As women, we often tell ourselves lies that hold us back. We strive for perfection, give in to comparison, and struggle to live free. But we have been set free to live free!
In order to live freely, we must first identify the lies so that we will recognize them in the future. Likely, some will be more of a struggle to consider a lie than others. We might have believed it for so long that we’ve forgotten what is the truth. Let’s call the lies what they are, though: lies. And then let’s replace them with the truth.
1. Perfection is the goal.
When you strive for perfection you aim for an impossible goal. Rather than striving for perfection it’s best to aim for personal excellence. Excellence allows you to exceed yesterday’s accomplishments without the added stress of trying to be perfect.
2. I will be happy once I meet my goals.
You will miss enjoying a large portion of your life if you can only be happy when your goals are met. Happiness should be practiced daily. Each productive day is one step closer to meeting your goals. Enjoy the journey and not just the destination.
3. If I do what she did, I can have what she has.
You can follow the exact diet, the same career plan and invest in all the right stocks as your friend and still get a different outcome. Comparing yourself to someone else only sets you up for disappointment. Rather than comparing your outcome to a friend, congratulate her success and use the things you learn from her journey to map out your own individual success story.
4. I don’t have time to slow down now.
Life should never become so busy that you no longer have time for yourself. Every superwoman has to eventually balance her life or she will run out of reserves. A balanced life requires addition and subtraction. Life is not an all or none activity. You have to be willing to make time for yourself to have the strength to pursue your passions. Every activity you do that leaves you feeling refreshed and revived is worth your time.
5. Being in control is better than spontaneity.
Control is a superwoman’s addiction and it is time to detox. Some women control their day better than most of us control our checkbooks. Control is the enemy to freedom. Living your life in a way that makes you feel empowered requires a sense of freedom. Empowered to explore all life has to offer, empowered to go outside of your preconceived limitations and empowered to be the best you.
6. Emotions are only for crazy women.
Everyone has emotions and it’s healthy to be aware of how things make you feel. Superwomen have a tendency to blunt their emotions. When you blunt your emotions you begin to detach from your own ability to recognize your desires and needs. Many women find themselves in the corporate suite, only to find out that they no longer like the job they are doing. Staying in contact with your emotions will allow you to be sensitive to the changes you need to make to enjoy your life.
7. Independence prevents dependence.
If only this were true. Dependence is often seen as a sign of weakness, but everyone is dependent on something. Even if you are CEO of your company you may not need a man to pay your bills but you’re dependent on the income from your job. If the company fails you would be right back to square one. Having a support system in place is the only way to be prepared for the vicissitudes of life. Even women are dependent and it’s OK. Your faith, family, friends and finances are all possible choices for what to lean on – but some are definitely better than others. It’s important to choose wisely what you will become dependent on.
*These 7 lies have been adapted from the book Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves by Saundra Dalton-Sith M.D.