right mix of tactics. Here are 3 helpful tips to help you understand how to promote your brand on social media.
Define objectives and KPIs
Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? It’s all about the story you want to tell about your brand.
You have to set a goal for your brand. Do you want to start a new business, differentiate your brand from existing competition, make more profit through higher sales? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can shape how you plan to promote your brand on social media platforms accordingly.
For example, let’s say you want people to recognize your professional skills and the services you offer as a woman in business. In this case, you can focus on highlighting the areas of your work that you master.
Once the objectives have been defined, it is important to resort to the KPIs (key performance indicators). These will help you measure the efficiency with which you are meeting your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to increase your business profits, the KPI would be the number of sales made through social media ads.
Define your areas of expertise:
The next big step of your brand for social networks is to define your specialties. This will help you define your brand.
Whether it’s your personal or business brand, you need to show what it stands for and how people should recognize it.
Include your niche, services and skills in all of your social media profile descriptions. They will serve as keywords that will help your brand appear in relevant search results when people search for such information.
Include keywords from your industry, and your specialization. Try to focus on the areas in which you have the greatest experience, that you master most easily and almost perfectly.
Develop a brand statement:
A brand statement helps a business to position itself within its market. But it’s not just for businesses.
There are many established personalities that have their own personal brand statement.
When you are promoting yourself on social networks, you want the audience to know you so that you feel better connected. When someone feels connected to a brand or personality, they are more likely to trust them. A brand statement is the key to connect with your audience in a way that briefly, but clearly, defines you as a brand.
You should highlight your area of expertise, the values you stand for, the mission you want to achieve, and the vision you embody.
THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
Now the question is: should your brand statement be a statement of you and your capabilities only? Not necessarily. A brand statement works best when it represents the interests of the people you are trying to reach. It should help you connect with your target audience.
Got any more tips for managing your branding on social media? We would love to read about it in the comments section!
Have you ever struggled with how to love your body when you just hate her (If the word hate bothers you, or doesn’t feel right, how about dislike)?
Maybe it’s an everyday battle with food, your appearance, the voices in and out of your head and how you feel during sexy times. Or perhaps you have the occasional bad day where you don’t like what you see in the mirror reflecting back at you.
Either way, being at war with your body is not healthy and it’s exhausting as fuck. We live in a society obsessed with the shape and weight of our bodies. In a society where companies and our whole culture tell us what to hate about ourselves, and then picks on them until we become insecure about them. Please tell me I am not the only one who sees how fucked up this is.
Learning to fully love and accept your body isn’t linear and it takes time. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes. Trust me, I know, there simply aren’t any short cuts. But there are some small, powerful steps you can take each day to begin loving (does “loving” feel too strong, how about liking) your body instead of hating her and feeling hopeless about this damaged relationship.
Here’s the beginning steps to start loving your body:
That’s right. You gotta get super real and admit that the relationship you have with your body SUCKS or at the very least isn’t what you want it to be (yet).
It’s okay that you’re struggling to love your body right now. Plenty of us are.
You know why?
Because we live in a society that constantly teaches us to hate our bodies. And if you manage to grow up unscathed, you’re one of the few, not the many.
But what’s important is you’re aware of your current relationship with your body, and you’re acknowledging that you want to make some changes. Because this is the first step to change.
So be accepting of your negative relationship with your body. And acknowledge that you want to create a friendship with your body. Tell yourself this, and mean it.
2. Asking the Right Questions.
Why do I want to look different than I do right now?
Have you ever really thought about this? It is a skipped over question, because it doesn’t even cross your mind. So there’s no better time than now to think about why you want to look different.
Why do you want your body to be a different shape or size?
More times than not, your reasons are deeply rooted in external love and acceptance. You believe that a more “attractive” body (whatever that means, because really we don’t know and it’s always changing) will get other people to like you, or respect you, value you, love you, have sex with you etc.
This is the biggest body lie out there. Changing the way you look does not equal happiness. Sure, it might be a factor in helping you feel good about yourself, but it’s definitely not the sole answer. As someone who has weighed well over 200 LBS and under 100LBS in my adult life I would know, I was never happier at any of these weights even if I “thought momentarily” my body looked better.
Don’t believe me? You only have to look at people who have had cosmetic surgery, or naturally thin models, who are still battling with addictions, eating disorders and hate for their bodies.
For you to really learn to love your body, you have to let go of the belief that your “dream body” (whatever that even really is) will fix all your problems. Because if you don’t address why you don’t feel good about yourself today, you’ll carry those feelings with you until you confront them, and process with them.
As cliche as it sounds, true love, true joy, and true pleasure come from within you, babe.
3. Stopping the Judgment
Do you spend your day walking around or scrolling on your phone and criticizing the way other people look? Or maybe wishing your body could look like “hers”?
