“That’s it! I’m quitting and I’m gonna be a trophy wife!” I tell myself on days when I have just had enough of life. I am romanced by the idea of my top priorities being (1) to keep myself beautiful for my husband and (2) to plan amazing parties for my fabulous friends. Why do I have to have ambition and be such an overachiever … is all the stress and anxiety worth it?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had too many panic / anxiety attacks in my 20’s (and even now that I’m 30!) about my career and life choices. Am I on the right path? Why are there so many options? Why is everybody becoming a blogger or life coach? Is corporate life the career for me? Thanks to social media, we are constantly bombarded with other people’s fabulous lives that when we come across extreme adversity particularly in our careers, we ask ourselves if the stress and heartache really is worth it. Should we just quit and travel the world and make money online like how all these Instagram ads tell us to? Should we just quit and live off our husbands’ salaries and become the most amazing trophy wives ever? And if you’re an overachiever like me, you know you’d KILL IT as a trophy wife lol.
But I have to say no: do not give up. Society’s leaders are misrepresented enough thanks to all the male-dominated boards, organizations and industries out there. Don’t be another female-number giving up on your career just because it’s socially acceptable to. I’ve spiraled down the aforementioned path too many times. I end up not wanting to get out of bed, running to the bathroom to calm my nerves before I cry at the office, stressing out on the weekend worried about the week ahead, binge watching Netflix to escape, wanting to give up on life … but I have always managed to crawl back out of that hole wiser and stronger by reflecting on the following.
Take yourself back, WAY back, to your younger self. She is excited about life. She can do anything she wants. She can’t wait to rule the world. Get that feeling back and not by giving up on your career.
Remember why you chose this path in the first place. Remember the impact that you wanted to make in the world. Remember what you wanted to be when you grow up. Remember the successful woman you wanted to become.
Think about what you can change around you to get all those warm, exciting, ambitious feelings back. Are you in the right job role? Are you in the right company? Have you spoken to your manager? Are you volunteering with a worthwhile cause? Do you have the right friends? Are you sleeping / eating / exercising right? Are you doing anything at all that makes you happy?
Start small and make some changes. Even the tiniest things like getting enough sleep can make a huge impact. Do not give up on the career you’ve worked so hard for and have gone so far to achieve. Be that feisty, ambitious (and adorable!) little girl again. Stay strong and stay you.