Many of us, women in particular, feel the pressure to “have it all.” We want to be effective at work, at home and everywhere in between. Every advertisement, movie and TV talk show tells us that we have to be successful, smiling, smart and sexy. We should have an enviable career, an immaculate house, a thriving marriage and never be late for a PTA meeting.
It’s no wonder that most women work exhaustively to present a façade of having it all under control, every minute. Want proof of this? Check out your social media feed: chances are it’s chock full of amusing anecdotes and pictures of perfectly adorable children, fabulous family vacations and blushingly-modest-but-still-shared-on-social-media professional achievements.
Just trawling our Facebook feeds is enough to make many of us start to feel anxious, envious and like we come up short in comparison to other women. But how true is what we’re seeing on those feeds? The fact is – we package our lives.
We share the bits of our lives that feel fit for public consumption, not the things in our own lives that make us sad or scared or uncomfortable. In fact, when someone does post something that feels too personal or like oversharing, we’re likely to scroll past quickly because it’s hard and uncomfortable to see someone else’s pain and vulnerability.
But as hard as it is to be vulnerable or witness someone else’s vulnerability, that’s where growth really happens. This is where overcoming challenges begins. This is what self-awareness looks like.
What would it look like if we were a little more honest about the things we find difficult? How do we feel when we look at perfectly packaged lives? How does it feel to post something that shows a side of yourself you don't normally reveal? What about when someone you admire shares a difficult experience or something they’re worried about? What can we learn from this and how can we share it?
I’ll keep thinking on this one. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.