Can I encourage you to believe there's nothing wrong with you if you struggle sometimes to make it all work the way you think it should?
Even when things go wrong, there's still nothing wrong with you
This episode was inspired by (too) many conversations over the years with women who’re trying to “fix” themselves, who feel like they’re doing life “wrong” while others have it all figured out. I confess I've felt that way myself and still do sometimes. But what I want to tell these women and myself is:
"There is nothing wrong with you"
The problem: prevalent feelings of inadequacy and failure
Annabelle, a member of the TPW Community Facebook group recently shared an article titled “Mothers are Drowning in Stress
.” In the article, a sociologist is quoted as saying,
“I want American mothers to stop thinking that somehow their conflict is their own fault, and that if they tried a little harder, got a new schedule, woke up a little earlier every morning, using the right planner or the right app, that they could somehow figure out the key to managing their stress. That’s just not the case.”
Though the article is aimed at American women, this epidemic of stress is certainly not limited to only American women. The article talks about how women blame themselves for feeling this way.
We feel we can’t keep up.
We feel frazzled and overwhelmed.
We feel that we don’t accomplish goals.
Other women seem to be doing it all (or at least doing more than I am).
We think, "What's wrong with me that I can't do what she did?" Sometimes we realize we have so much, and yet we feel sad, unfulfilled or anxious, and we feel guilty for those feelings.
These thoughts contribute to feelings of isolation because we feel like we’re the only one struggling with these thoughts. Everyone else seems to have it together in ways we don't.
One manifestation of this is Impostor Syndrome, which we talked about in Episode 63
notes that “over 70% of people report experiencing Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career.” Imposter Syndrome is something lots of people, particularly women, struggle with. Ironically, research indicates that highly-accomplished women are likely to suffer from imposter syndrome.
I've had those feelings too, and I catch myself thinking that way when things aren't as together at home or I feel like I should do a better job of managing it all.
When I feel overwhelmed or feel like I’m not getting things done well, or can’t get myself to do something I want or need to do, I feel like a failure and a fraud. People assume I know something about productivity since I host a podcast on the topic.
What I do know has been learned from years of trying to figure these things out for myself. And yet, I still ask myself what is wrong with me and why I am not doing better.
What I recognize, though, is we all have areas where we do better and areas where we struggle, and that doesn't mean something is wrong with us.
The sources of struggle
These struggles we have come from various sources. Most of them are from personal expectations that were communicated to us in our upbringing from our family of origin, such as things we ought to be doing or things we should be capable of doing,