When you do this, you reinforce the idea that your body equates to your worth and value as a human being. And news flash, your body size (big or small) has NOTHING to do with your worthiness or value. In case you didn’t get that I’m going to state it again in a different way. The way you look holds absolutely NO value as a human in this world.
On top of that, you keep yourself trapped in a negative, low-vibration state. And this will affect your mood and mental health, which you’ll then bring with you into everything you do the rest of the day.
Deep down, I know that you know, you deserve to be loved and accepted for who you are right now RIGHT THE FUCK NOW! So release your judgment, because it’s not serving you or your body.
4. Less Focus on Weight
We are so obsessed with our weight, we try to determine our health and value based on the number of the scale. You cannot demonize your body, while simultaneously worshiping it above all else.
Ever find yourself in toxic habits that you are unaware of, or unable to break free from. As a society we are so detached from our bodies, that we don’t hear them speaking to us; telling us what they want and need. Even when we do, we don’t trust them.
But we can’t stop punishing ourselves until we stop believing we deserve to be punished. And to do that, you have to stop scrutinizing, what you eat, how you experience pleasure, what the scale says, and the number on the back of your jeans.
What would happen if you made a shift, and started focusing all that energy you use on food, and your weight and directing it toward compassion and radical body love?
This is the KEY to breaking the vicious cycle, and freeing yourself from your own obsession with weight. When you do that, you will naturally start making choices that make you feel amazing and set your soul on fire.
Yup. Masturbation is essential to feeling joy, pleasure and connecting to your wonderland of a body! Caressing and playing with your most intimate, sensitive parts, is a wonderful way to reconnect with your body, and associate it with pleasure.
You’ll get to know your body on a deeper level, understand that you are worthy of pleasure, and feel good. Plus, orgasms fill you with intoxicating chemicals that leave you on a type high. And you’ll have your body to thank for that.
I encourage you to make it like a ritual for yourself. Have a bath, light some candles, slip into something that makes you feel sexy, and just have fun exploring your body.
These 5 things are just the start. I highly recommend getting some support, (not only as a professional) but also as a woman who has tried to do this work by herself for years. It’s nearly impossible to see your blind spots. You have the power. You’ve always had the power. So take it back today you gloriously magnificent creature!
Things didn’t work out the way you planned. You failed once again at that thing that you are supposed to be amazing at.
Begging your pardon, but I must ask.
What was it?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what it was because failure is like breathing.
The real question is….
Now that you failed, how do you move forward?
To move past failure, you need to understand that everyone is going to fail at some point, what to do when it happens to you and how to turn failures into opportunities.
Here are 5 takeaways from failing that everyone needs to know.
Everyone fails at some point.
Everyone is going to fail.
Sometimes you feel like you failed when you miss a deadline or get overlooked for that promotion. Sometimes you feel like a failure because you were not as successful as you would like to be or because you currently have no clients.
Hey, it’s ok. Run your own race.
The first thing that you must remember is that FAIL simply means First. Attempt. In. Learning.
Too many people see failure as a destination; That failure is permanent, that once you failed, that’s it, you’re done.
Failure, my friends, is only permanent when YOU decide that you’re done.
Repeat after me: You are not a failure. You are amazing! You’re just experiencing a bump in the road of life. Ultimately, whether you succeed or fail will be dictated by how you deal with this situation.
You know that voice in your head that isn’t your conscious?
The mean girl (or guy) voice that whispers the mean words that you would never say to another human being out loud?
You have to be careful with this voice, because it is a wily one. Like it or not, that voice is always going to be there.
You can listen to it (I don’t recommend this!) or you can choose to turn down the volume on that voice and turn up the volume on your gratitude for all the things you do have and have done.
That voice is quietest when you decide that you must move forward and when you become ok with taking messy action (more on this soon!) In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Use mistakes as learning tools. Guard your mind and remember that it is ok to take a breath and tell yourself how amazing you are. Mistakes happen. As long as you take the time to learn the lessons that come with them, then all is well.
Keep Moving Forward
A favorite Disney movie in our house is “Meet the Robinsons.” One of my favorite quotes is from that movie. In it, young Louis’s fear of failure keeps him from achieving his potential until he meets Wilber. Wilber’s family teaches Louis that despite the pitfalls of life, one must always keep moving forward. Young Lewis is petrified because another of his inventions failed to work and he is devastated. The family begins to cheer his amazing failure, much to Lewis’s shock. In that moment, Lewis is told “From failures you learn, from success…. Not so much.”
In life, you have two choices. You can cry “Woe is me” and give up and let life happen to you or you can keep moving forward. Choose to keep moving forward. Choose to fail faster. You and your dreams are worth it.
Take Messy Action
This one is hard. Once you have failed, the hardest thing to do is to move forward. So how do you do it? You take action. Action doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, most often it will not be perfect. Don’t wait for perfection my friend, it will never come. Decide instead to do something. It may be ugly, and it will be messy, but oftentimes those lessons learned through messy action are some of the best ones.
