Let’s face it: we only want to see success.
We like to read articles about how that person managed to become a CEO, how that founder had the great idea and became rich, or watch on Instagram how people manage remain beautiful and healthy.
We only see people under the spotlight, and usually the spotlights show success stories (or big dramas). More difficult is to read about normal folks running their businesses, or see posts about daily struggles and how people manage (or not) to cope with them. Almost impossible to witness someone sharing their imperfections in public or admit they did something wrong and now they are learning from their mistakes.
The other day I was discussing with someone about my current life changing situation. I was telling her how much stress and pressure I’m enduring as an entrepreneur, and how different is from the pressure in my corporate job. I’m in the middle of a big transition, trying to cope with everything at the same time and I’m discovering a new dimension of anxiety. She looked at me like she saw me for the first time. In a very kind way she let me understand that from the outside, not only it looks like I have it all, but also, I’m doing great dealing with all of that. She told me, it would be nice to see more the human part of me.
Her comment triggered strange feelings and I started an introspective analysis.
How can that be I’m in one of the most stressful time in my life and sometimes questioning if I will survive the day, and people around me see a driven woman with a list of fancy role titles and achievements who manage it all?
Maybe, I have fallen in the same Social Media trap I feared so much. Showing only the best out of my life and not sharing the everyday challenges of a working mother in a major life transition.
Well, let’s start to rectify that.
- I struggle. Of course, I’m a very positive person, I laugh out of most situations and I focus on solutions rather than problems. Still, it does not mean I don’t struggle like everyone else. I go from enthusiastic to anxious and back to enthusiastic several times per week managing moments of anxiety thanks to simple relaxation techniques, by asking for support, or go for a run. Sometime anxiety transforms into plain panic and I have to deal with that. Knowing I cannot do all alone, I have surrounded myself with great people at home, at work and in my volunteering activities.
- It is just too much. Family, work, business, volunteering activities… My passion and commitment for every single one of my activities keep my energy level very high and my days fly. Still, it is too much. I’m running out of energy and somedays I’m exhausted. I have to take some decisions, reorganize my life and let it go.
- I’m afraid of every single digital communication I have to write. This is a non-sense in our digital time, but it is my reality. Thanks to my slight dyslexia, I’m not able to see my typos and, because of that, I’m in a constant anxiety of what and how I’m writing. Some people fear public speaking, I fear my social media posts. My dream is to have an editor glued to my fingertips (I have already tried some apps or programs with disappointing results). Since for now this look impossible, I just keep writing, continue to have too many typos and I try to not care (too much) to what people think.
Someone recommended me to never show my weakness, this could have a negative impact to my career and my business. Maybe this person is right. Still, I’m willing to risk.
The idea that I need to show only my achievements and act as everything is easy and smooth is fundamentally wrong. I’m not sure people only wants to see successful stories, and learn tips on how to have it all. Maybe sharing the hard reality of personal journeys is more powerful, because will help other people to see they are not alone. Especially as a working mother, we have to show life like it is, learn to overcome hard time and look for support and the parity at home.
Not all of us will succeed on our projects, and it is ok.
We need to learn to deal with our imperfections, ask for support when needed and not forget to take good care of ourselves.