Normal wasn’t working well for women before the pandemic.
What is passing for normal in this (almost) post-pandemic world isn’t either. Yes, we have more acceptance of flexible work, which is great if it works for you: this isn’t the case for everyone. Work from home, and the consequent blurring of the lines between work and personal life has merely added to the mental over-load for many.
Women tell me they feel increased fatigue, a heightened sense of inner-conflict, and a decreased sense of confidence both in themselves and how to proceed from here. They also report an overwhelming need to re-evaluate and reset the direction of their lives.
These are big questions, where can you start?
My suggestion is to start with understanding why.
Why do so many women report they lack self-confidence?
Despite the apparent progress we’ve made in some areas, our collective sense of self-worth has gone backwards since the 1990’s. In my experience this phenomenon has worsened since the onset of the pandemic which has had a disproportionately negative impact on women.
Our gender isn’t born with a genetic flaw that predisposes us to low self-esteem so what is going in?
Women are torn between two worlds.
The world of our grandmothers and great grandmothers, and the world of work and business which is the world of our grandfathers and great grandfathers. The result is you’re likely judging yourself against two competing standards.
The effect of doing so is exhausting and it’s damaging to your sense of self and your feeling of self-confidence.
Because how you define success is how you judge your self-worth.
It’s been 5 years since I first presented these words to an audience of women. They represent the heart of why I started the self-funded venture that is Clarity Simplicity Success: which takes its name from the steps in my self-coaching process.
Over that time, I’ve seen how placing their values at the core of how the define success has helped women effect positive change in how they pursue their life and career ambitions. Whilst this is something that sounds simple, it’s not necessarily easy.
99% of women have found it challenging to honestly articulate their values and priorities to themselves.
With negative self-judgement being the main barrier to this honesty. Several have confided in me that they feel guilty, selfish, or ashamed of what they really want to write. One woman confessed to being too afraid to write her answers lest members of her family read them.
It’s not only women who feel this way.
Men are increasingly reporting feeling conflicted between their work and personal priorities. The post-pandemic values shift in our society that has been labelled Great Resignation is a sign of this. We’ve had a collective wake-up call. What we value is different and our values are taking a more prominent role our priorities.
Imagine if we all reconnected with our values and consciously applied them to what we do and how we do it? Imagine if the organisational value statements which adorn the walls of organisations and the policies of governments were truly lived?
Your definition of success may very well include wealth and status, mine did for a time. Neither of these things are bad per se. However, if we pursue them in a way that means we abandon our values, we risk feeling dissatisfied and de-energised despite our outward success.
Values are more than words we choose from a list. The words are merely labels which help us access our sense of meaning, what it means to be ‘me’ in a way that’s nourishing for your wellbeing and beneficial for your community.
If you’re feeling the effects of the current values shift and are unsure what to do next, honestly re-examine your values, describe for yourself why they are important to you, and how they are expressed. Then, use them as the compass to decide your next step.
The values exercise from my self-coaching journal is free to download from my website. Whilst the design is feminine, the content applies to any person. For whilst we’re infinitely different, we’re all equally human.
To you being you.
Be Successful, Be Yourself
Hi, I’m Jacqui Alder. I’m here because I’m over women being told what and how they should be.
You don’t need to be fixed, there’s nothing wrong with you.
I learned this the hard way and now I know better. I now know that the path to making it easier to stay true to yourself begins and ends with you. This is why I’ve created the beautiful books you’ll find here.
Each book is designed to help you hear yourself so you can put your energy into living a life guided by your values rather than worrying whether you’re doing the right thing by everyone else.
If you want to meet me in person or virtually, feel free to contact me. I also invite you to take a look my latest book, Being You, download the guided values exercise from my self coaching journal, or take a peek at my slightly cheeky about me page.