Move the Needle
One of the best ways to move past failure is to do a ‘Start, Stop, Continue’. At the end of a project or even just periodically, you should schedule this type of review. Basically, you list one or two things you should start doing, one or two behaviors that you should stop and one or two things that you should continue doing.
Moving past an occasion of failure requires action, and not just any action. Moving forward requires a quick evaluation of actions that you can do that will move the needle of the compass of your life or business in a positive direction. This can be tricky but by reviewing your current systems and behaviors, you can positively impact your life as you move forward past the failed attempt.
Failures are Opportunities
Get comfortable with your relationship with failure. Failures are opportunities for growth. Thomas Edison, who invented the lightbulb, was once asked how it felt to fail a thousand times. Let his reply stick with you. “I didn’t fail. I found a thousand ways not to invent a lightbulb.”
Always ask yourself, “What did I learn?”, “How can I make this better next time?”, and “What went right that I can use again as I move forward in this crazy thing called life?”
As you grow and learn, you will find that the most growth will happen at your line of discomfort, where the ground feels unstable.
Most likely, it will happen through trial and error and there will be failures along the way. Failure is an amazing teacher and the lessons that come through failure are a bit harder to forget.
You’ve got this!
You have always had it!
So take a breath and go get your message out into the world!
One day in 2013 I was contacted by a social worker. I got the news that they had a child that needed care. I cannot put into words how I felt when I saw him. I instantly knew that he needed as much support as he could get. We sat in the room getting to know each other. During the visit, I noticed outbursts over small things, such as a sucker that he wasn’t allowed to have. He reacted with big feelings.
At the end of the visit, I was talking to the case worker and asked if this behavior was normal and asked why it was happening. She said his current foster parents had reported this behavior and that he had attachment issues. I wasn’t sure how to feel. After I got home, I kept thinking about the behavior I saw, and also about how he looked.
On our way home, I realized he needed us more than we could’ve ever known. He didn’t seem to have joy, curiosity, or a desire to connect with me. I thought maybe this was because we were strangers. He was filled with so much rage and unhappiness that it was heartbreaking. Everything we did was a struggle and caused behavioral outbursts such as hitting his head, headbutting, yelling and crying.
Finally, I figured out that if I held him facing away from me on the sofa while rocking and repeating “you are safe, it’s okay to go to sleep”, that he would eventually fall asleep. It was a long process of teaching and showing him that he was safe. It took a while, but one day we were watching a kid’s show on television, and it played the theme song and I was dancing with him. He started to smile, and even gave a little dance. It felt like we connected.
I threw myself into creating tools, reading books, and listening to podcasts in order to help this sweet little boy. I learned how to reprogram his neurological system and taught him to trust me and feel safe. One of the things I did was create a “cozy area” and modelled for him how to say, “I am MAD”, and showed him how to clench his fists and stomp his feet. To help with his communication, I took pictures of household objects, cut them out, and laminated them to teach him how to tell me what he needed. He showed us the picture or pointed to what he wanted or needed. When he pointed, we said the word that went with the picture.
He caught on fast and started to look for the picture himself and eventually began saying the word too. It was an amazing day when we no longer needed the envelopes. The main goal was to be scheduled so he knew what to expect and to eliminate the struggle. One helpful tool was using a morning chart that had pictures of everything that he needed to do each morning. They were laminated and had Velcro on the back. I made it fun for him to move them after doing each step. I also did the same with our nighttime schedule.
Even though we were making progress, I felt like a zombie, or like those memes you see online, a “mombie”. I was exhausted, my body hurt, and I was always trying to stay one step ahead of his rage. Finally, I had a meeting with the case worker and the therapist. They shared their concerns because they saw how exhausted and burned out I was getting. They got him into a daycare where he could be socialized with other kids and I was able to get some much needed rest and time to practice self-care. This is where I realized I was just surviving the day not fully enjoying it.
Time went on and soon it was time for him to start kindergarten. We were so blessed with his teacher, he made some great friends, and he had pretty much stopped hitting his head, but he began hitting and throwing things in class. In the classroom he had a safe place to go when he got upset, and it seemed to work almost all the time. As we got closer to the end of the year, he started to act out by running to the downstairs of the school, and one day he got mad and threw a pair of scissors. We made the tough decision to put him in a specialized program where they could better support him.
It’s amazing to see how far my little boy has come. He is 100% ours now, as we adopted him.
Unfortunately, once he was officially adopted, we lost our team. We were incredibly blessed to have case workers and therapists that reassured me that I was making the right choices. All of that was gone. The last thing the therapist said to me was, “You know exactly what you are doing. This all comes naturally to you”. She told me that she had all the faith in the world in me and my abilities.
