Wonder Woman scored her powers from Greek Gods. The rest of us are not so lucky and need to explore other options, writes Shevonne Joyce.
It’s an undeniable phenomenon that women in 2017 are feeling more shame and guilt than ever before due to the often unrealistic standards society places on our role as women in the world… and let’s face it, a secondary pressure we subsequently place on ourselves.
We are expected to be the Wonder Woman of our domain in business, in family, in life and we are modelled by other women who seemingly ‘have it all’ without needing any help from anyone else. It’s like we’ve reached a point where we think to be truly ‘independent’ and ‘successful’ as women, we need to master the ability to juggle every ball thrown in our direction without asking for help or guidance or training about how to juggle balls.
When successful women are interviewed, a favourite and common question to ask is, “how do you achieve and do it all?”
The notion that ‘achieving (or) having it all’ is an absolute pillar to success, fuels the misguided belief that women who ask for help to achieve their goals must be less capable, talented and successful than women who manage to forge through it all alone. This then leads to a feeling of shame when we are unable to meet these standards.
In the world of business and entrepreneurship, this plays out in many ways. A common one is women who make statements like, ‘I grew a successful business without needing a coach or mentor so don’t bother investing in one.’ Where do statements like this lead women in business who are struggling to overcome problems on their own? Further into shame and despair, feeling disconnected, feeling like there must be something wrong with them and wondering why they can’t solve their own problems without investing in help. While this particular example relates to help in business, it’s pervasive throughout business and life.
Here’s the thing about this though, and this, right here, is fundamentally important for anyone who wants to achieve the level of success and results they desire in business and life: you are not any less successful or capable because you’re encountering problems and are willing to invest in the expert guidance you need to overcome them.
In fact, focusing on and investing in solving problems is exactly what makes you successful. The nature of business, and life for that matter, is that there will always be problems to solve at every stage. The key to overcoming them is to identify what you need help with and who or what is going to be the most suitable expert or solution to help you achieve it.
Rest assured that some of the most successful people to ever walk this earth have invested in expertise and help to take their business further, to overcome problems and to be better versions of themselves.
What you choose to invest in depends on the problems you are experiencing that are preventing you from achieving what you would like to in business and life. Just because one person has had a certain experience, doesn’t mean it needs to be your experience. Just because one person doesn’t need help with an aspect of their business or life, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek help.
What matters is that you are focusing on investing in what you individually need to be successful, regardless of whether this is coaching, mentoring, training or hiring a cleaner to help you out at home while you build an empire.
The moral of the story is, do what is right for you. If you don’t need to and want to invest in help, don’t. If you do, throw yourself wholeheartedly into it and never look back.
This is not to suggest in any way that women shouldn’t be proud of their accomplishments or achieving ‘it all,’ which in itself is a subjective measure based on your personal definition of success for your life. It’s simply starting a conversation about the language we use when communicating with other women and to reassure women that the key to success is asking for help to solve problems when you need it. In everything we do, let’s support other women to make the best decisions for their journey and be their biggest fans and their champions for success.
Perhaps an example of a more constructive question to successful women could be, ‘everyone’s journey is different. What are examples of the key steps you took to help you achieve the success you have today?’