Can women have it all? To be honest, I get pretty tired of this question. I mean, of course we can!
That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s easy. Throughout my career, I’ve spoken with my fair share of women who struggled with figuring out how to have both an amazing career and an amazing relationship. What I often find to be the case, however, is that they’re trying to both be an awesome colleague, boss, career woman while simultaneously swiping right on every man in sight.
My advice to these women tends to be: one thing at a time. Figure out what you want out of life, and let your own clarity find someone to share it with.
I’ve followed this advice in my own life. Several years ago, I was dating a guy who I felt was actually pretty selfish. Somehow we always ended up doing what he wanted to do, and I felt like I—and my interests—had taken a backseat in the whole relationship. I was sharing this with a mentor when it dawned on me: The reason we never did anything I wanted was because I wasn’t willing to speak up and say what that was. I didn’t know myself—my hopes or my dreams—well enough to bring that passion into a relationship. I ended up focusing on my goals, personal and professional. Only after I’d improved my relationship with myself, fully understanding my wants and needs, was I able to have strong relationships with others.
In order to attract the right kind of people, we have to be confident in who we are and what we want. A friend of mine, Allison, was applying for her dream job. She’d been struggling with self-doubt in her current role. She felt unqualified for the kind of job she wanted, but I was able to show her that it had nothing to do with her qualifications, just her confidence. Once she understood that, she was able to go after the job she really wanted.
Fast forward several months, and she not only landed her dream job, but she’s thriving in it. She’s jet setting around the world working on cool projects, making enough to buy her condo, and is enjoying more autonomy than she’s ever had in a job. Now, that she’s figured out her career, Allison is looking around and asking, Now who do I share this with?
I find that many women I speak with tend to be in a panic about being single, even if they’re crushing it in their careers. They think that all the time they spent focusing on themselves and their goals is time wasted, time they could have spent nurturing a relationship. I disagree. By focusing on their own growth and development, they’re going to attract the kind of men who want to see them successful and thriving—the kind of men who will respect their accomplishments and that they can respect in return. What I don’t agree with is the myth that “You have to be single to find yourself.” Focusing on your growth is not about making a statement that checks off the box “I am single, building an empire”. This is just another form of control.
Authentic growth is taking the steps to get clear on who you are and creating space in your life to attract it. That may equate to a day, a month or a year.
This goes for your career as well. One woman I worked with went from making $30,000 to making $150,000 in one year. And like I’ve seen it happen time and time again, just as she was on top of the world in her personal development, a man walked into her life. The only issue was, she didn’t have time for a relationship—she worked late every day and every weekend to earn that $150,000 salary. She ultimately decided that it was worth cutting back on her career to make room for a relationship. She’s not back to making $30,000 a year though—all that time she spent investing in herself has made it possible for her to attract both an amazing guy and a well-paying (though less demanding) job. Her heart is fulfilled and they just moved into their first home together with marriage and family in their future.
Where are you at in your relationship, career, and personal development? I believe we go through seasons in each area, and while we can have it all, that doesn’t mean we have to get it all right at the same time. Now is a beautiful time for new beginnings. Start by working towards loving yourself and being your biggest cheerleader as you pursue your goals— let that love enhance your current relationship or let the person who’s going to cheer along side you find you.
Robin Emmerich has spent close to a decade coaching some of the most successful women in business. Even with their considerable success, the common denominator is that as much as they seemed to be cruising through life on the outside, they were melting on the inside. It’s why Robin just launched Beauty and the Mess—an athleisure brand creating a sisterhood who understands that life is messy and difficult and challenging, but together, can find the strength to prioritize passion over perfection and fearlessly seek beauty in their everyday lives. She currently offers the CIJourney online course, based on the famed Stanford Masters Degree Course, ‘Creativity in Business,’ individual coaching and worldwide retreats. Connect with Robin at robinemmerich.com on Instagram, or beautyandthemess.com.