Awhile back, there was a NY Times article that referred to the lead female characters on TV as “ambitious and feeble”.
I was struck by this characterization. The author of this article had a different thesis in mind than where I’m going with this, but for me, the idea itself opened up some powerful questions:
Is it true?
Has our pursuit of professional success made us weak in our personal lives?
And, more to the point here at Xandara, has our ambition depleted our health?
Are we doing too much and pushing too hard at the expense of our physical and emotional health?
I wouldn’t describe any of my clients as feeble. They are strong, powerful and motivated women. They are dedicated friends, partners, siblings and daughters. They are active community members.
And...many of them are also secretly struggling. With migraines. With fatigue. With GI complaints. With PCOS. With low libido.
As you’ve heard me say many times before, these things are not unrelated.
The more we are in our heads (e.g., going, doing, accomplishing), the less we are in our bodies. And, when we lose touch with our bodies, we miss the signals it’s sending us. When we miss the signals, our health suffers. And when our health suffers, so does our fertility.
So, what do we do?
To be clear, I’m not going to tell you to be less ambitious. That’s not in my DNA and I’m guessing that it’s not in yours. But, you can be smarter about how you execute on your ambition. You can be smarter about how you balance your personal and professional domains. You can be smarter about what you commit to and what you prioritize. Essentially, work smarter, not harder.
If you want a robust professional career and a robust personal life / health, nourish them both.
And, stop ignoring the signals. If you notice that your health is suffering, make more time for self-care. Slow down. Tune in to what your body is telling you that you need. If your career starts to suffer, I’m pretty sure you know what to do - come up with a plan, ask for support, ramp things up for a bit and get back on track.
If you’re asleep at the wheel, things can get totally derailed and will be hard to course correct. That’s true in both the personal and professional realms. However, if you’re fully present and constantly making small adjustments as you go, it will be much easier to keep things on track.
Don’t sacrifice your health for your ambition. Not only is it not necessary, but it’s not worth it.