You are an educated, successful woman in your 40s or 50s. Most of your career you have spent in a male-dominated corporate world and you’re successful at what you do. Not only are you hard-working, you’re a super-achiever! Every goal you’ve ever set for yourself, whether it was that grade, degree, job, or your man… you’ve managed to get.
Family means a lot to you. While having a successful career, you also have a husband and kids. It’s not easy having it all, but you did it. You manage to show up and drive your kids to activities, you even drive other people’s kids to their activities. You bake, you volunteer, you take care of your elderly parents, you go to the gym, you volunteer… you get the idea.
You’re an inspiration to many who see you as the modern-day superwoman…
But, if you’re really honest, you’re exhausted and worn out.
And you don’t know how much longer you can keep it all together.
Your perfectionism makes it difficult for you to delegate tasks at the office and at home. No one can do a better job than you, so it’s best to just do it yourself, right?! You come across as being hard on others, but if people could see behind the curtain, they’d know you’re much harder on yourself.
Social life? Yeah, you have friends. But you often feel unsupported and lonely—especially when you’re in a group of women. And don’t get me started on the conversations. The superficial jabber is killing you, and you feel like shouting,
“Can we be real for a moment, please?!” You ask yourself why go to event after event, and promise yourself you won’t go next time. But you and I both know you probably will because it’s the only female community you have.
At work, competition is tough, especially with the other women. All the talk about women standing together, supporting each other…I call BS. I mean, when was the last time another woman took you under her wing or truly lifted you up?
More often than not, it’s not the men who give you trouble, it’s the other woman!
But lately, the worst part is at home. After all these years of pushing and striving, you’ve lost who you are and the relationship with your spouse is more like co-parenting than a true marriage. You rarely have time or energy for intimacy. Your relationship revolves around organizing the kids, activities, work, and other obligations. Even when you go on family vacations, you’re so wound up and stressed, you can’t settle down enough to just relax and enjoy.
You’re beginning to think that you’re a bad mother. Always in a hurry, you rarely have the time to sit down and talk to your kids. Or to listen. Sometimes you feel like you don’t know what’s going on with them.
Now, let’s talk about the anger. You scream at your kids more often than you care to admit. You also take out your rage on your spouse or on people who work under you. You’ve tried to find ways to manage this anger, but it always flares up again. Nothing seems to work.
You’ve built the life of your dreams, but now that dream’s killing you.
Something has to change because if it doesn’t, you might wind up sick, divorced and alone—or both.
Now, you’re wondering if there is a way out of this. There must be more to life than feeling alone, exhausted, and angry—right? Is it possible to have a life filled with true satisfaction and joy for you, with a rewarding marriage, success at work and meaningful friendships?
In my experience, it is, but it requires a different discipline.