You Can Do Anything, But You Cannot Do Everything.
Find the freedom and power in getting your priorities straight and committing to doing less.
I grew up believing in fairytales, and you probably did too. The allure of a fairy godmother or a handsome prince swooping in to save the day was intense, thanks to the lineup of programming I consumed as a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s. As I matured, I learned that the best chance I had at a happy ending was going to be achieved by taking control of my own life and vanquishing the villains I encountered on my own — no one was coming to save me.
We tell ourselves a lot of stories in life, and the one I was telling myself in my mid-30s was that I was in the driver’s seat of my destiny and wholly responsible for my own success or failure. I was thriving at work, I had a solid group of friends, and I felt like I was moving in the direction of my big goals. On paper, things were falling into place! I told myself that if I worked just a little bit harder, I could have it all.
In the midst of pushing myself to do more/achieve more/ be more, I got more than I bargained for: I became a first-time mom, was promoted to CEO at my company, and filed for divorce — all in under two years.
Ever the optimist, I shuffled my schedule and assessed how I was going to continue doing/achieving/being more. I woke up earlier, I worked later, and I continued saying yes to ALL OF THE THINGS, while figuring out how to be a [single] mother, lead a global company, and work through a challenging legal situation privately — because I feared sharing that I was navigating a divorce and single-motherhood would cast a negative shadow on my work as a newly promoted CEO.
All of this was a big challenge, but I was doing it — for a while. I was stretched thin and stressed. Not only was I doing too much, but I was also trying to do it all alone. I didn’t share my struggles or ask for help.
Eventually, I reached a breaking point. I wasn’t showing up as the person I wanted to be in any of the areas of my life. At the time, I saw this as a big failure on my part, but after some time (and therapy,) I know that the pressure and expectations I was holding myself to were unreasonable. I would never…