As women, we’re natural nurturers in the sense that we are built to take care of those around us. We often posses the social graces and situational awareness to thrive both personally and professionally. Typically, we seek a feeling of belonging and have a tendency to compare ourselves to those around us to see where we “fit in,” whether it be with friends, coworkers, family, sports teams or any other groups we have.
While we all want a place to belong, and know that we have a support network, we have to be careful about where we find our identity. We can be so focused on making sure that everyone else is happy, healthy and cared for, that we seldom look out for ourselves, and sometimes people can take advantage of that. I always felt selfish if I thought of what I wanted above others; that it somehow made me a bad person to think about what I wanted.
A big step in conquering this is learning when to move on. We must realize that it is not failure to move on from a situation, whether it be a relationship, friendship, job or life path. Instead, it is actually a sign of awareness. We are trained to view change in partnership with failure. It takes great courage, awareness and self-confidence, as well as a good dose of control, to step away from a situation that you realize is not benefiting you in finding happiness or joy. I know, it’s scary — the unknown always has that power if we let it take the focus.
And this is where grace comes in.
Extending grace to others, no problem! We’re understanding and kind, always making sure that we have minimal confrontation and everyone around us is happy. However, there is a key problem here: we’re often not happy! One of the hardest things that I have been learning is to have grace with myself. When it comes to others, grace and understanding flow freely, but with myself, I’ve found that subconsciously my standards were unattainable. As we develop an awareness in life of who we are apart from our family, career, friends and social situations, we have to learn to have the same grace with ourselves that we extend to others.
That ability to realize that you need to change something, then actually summoning up the courage and ability to take control and change it, takes a great deal of awareness, and that same awareness will guide and carry you into that often-scary unknown. Understanding who we are apart from our situations allows us to recognize when we need to move on. Knowing what you want in life and having self-confidence and trust will allow you to then take those actions to look out for yourself.
What do you hope to move on from this year? Tell us in the comments.