Ten things that single mid-career level women do to sabotage their happiness and sense of freedom.
1. The Accumulation of debt and Overspending.
The average for General X women is $138,000.00, according to Experian. That is 50% higher than the national average. When overspending becomes a habit, debt can pile up and cause you to be chained to an undesirable relationship (personally or professionally), leaving you feeling powerless and in survival mode. No one likes the feeling of being stuck. Not to mention the lack of attention on savings accounts for a rainy day and the much-needed retirement funds; significant debt gets in the way of financial security and creates stress. When women get debt buried to the point that they can not afford to leave a relationship (personal or business ), they compromise their freedom of movement to jump on exciting opportunities that require capital. If you have accumulated debt – work on a plan for paying it off as soon as possible, so nothing gets in the way of your happiness.
2. Staying in relationships with the wrong men for too long.
Have you heard the saying in business, “Take a long time to hire but be quick to fire.” Similar to relationships, it’s better to take the time to get to know someone, but if you rush into it (guilty as charged ), then don’t be afraid to end it in a rush if you know you’ve made a mistake or if they aren’t the right fit. Staying in a relationship long after it’s finished only prevents you from being ready if the perfect match comes your way. So many women remain in the relationships far too long while driving their friends batty talking about how much they need to break up with John, but you don’t have the heart to end it. Look, bad news doesn’t get better with time, so go on and rip the bandaid off and get on with it. You’re wasting precious time and energy with someone who isn’t for you. You know it. Your friends know it. He probably knows it. As a result, you’re keeping him from a woman who would love him and wasting your good-looking years with a man you know isn’t right. Rip.The.Bandaid.Off and move on with your life.
3. Assigning unrealistic timelines for when things have to happen.
The number one cause of anxiety is thinking it not only all have to happen exactly how you see it but also all need to happen right now. If you want the Universe (or insert your preferred higher power belief) to serve up what your heart desires, you have to back off so said higher power can deliver it in its perfect way and timing. We can’t always see how things work out, but they still do. Stressing yourself out with artificial timelines isn’t going to speed it up. Let some things be unknown and have faith that the Universe will deliver; Chill, Mama!
4. Thinking you can’t be happy on your own.
This is tough because many women believe external achievements or people, places, or things will make them happy. If I make this much money, then I’ll be satisfied. If I lose 25 lbs, I will finally be comfortable in my skin and wear a bathing suit at the beach. In the meantime, I will be beating myself up about why I haven’t got “it ” yet. With this thinking, It’s the always elusive something- someone or somewhere else – waiting for the perfect moment when all the stars are aligned and then riding in on a white horse will be my happiness. I’ve seen women hold themselves back from doing the things that interest them because they are always waiting for the right man, job, paycheck, or timing to enjoy life. There is no waiting in life, ladies- it’s all happening; life is happening right now.
5. Lack of Confidence and self-worth
is an epidemic. I have seen so many women friends that will take anything they are served up by their bosses, colleagues, romantic, and business partners. So often, people are afraid of losing what little they have, which leads me to the secondary effect of lack of confidence; constant apologizing. Stop apologizing. A former colleague I worked with from France asked why do you say sorry all the time? It’s almost as if you are sorry for your existence. Just be here unapologetically, she said. She was a single woman and was as unapologetic as they came living it up in inspirational ways for every woman regardless of nationality (that’s a whole other blog post). Long story short, she did life her way. She put herself first and refused to apologize—Mmmm… delicious confidence.
6. Giving too much and not allowing yourself to receive.
There is a telltale sign when a woman is out of balance between giving and receiving. If you compliment her and she can’t accept it and say thank you. She attempts to explain it away, brush it off, deflect it. She does anything she can not to receive it. Secondly, over givers tend to be exhausted, their health is out of balance, and they are so strung out giving to everyone, but their health, finances (guilty as charged), and happiness suffers. As a woman, this is tough to overcome as we are genetic nurturers; it’s in our DNA we are bred for this. Some coaches and teachers make 6 figure incomes specializing in helping women regain this balance in their life; that’s how real of a problem this is for women today.
