One of the greatest privileges we have is to make choices. When it comes to knowing how to live life on your own terms, it’s so important that we take stock of the many freedoms we now have, compared to generations of women before us. That’s not to say it’s always easy. Today I want to share some practical insights into why that is, and how to live life on your own terms.
Recognising how lucky we are
Discrimination, inequality and massive imabalances in power are very real, even in today’s world. And yet, there are many choices we’re able to make as women that would have been unthinkable for our mothers, grandmothers, and generations before them.
I loved hearing Michelle Williams acknowledge this at the Golden Globes 2020. She said:
"I’m grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I’ve made, and I’m also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists...
I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I can stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over, sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I carved with my own hand."
Now, if you’re rolling your eyes a little, I get it. A Hollywood actress, receiving a glittering award at a fancy event… it’s easy to feel like she’s got it all sorted.
As though it’s easy to talk about “choice” when you’re wealthy and privileged.
And yet most of us are extremely fortunate to also have choices. If you’ve received an education, have access to clean water and healthcare, and are able to make fundamental decisions about contraception, finances and marriage, you’re better off than millions of women around the world.
So why do we end up feeling like we’re stuck?
Gratitude for your good fortune is one thing. And then there's the daily reality – bills to pay, kids to wrangle, relationships to navigate, jobs to do.
Sure, we might have more freedom than many, many other women throughout history. But it's also very normal to feel as though right now, today, you don't have an awful lot of say in the demands being made of you.
At One of many we use “archetypes” to explore common patterns of being that show up in the lives of many women.
As well as the 5 Women’s PowerTypes, our models of powerful feminine leadership, we also see 3 “disempowering archetypes” show up.
These can help you understand what’s happening at those times when it doesn’t feel as though you’re living life on your own terms.
We often feel powerless when...
We’re in “victim” mode: We feel helpless, and as though we can’t do anything to change the situation we’re in.
We’re in “martyr” mode. This is the archetype of the woman who sacrifices everything for others, and never has the space to give to her own needs or desires.
We’re in “bitch” mode. This is where our pent up anger and resentment comes out, and we lash out at those around us (yes, often with the people we love most).
How do you find your way back to the life you want?
If these disempowering archetypes help us understand why we’re feeling boxed in or lacking in power, the Women’s PowerTypes are a framework that allow us to connect to the choices we do have in ay given moment.
These might be as simple as the choices you have about how to respond to a situation. The details you notice, the lessons you take, or the aspects you choose to let go of.
We become conscious of our choices when…
We get to know ourselves. We start to explore what we want, what makes us feel good, what our fears and patterns are. This might be through journaling, talking to a trusted friend or coach, or taking time out regularly without an agenda to enjoy some space that’s just for us.
We give ourselves permission. We allow ourselves to (shock, horror!) do things that are only for us, not for anyone else. If you’re someone who spends their time making other people’s lives easier, this can be a truly radical step.
We get support. At One of many we believe that collaboration is key to changing the kind of world we live in. When we support each other and share our journeys, we’re all able to thrive and grow further than we ever could by ourselves.
Do you want to live life on your terms?
At One of many we’ve developed a specific set of tools to help women find their power and take control of their lives. And our mission is to get those tools into the hands of as many women as possible.
Would you like to be part of this turning tide?
Take a look at Living the Change – our groundbreaking community providing the support, community and tools you need to create the life you want.
You’ll find out what makes our approach so different, and how it’s helping women around the world live life on their own terms.
Our intention is simple. To support professional women to handle the day-to-day so they can unleash the bigger impact they feel called to make in the world.
We believe real leadership is less about skill, and more about having a well of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual strength to draw on. Every week we support thousands of grassroots leaders globally with our free articles, videos and online trainings with powerful tools and methodologies created BY women FOR women.
Become One of many™ women creating strong, meaningful connections in our community.
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- Coaching and burnout: The trap for women who care - November 12, 2020