One of my students came to me the other day asking about techniques to help balance her responsibilities. The first thing I asked her is why she picked me out of her mentors to ask for guidance. Her response: You just really always seem to have it together. It was time for some real talk, so I shoved aside the canned responses and tips and said, "I don't know what having it together means and I certainly don't feel that way most of the time."
We live in a culture that is obsessed with "having it all," "leaning in," and "dreaming big." But what happens when we don't really care about having it all, leaning in, or dreaming big? I like keeping myself off balance a little bit, it's what drives me to be better and to try harder. I also like to be kind to myself and readjust my goals and expectations based on my current situation, skills, and abilities.
To most people, this might seem aimless and a bit unpredictable. But guess what? It doesn't matter what most people think. It matters that I am living a happy life that is unfolding at a pace that I can manage. Of course there are times when it's really easy to stay the course and there are others when I doubt myself. Am I doing enough? Could I be working harder/smarter/longer hours? That's all part of being human, growing, and changing.
I also really don't like lying about how I'm doing or am managing. I think that it's really important to get into the "real talk." Real talk is where the magic happens, we open up, get uncomfortable together and connection happens. We get to be vulnerable and empathetic, we struggle together and celebrate together. These things are all hard but really awesome in the end!
So let's stop focusing on appearing like we "have it together." Because if you feel like you have it all together, where do you get to grow and connect?