Happy International Women’s Day! In celebration of God-given femininity and gifts, I want to share a post that’s for all of us but especially for my working friends. Just last week, I heard a woman say that she felt left out in the church as a working woman. Women’s studies are in the morning there, even though over 70% of American women work outside their home. She feels marginalize, but I want YOU to feel encouraged.
Today, I want to celebrate women’s gifts in the work place! Please meet my friends Lisa Grimes and Paula Stafford. Both are women of faith who have taken Jesus with them into corporate settings because He’s woven into the core of who they are. Their new book Remember Who YOU Are was written to encourage women in the workplace to build each other up not to compete. As you can tell, everyone can benefit from this book. Please welcome my friends, Paula and Lisa! (And leave a comment to enter the giveaway.)
As wives, mothers, and professionals, we understand the pressure that comes with attempting to fulfill all of life’s demands. If you are like us, it’s all too easy to set a high level of expectation for ourselves – and then feel guilty when something inevitably falls through the cracks. Truth is, though, that we can’t do everything, and we certainly can’t do everything well. But we don’t need to feel guilty. Perhaps we need to set more realistic expectations – and redefine how we view and accept guilt. First, let’s look at the differences between guilt that’s real and false guilt.
False guilt comes from things over which we have no control. Or it’s guilt that is placed on us by others. Or it’s guilt based on not meeting expectations. The list of things over which we can tend to feel guilty is almost never-ending. True guilt, on the other hand, comes from knowing we have done something wrong or knowing we have made a decision that doesn’t align with our priorities. This means we need to be clear on what our priorities are. Knowing our priorities not only helps protect us from false guilt, but can help us learn from our mistakes and help us make necessary changes. Maybe even help us set more realistic expectations.
We don’t have it perfectly figured out, but we want to share with you a strategy that has helped us be there for the things that matter and free ourselves from false guilt. This excerpt is from our new book, Remember Who YOU Are, which just released two days ago…
“The meal was cooked; the table was set; my husband and children were ready to eat dinner. The only thing missing was … me. I said I would be home for dinner by 6 p.m., but something came up at the office and I didn’t get home until 7 p.m. After a few times of this, my husband sat me down and told me bluntly not to promise something I couldn’t deliver. I adhered to that standard at work; certainly my family deserved the same treatment. He was SO right. I hadn’t realized how showing up late for dinner affected my family and stood to affect my children’s ability to trust me. Cue the guilt train. I nipped that in the bud quickly. If I said I would be home for dinner by 6:30 p.m., I would do everything I could to get home by 6:15 p.m. I told them what to expect, and then I did my best to meet it or exceed it. I was rewarded with more smiles and less guilt.
We believe one of the first and most important things women need to do when it comes to expectations is give themselves permission to say ‘no.’ No, we don’t have to do it all. No, we do not need to attend every sporting, musical or academic event in which our children participate. It’s OK to be OK with that – it’s OK not to feel guilty. Children are, for the most part, adaptable and resilient. If your son has eight soccer games, for instance, and you can put four on your calendar (you have just made this a priority), think of how happy he will be if you are able to show up for more than you promised. But if you promise you will come to every game and don’t follow through, your children will lower their expectations of you. Not only are we setting a bad example for our children, we just bought another guilt trip.
Setting realistic expectations allows us to focus our energy on what we are doing instead of what we are missing. This takes a lot of practice, we know, since it seems to go against our hardwiring.”
It’s possible – and it’s freeing. And all of this is neatly summed up in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to Go. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Leave a comment today to enter to win a copy of Remember Who YOU Are.
Paula and Lisa are proven C-suite executives and speakers whose first book, Remember Who YOU Are, is available for purchase in bookstores, online retailers and at book.habergeon.com. It shares the wisdom they wish they had known at the outset of their careers and encourages professional women (and men) with immediate steps to more fully experience success, balance, and fulfillment in their careers and personal lives.
Follow them on social media @Habergeon LLC.
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