You can’t have it all…

Today’s quote in my quote of the day calendar resonated with me so much I had to share.

Early on in my career, I truly believed in the false notion of “you can have it all.” The lie was alive and well, perpetuated by put-together, successful women who didn’t want to let you in on their secrets, that they were only getting 4 hours of sleep, felt guilty missing their kid’s soccer game, or only took 2 weeks of maternity leave. Their sacrifices were hidden so they appeared to be super women.

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

The turning point for me was when I had my first miscarriage, the day before I was supposed to go out of town for a conference. I cried in my office and 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 felt liberating.

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

Since then, I’ve been intentional about not portraying myself as a super woman. When you attend one of my training sessions, you’ll see a goofy, quirky, and sometimes 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.

Published by Wendy Fong

Wendy is the founder and principal at Chief Gigs.

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