Last week, I attended “The Juggle is Real”, a networking event organised by SheSays Melbourne.
Five effortlessly chic female entrepreneurs sat on a panel and spoke about the vehement struggle of finding harmony between your work and personal life.
What struck me was the pressure we all put on ourselves. We want to be beautiful, social, fit and successful. We want to be good mothers and partners, while making time to meditate, sleep and hit the gym.
Listening to these incredibly accomplished women talk about their struggles was a real eye-opener for me.
One of them was so stressed that she went to the shops and forgot her two-year-old daughter at home and another burnt out, resulting in severe bronchitis and three weeks of sitting in a hospital bed.
As a notorious workaholic, this was something I really needed to hear.
I study full time, work as a marketing coordinator and waitress on the weekend. This means I’m hustling nine hours a day, six days a week. I have a boyfriend and his family to keep up with and a mother that loses her shit if I haven’t been home for a couple of days.
Trying to do it all is exhausting, not just on my body, but on my mind too.
There are days when I come home after 12 hours of work and ball my eyes out because I just don’t know who to disappoint next.
Is it my dad who needs me to type up his quotes or is it my friend with depression that hasn’t been out of bed for the last three days? Is it the people in my group assignment who are waiting on my presentation slides or is it my boyfriend who wants me to watch him play basketball next weekend?
No matter what I do, someone is going to be let down and for me, that guilt is debilitating.
So what do I do?
I put everyone above myself.
I type my dad’s quote even though I’d love to use that time to publish a blog, I visit my friend with depression even though I wish I could go for a run and I get up at 4am to finish my presentation slides even though I’m dying to sleep-in.
If I’ve learnt anything over the last couple of years it’s that you can only stretch yourself so far before you snap so at some point you’re going to have to learn how to say “no”. You are going to have to stop feeling like you owe people your time and effort and start mapping out your priorities.
What is non-negotiable in your life and what are you happy to let go of?
It doesn’t matter how successful you are in your career, you are not invincible, you cannot do it all and trying to be a hero can really take its toll.
Want to join these boss-bitches and thrive in your life and career?
Follow SheSays Australia on Facebook and look out for their next event.
SheSays is a global non-for-profit organisation focussed on the engagement, education and advancement of women in creative industries. They started out in London in 2007 and now exist in over 40 cities around the world.
They are driven by one goal – to help more women reach their full potential and make it to the top.
That’s a vision worth supporting!