I learned that it takes a village to raise a child, and so I’ve made it my mission to help overwhelmed moms let go of the struggle and find ease with my high-level support, strategies, and powerful tools to help them become the kind of mom they truly want to be.
If you are struggling, it’s okay to reach out for help.
My name is Michelle Den Boer. This experience is why I became the Mom to Moms. If you’re interested in finding out how tools can help reduce the power struggle at your house here is a free ebook, Empower Your Kids to Make the Right Choices. You can connect with me on Instagram, I have created a facebook group that is a safe space to connect with other moms.
When people would ask me this question I would smile and nod, feeling proud that it appeared I was achieving the impossible. But what I really wanted to say was, “Oh no. I’m not doing it all. There’s actually a massive tornado behind me.”
My tired, tear-filled eyes were constantly thinking, planning, organizing, managing – not only for the company I helped run, but in my home and for my four children. This had nothing to do with my partner’s support, the demands of my job or the laundry list of mothering tasks. It was the core belief that to find success and happiness I had to constantly do more, and do it perfectly. At the time I wore my “doing it all” status as a badge of honor and used the external validation as a reason to press on.
Can we do it all? Yes, we can. I fully believe that a woman can conquer and achieve anything. But the women who do so while maintaining their joy and happiness, have a massive tribe standing next to them. In the 80s and 90s more and more mothers went to work fulltime out of the home. But they didn’t necessarily take on less in the home. They continued the housework, took care of the children, bought the groceries, and took care of the marriage.
That is five full-time jobs. As the children of this generation, we are stuck somewhere in the middle. We value the importance of caring for our families and raising good humans. Yet our need to grow professionally, bring in an income, and define ourselves outside of motherhood is equally important. No matter the path, most mothers feel an internal battle that we are not enough. We are not home enough; we are not away enough.
Our society has created a culture of women who base our success on the external endorsement of our work. Whether it be our homes, our bodies, the businesses we choose or the way we raise our children. We take that information and judge ourselves to the highest expectations. No wonder we never feel as though we’re enough. In the meantime, we forget how to listen to our own voice. The gut feelings and the signs we need to steer us are masked with external ideas of what our lives SHOULD look like.
In one of Brene Brown’s TED talks she said: “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you walk on the outside and hustle for your worthiness.” You can listen to entire conversation here. But without owning our life and listening to our voice, we continuously find ourselves needing to do it all in order to achieve the idea of perfection. This way, we will forever hustle for our worthiness. Instead, what we need to realize is that our worthiness has been inside of us all along.
When we see a woman “doing it all” it shouldn’t be deemed as a feather in her sunhat, but a symbol of a white flag of defeat. Please don’t ask me how I do it all or how I balance my work and my home. Instead, we should be asking each other if our souls feel alive in the work we do.
“Do you have the support you need to reach your goals and conquer the world?”
“If you do, amazing. Let’s celebrate that. If not, I have a couple resources for you.”
Let’s normalize that conversation. Our world needs more women prioritizing their joy, asking for help, and managing out what they can. And once they figure that out, it would be great if they could share how they did it. #theresroomforeveryone
3 Actionable Ways to Stop Doing It All:
Meditate. I was terrible at meditating and found that the conventional, structured ways didn’t work for me. So instead, I meditate once a day by sitting down, closing my eyes and asking my wise self what she needs from me. And then I listen. I receive the signs I need to move about my day because I ask for them.
Break down your To Do list. A good friend of mine saw my to do list once and was appalled. Between the house, the kids, my business, the vacation, my lists were long and unruly. So, she instructed me to separate my list into four quadrants. Label them Home, Family, Business, Me. When you are completing the tasks, try and rotate from one quadrant to another. For me, it brings a feeling of fulfillment and balance. Plus, it’s much prettier.
Dance in the rain. My kids always wonder why I like the rain so much. It’s pretty simple. To me, the rain symbolizes stillness. A rebirth and often times a reevaluation of my priorities for the day. But I never miss the opportunity to stand out in the rain and dance. It washes away worry and reminds me of how small we all are. It stops me from doing it all.
For us to redefine the need to do it all in our society, we must begin with how we view it in our own lives. Slowing down and assessing what brings our souls joy allows us to make better decisions. We can more accurately choose what things to commit to and which to say “no” to. We can acknowledge the need for help before we burnout. We respect the women in our lives who do this for themselves and continuously support their decisions.
Then we have the power to redefine what “doing it all” looks like.
Hi. I’m Rachael; a mother of four young boys and the creator of The Awakening Motherhood Project. I share simple, actionable ways to find joy and confidence in the chaos of our lives- recipes, tips, and ways to conquer the hard stuff in motherhood. Our behaviors and relationships with ourselves, our food and our communities mold the way our children view the world. It is not meant to be daunting, or another pressure added to our plates. It is a powerful privilege to create the future. We can do that together.