The aftermath of the pandemic has forced women to reimagine their work and personal lives. We’ve made variations on “work from home” a new norm. We’ve had time to take a step back from business as usual so we could choose what we need and what we no longer will tolerate. Women are writing new rules in the workplace and for their personal lives–here are ways to do that.
. Be the Thermostat, not the Thermometer. Before COVID, your experience of your day may have been analogous to a Thermometer–your energy went up and down according to other people’s behavior. Now, you can choose to be the Thermostat. You set the tone, you decide who you will be, and you bring others along in your vision.
. Aim for Ease, Not Exhaustion: We used to think about getting burned out when we had ‘too much to do’, but these days we get burned out when we have ‘too little control’ – we feel unseen, unheard, and not able to create an impact. While going for walks, getting a manicure, or gathering with friends will put a smile on your face, they do not solve the underlying problem which is that we often feel powerless. Knowing how to be in your power is the ultimate form of self-care.
That means you know how to get back into a place of being ‘good to you’ no matter what’s going on around you. Make mental well-being your new gold standard and prioritize it.
. Keep your life a Disrespect Free zone. Commit to playing your part to be treated with respect. You can achieve this by knowing how to set boundaries. For example, use your voice to educate the person–you can say: “When I emphasize the urgency of this matter, that does not mean I’m emotional.”
The way they respond will inform you whether you can expect that person to respect your boundaries going forward. Their response will either be deferential, or defensive. If its deferential they will show you that they care about their impact on you, may apologize for their action, and try not do it again. But if the person has a response that is defensive, they will try to justify their behavior. They may even attack you for over-reacting. It’s better to protect yourself from that person.
. Fill Your To Do list with “Yes”. Understand where “No” lives in your body and where “Yes” lives in your body, so you can easily tell whether you want to say “Yes” or say a graceful “No” to the other person’s requests. Try this experiment now: Repeat the word “No” for 20 seconds and notice where you feel it in your body; repeat the word “Yes” for 20 seconds and notice where you feel it in your body. Have a new filter where you only agree to the requests and opportunities that your intuition tells you are a “Yes”.
. Be a woman who chooses sisterhood over scarcity
Let’s commit to encouraging women to fully express their talents and to helping each one of us expand our vision of what is possible for us. Building on the phrase “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” let’s make a world in which women don’t let other women stay ‘out of their power.’
*Sharon’s new book is IN YOUR POWER: React Less, Regain Control, Raise Others