Create your own happily ever after
Women of today were taught from a young age that the princess needs to be saved. Well, I certainly was.
Wait for prince charming.
That it’s attractive to be a damsel in distress, passive and innocent.
That we must rely on someone else to fight our battles with the enemy.
In the end, we will be whisked away into a happily ever after.
Luckily Disney is starting to progress and show another side of the story. Cruella has her own movie now. (I'm yet to see it though but Emma Watson is a queen so I bet it will be good).
The point is, in our early programming, the things we were taught to be as women have become part of our subconscious programming. Whilst this new age has brought so much awareness to mental health and belief creation what does this actually mean for our careers?
It’s only within the current, and last 2, maybe 3 generations where women even had a career.
We still have a lot of unlearning to do. Part of this unlearning is giving ourselves the permission, the empowerment, and the tools to take charge of our career and carve the way for our own future.
There is no prince charming for this part of our story.
There is limited childhood modeling to look back on unless you wanted to be a pop star or you were lucky to have a career-driven mother or mother figure in the family.
It's only in THIS decade where I truly see women of impact. I am not saying they didn’t exist when I was growing up, but it definitely wasn’t normalised;
CEO's who are women.
CEO’s in leadership boards.
Women who invest.
Women in parliament.
Women choosing a career AND motherhood.
Women choosing a career INSTEAD of motherhood.
Women starting businesses.
Every single time a woman makes an empowered choice she is pathing the way for future generations to do the same.
Every single time a woman saves herself she is recreating a new version of the fairytale where we are the creator of our own life and a loving partner is not the determining factor in that.
Next time you are feeling like work is shit, or that you hate your job, or that you simply can't do this anymore, remember, there is no prince charming for your career. Babe, you don't need one.
This fairytale starts and ends with you.
You get to write your story.
You get to choose your happily ever after.
When the villain (or your boss) is after you, YOU get to choose how they affect you.
So how do you this? There are two parts;
Layer one is surviving your current situation. The second is deciding whether you want to keep or change your career.
Surviving your current situation:
Do any of these describe your current job?
- You’re stressed and tired all the time
- You can’t stand your boss
- You are sick with anxiety on a Sunday night
- You are overwhelmed and overworked
- You snack all the time
- You drink way more than you would like
- You live for the weekend
- You’re too tired to do the self-care
- You wake up in the middle of the night worried about work
- Your to-do list is quite frankly, ridiculous
- You have so many meetings you have no idea how or when you will actually get work done
- You don’t trust your team
- You’ve exhausted all promotions, internal moves, or opportunities for change
- You feel trapped by the money
- Your underperforming or you feel like your performance is on the edge
- You’re noticing arguments at home or little valuable time with people you love
- Crying in the toilets
Did more than half of these resonate? Then it sounds like you are surviving.
Are these feelings caused by something temporary at work that is likely to change? Or is this the state of play for the foreseeable?
If you are in this place, your stress levels will likely be high and your body simply isn’t designed to be in sustained stress for a long period of time. Eventually, this can lead to ill health, in the form of anxiety, poor sleep, overeating, stress, loss of libido, missing periods, irritable bowels, panic attacks, even depression.
At what stage do you decide enough is enough?
You don’t have to hit rock bottom to make a change.
Nor can we wait for divine intervention, forces outside of our control to make the changes we need either.
Divine interventions that I often see people waiting for at work include receiving extra budget, a new team hire, a change of manager, a surprise bonus, recognition and reward for our efforts, a change in culture, an invitation to take holiday guilt-free.
There are plenty here within your control; asking, presenting the business case, applying for the internal role, taking the leave you are entitled to. But with all of this, it must start with you.
Nothing will change unless something changes.
That something is you making the change.
Surviving your situation means taking control of what you can, and letting go of what you can’t.
Should I stay or should I go?
Layer two is about deciding whether you want to change completely. Why not decide this first? Because you are at high risk of going from the frying pan into the fire.
I often see a vicious cycle of job hoppers who are unhappy in their role, who desperately accept the best salary or first offer they can find, jump into a new environment, which soon becomes a new version of what they were running from in the first place.
Prevent this from happening by seeking clarity about what you actually want from your career.
This requires you to become aware of who you are.
We can’t just go with the first option that comes our way. It takes knowing ourselves, knowing what kind of life we want to create, and how we want to feel to move forward in our career.
Reconnect to what lights you up, what got you into this career in the first place, and what you imagine to be possible for you.
Who would you be if you could do anything?
It was only last year we were shown it is in fact possible to have a woman as VP in the White House.
If you didn’t have to feel scared about ‘starting again’, being good enough, it never being done before, if everyone you loved wholeheartedly supported you if money wasn’t an issue, what would you do with this one precious life of yours? Where would you live? What would you create?
Your career can feel high energy, high vibe, exciting, challenging, purposeful, intentional, collaborative, supportive, yours. It’s all there for the taking. You simply have to identify what that looks like and believe in yourself enough to go for it.
If you can’t get there but you want to, then get help. Invest in yourself and make it happen.
You don’t have to figure this out alone, but you do have to take responsibility and take action towards it.
There is no prince charming in your career story. There is only you.
You are powerful beyond measure, more ambitious, more resilient, more capable than you give yourself credit for.
You do get to choose. You are not a victim. You are not a damsel in distress.
You got this far. Imagine what you could accomplish if you were the princess and the hero of your own story.
You get to create the happily ever after.
Next week I am hosting a free Career Change Masterclass to show you how to make an empowered career change. Would you like to join us? Click here for more information and to register.