7. Giving up authenticity for approval.
I’ve heard the saying more than once, “don’t set yourself on fire to make someone happy.” In other words, don’t destroy yourself to make others feel good about themselves. It usually takes women reaching their 40s to stop caring about what others think about them. I remember my 20’s vividly and how much time I spent trying to make others happy and worried about what people thought. I did things in anticipation of what it was considered others might think. So exhausting, and often this effort requires you to make yourself small to make “them” feel better about themselves. It is such a fool’s errand, not to mention exhausting. A wise, relatively older female mentor told me, “look, people are going to have their opinions no matter what you do, so just be you; at the very least, you’ll know who are real friends around you.” It’s so true; the people that count the most in your life will not judge you for being you.
8. Be fully present.
The ability to be fully present took me a while to figure out. I was all gas and had no brakes early in my career, so I sacrificed a lot of family time in the name of the rise and grind. Looking back, I missed a lot; I wasn’t that happy. I believe it is possible to be busy and successful and also take time to be present in moments when people need you most. I didn’t do that well, and I had to learn how to be better at being fully present. Presence also allows you to be in the moment right now. If you are spending too much time focused on what happened in the past, you may start to experience depression. The other side of focus is also focused on what hasn’t happened yet, or looking into the future. If you are overthinking the future, you could be experiencing bouts of anxiety. The sweet spot is the present moment. In that present moment, we are not in the past or the future; we are right here right now, experiencing life and making memories with those close to us. The best ideas come from the present moment. The best memories are all because I chose a moment to be all there. Your Kids and spouse deserve you to be all there, but more importantly, you deserve that moment of you being all there. Whatever it is will be waiting for you when you are ready to return to it, and there is always something else. 🙂
9. Not being clear with desires.
Define and design your life – don’t accept someone else’s version of happiness and success; make sure it is your version of what it is you want. Otherwise, you might wake up one day and realize that it’s not your life you achieved; it was someone else’s ideal of success and happiness. It’s tough to map out a strategy for yourself if you have no idea what you want. I spent years with all the best tactics to get what was wanted in life, and success was achieved, but it never really scratched my itch because there was a lack of clarity.
As the famous quote from Sun Tzu,” Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.” You need both, and you need to get clear even to strategize. Today, my life is as desired because I got clear. It took me a long time to come to it, and I didn’t have a lot of mentors early on in my career. I was self-taught initially and didn’t think help was needed, bootstrapping my way through the journey. It didn’t come together for me in a big way until mentors were there to help define that clarity. No one wakes up and accidentally stumbles upon success; if they do, they are the minority, not the majority. So do yourself a favor, and find a coach or a mentor. Dare to call out what you want. Like when you were a kid, if you wish to have a front seat, you must call shotgun!
10. Loss of Purpose.
Last but not least, the loss of purpose or realization of the passion you thought you had isn’t truly there. Failure to realize a sense of purpose is the single most talked about impact on the happiness of all my closest girlfriends that want to make their career moves right now! There are a couple of scenarios I see so often. First, my kids are in high school, and graduation has happened or is about to happen, so what comes next? Look, Mama bear, your kids will never stop needing you! It’s a fact of life and the cross you bear (no pun intended). They always will need emotional reassurance, comfort, and someone in their corner to cheer them on as they figure it all out. Trust me; it doesn’t stop because they go to college. My daughter is 25, and she still calls, and I always drop what I’m doing to offer my advice (unsolicited or solicited, I can’t help myself). Your purpose can’t be wrapped just in your children, so what else can you do? You gotta find your own “thing,” your kids will always be your kids, but your role will need to evolve as they grow up. So this blog and my podcast, “Her Next Best Move,” are about figuring out how to make those complex transitions and moves and keep aligning yourself with a new and exciting purpose. When people have no sense of purpose, their whole excitement about life wanes, and life isn’t juicy anymore. Remember when life was juicy? This brings me to the second scenario, which is the high-powered career woman who seems to have it all figured out and who wakes up one day and asks why am I doing this? What and who is it for that I’ve been making this career? I’ve lost the plot. When belief in whatever you are doing is lost, and interest and passion for once loved work is gone, it is natural to start looking at how to make a change. The challenge always lies in the ability to reinvent ourselves repeatedly as passion evolves throughout our lives.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you downloaded our free goodies that have helped women make their next moves! Also, don’t forget to join our awesome all-women’s private Facebook group: Her Next Best Move! Find me on IG darcy_corcoran, and listen in on our weekly podcasts: “Her Next Best Move,” Where we do live and chit-chat about the next moves!