Self Sabotage starts with Fairy Bread
Women are talented, creative and powerful. They’re capable of dealing with a multitude of complex problems ranging from wrangling the kids (the fur kind too), managing a career and deciding what to wear for that perfect day to night look, including the right shade of lippy. Yet we self-sabotage harder than James Bond.
There’s a preconceived notion that women have a role to fulfil whether that’s to be a wife, a mother or a career driven woman. Anything out of the norm, is frowned upon and therein lies the problem. From the moment we’re dropped off at school with our obnoxiously large backpacks, filled to the brim with all sorts of things we probably shouldn’t have been eating like fairy bread, we’re pit against each other. The innate fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being pretty enough, good enough, tall enough, smart enough starts to shape us. We quickly lose our identity and disappear into the field of poppies; none brave enough to stand taller than the next.
So when we’re thrown into the real world, degrees in hand, we find ourselves competing ferociously for the attention of one another; whether it be a boss, a special someone or the guy dictating who gets the next round of bonuses. And somewhere in between the fine lines of, when I grow up, to, I need a job, we’ve lost our drive to succeed and we begin to self-sabotage. Specifically, those who are creatively inclined.
There has been no sizeable shift in the mentality of men and women alike, none more so than in the arts industry. In the height of gender equality and closing the pay gap, some women subconsciously self-sabotage by taking themselves out of the game for fear of what their fellow counterparts will think. Why haven’t you had kids yet? Why haven’t you started planning your future? We’ve all heard it, am I right? Why do the aforementioned life choices take more precedence than finishing your novel, or completing that painting or pitching that movie? At what point do we take back the reigns and start dictating our own lives?
Over the past five years throughout my several career changes, financial planner to office manager, I’ve met women who’ve come and gone who’ve all said similar things to me when I mentioned that I was a writer working in media. The general gist was always the same. Never about me, but always about what others thought about my choices. My answers to these questions are always the same. Simply put, I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either. Media is an industry that gives people a reprieve from life, why wouldn’t you want to work somewhere that makes a positive, life changing impact?
Your career is your choice as is your decision to pursue your dreams however left field they are. It seems so rudimentary but why complicate what isn’t complicated? The lesson was simple from having these conversations. Each woman I spoke with, spoke about these long-forgotten goals and ambitions with a glint in their eyes, but that glint was often overshadowed by fear.
Fear of what their family would think, fear of being rejected figuratively and literally, and above all, just the down-right fear of going against the grain. There’s nothing more powerful than a woman who knows what she wants. With the ability to achieve so much and influence others, we often blend into the shadows and do what society has told us through blogs and Pinterest posts we should to do.
It’s time to step out of the shadows and shine brightly, tell those people who are waiting on you to make that next ‘expected move’ that you’ll do so when you decide to do so, not when it suits them. Finish that book, pitch that movie and above all, stop self-sabotaging your gifts and your success because it doesn’t suit others.