So you’re probably wondering what the story is behind SheHandlesIt. The simple answer is it’s based on hard lessons learned way too late, and if I’m being honest, I’m still learning every day.
SheHandlesIt is about understanding just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, or just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it’s required.
Imagine you’re watching a mother bring in the groceries. Imagine the trunk is open, and each arm is so full of bags it’s cutting the circulation off. You see her balancing a case of water or soda or paper towels. No one wants to make a second trip. What if this mother has children in the house playing video games or a spouse in front of the TV?
Why doesn’t she ask for help? Is it because she’s trying to be respectful of their time? Is it because she’s too lazy to call on the way home and tell everyone to be ready? Maybe she didn’t give it a second thought at all. She’s just accustomed to taking care of it and it doesn’t cross her mind to ask for help.
It’s most likely a combination, but for me, it’s more about wanting to be in control. Not needing anyone for anything. The need to feel independent and self-sufficient. I’m sure a psychologist is reading this and relating it to my childhood or something my parents instilled in me. Maybe they’re correct, but that’s true of every trait we inherit. It’s one thing to feel like you can take on the world; it’s another to actually try.
Carrying the weight of every burden causes its own set of issues. When you take on too much, you start to lose the ability to feel excitement or even experience certain moments. Instead, you feel you’re constantly planning your next conversation, your next task, your next to-do list because you don’t want to miss anything. The worst thing you can ever be in your own eyes is unproductive.
That’s exactly what I suffered from, my biggest fear is being seen as inadequate. For whatever reason, I always felt the need to be working or physically doing something. Sitting in front of a television felt like a total waste of time. Stopping at a gas station was a source of aggravation; I mean, who has time for that? On vacation or at the park, I had a mental itinerary of how long we should be there and what to do next. If I didn’t know, it was a significant source of anxiety. When all else failed, I cleaned. At least cleaning felt productive.
I’m still a work in progress, I feel today I am more realistic about what I can achieve. I can successfully delegate. I have found a way to be more in the moment. All of which has allowed me to experience joy.
Guess what? I am still productive. How about that for a silver lining? Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy feeling like a superwoman, capable of anything. I also realized that role sucks. What good has it done if I can’t enjoy the life I’m building?
Long story short, that’s where the SheHandlesIt mindset comes in. I was able to teach myself that delegating wasn’t passing the buck. Asking my son to help with the groceries isn’t bad. I am still working on accepting help when offered; that will probably take some time; after all, I am a woman; hear me roar.
My mindset has shifted, handling it doesn’t mean it’s just me; it means that I am the orchestrator of what needs to be accomplished. I can enlist a team around me to help realize those goals. I can take on certain duties and delegate others. By doing so, I can accomplish more as a whole. So whether my team is my family, my coworkers, or my staff, it’s still productive, and sometimes — well, most of the time — even more fruitful to enlist the help of those who are capable.
Since relinquishing some things I’ve held onto for way too long, I find more time to spend with my children, more time for hobbies, and more time for myself. This is something drastically missing in most working mothers’ lives. I have found more connections with my employees and clients. I’ve had more time to talk about strategies and learn things for the following stages of my career.
I challenge you to write down every task you accomplish in 24 hours. This includes things that you do at work and home. Then tuck that list away for the time being. No reason to dwell on it; you’ve already done it all. After a day or two, take the list back out and ask yourself one question: was it necessary for me, yes you, to complete all of the items on that list? Or would it have been possible to enlist help from someone else?
I also challenge you to look back and ask yourself if there’s anything that wasn’t necessary. This challenge aims to uncover how your time was spent. Was it spent productively? Was it used wisely? Did you do certain things that just ate up time?
Time is the one thing you can never have more of; the time we have is all we get. You can change what you do with it. Keep in mind there will always be days with more than you can handle, even with the help of others. But if you shift your mindset and start thinking differently, you may find that there’s days you can accomplish everything. The catch is, you also have more time for things you want.
I think it’s time for you to handle it
Last modified: March 18, 2022