Today’s quote in my Quote of the Day calendar resonated with me so much that I had to share it.

Early on in my career, I truly believed in the false notion of “you can have it all.” The lie was alive and well. It’s perpetuated by put-together, successful women who didn’t want to let you in on their secrets. They were getting four hours of sleep and felt guilty about missing their kid’s soccer game. These women only took two weeks of maternity leave. Their sacrifices were hidden. They appeared to be superwomen.

You can’t have it all. There is always something you sacrifice.

The turning point for me was when I had my first miscarriage. It happened the day before I was supposed to go out of town for a conference. I cried in my office. I told my good friend that I didn’t want to go. That may have been the first time the thought of doing something FOR MYSELF even crossed my mind. She responded, “Then, don’t go.” 

And there it was. The relief that I didn’t have to do EVERYTHING that I committed myself to do. Even though she wasn’t my boss, it was liberating.

I ended up going (who can change overnight, right?), but intentionally skipped several sessions to make time for myself. However, I realized something. I believed I could work 80 hours/week, have a social life, and have a family. However, I also perpetuated the lie.

Since then, I’ve been intentional about not portraying myself as a superwoman. When you attend my training sessions, you’ll see a goofy, quirky, funny person who is REAL and definitely not perfect. So on this day, I challenge you to let people see the person that you are.

And even as I write this, I know it comes from a place of privilege. I acknowledge that there are so many women of color who can’t truly be themselves in the workplace.

Want to read more from Wendy Fong? Check out another blog on the Chief Gigs website, I was Unproductive for a Month, and That’s OK.