• Shawna Campbell

Can You Have It All?

Have you bought into the myth that you can have it all or that you should want it all? Are you bombarded by media and stuck in comparison and envy? Do you know the oh-so-perfect neighbour who has the perfect body, happy children, cute and helpful husband, well-walked dog, a spotless home, and is a philanthropist, all while honing a successful career?

You may be able to have it all, but most often, not all once and not without consequence. This need, belief, desire or expectation is much more prevalent on the female side of the equation. Men seem more capable of compartmentalizing their lives, saying no and respecting their self-worth. This is a huge topic about where and how women are taught to find and prove their worth and value and the expectations placed on them from birth. Many women continue to attempt to fulfill some mythical role of the ultimate human being. Many of you tell me that you know it's unrealistic, but actions tell a different story as you continue to wear multiple hats all at one time.

Let's take a look at how this myth started. The Feminist movement ushered in an era of “women can have it all,” and since then, the confusion around this message has lead to burnout, frustration and self-loathing.

The feminist movement was about a woman’s right to have it all, a woman’s right to choose. The right to create, earn, mother, love, express and support herself in whichever way she chose; limited not by her sex but by her preferences.

You certainly weren't meant to be a hybrid; half man, half woman. Attaining equality didn't mean giving up your chosen roles or assuming all the roles. The aim is to strengthen your position and autonomy as an integral part of all facets of society.

What does it really mean to you when you think about having it at all? Every choice you're making is an attempt to move closer to happiness and joy and further away from discomfort. The feminist trailblazers of yesterday hoped you would feel entitled and free to design your life as a reflection of a human being fully realized, unchained from assumed roles and traditional viewpoints; you could move closer to what you desired. No longer anchored to one definition, no longer less than a man, no longer beheld to a life laid out in acceptable ways and void of self-expression.

To challenge this myth, ask yourself, how many someday projects and aspirations and self-care items are on your to-do list? How many of them are moved, repetitively, to the bottom of the list in favour of obligations, shoulds and tedious chores that don’t bring you joy? Life can be really hard at times, and the practical idealist in me knows that life will demand different responses at different times. This requires an aggressive look at where you focus, direct your thoughts and subsequently spend your time. Have you achieved calm, peace or joy more often than not in your life? Are you doing it all for everyone else or to live up to expectations?

Rather than having it all or doing it all, it's about participating in life with the people, hobbies, tasks, and careers that strengthen you. It's about creating space and time in your life for your priorities. Priorities that will mutate over time.

During your lifetime of experiences, you may very well do, be and have it all, just not congruently.

Whether you're just starting out in life, ending up or somewhere between, it's not too late to begin designing your life in a more honest, value-based way. Let this myth go and rewrite your herstory!

Challenge The Myth:

Today’s challenge is to write down and create an action plan to eliminate three things in your life that are shoulds, that drain you, and that aren't in line with your values.

I would love to hear what you will eliminate and let go of and how it feels!

If you find value in this blog, please forward it to a friend. Thanks for reading!