It's a hard time to be a woman in 2014: the economy is still lagging, there is still a wage gap, we are still wondering if any woman can truly "have it all."
If that wasn't enough, there is more ungodly pressure then ever to look younger, thinner and have lots of babies.
It's an identity clash between the feminist CEOs and the aspiring Real Housewives of Nowhere.
In short: Us women today are screwed. And I do think the casualties of this identity crisis is going to escalate so I wanted to put this little post together.
In 2007, and then again in 2010, I was the poster child of anarchic identity. I didn't know who I was -- SO I was trying to be everything. I was stressed while working really hard on my medical research, I had a fussy infant, but was also trying to be fit, sexy, and a homemaker at the same time.
And it wasn't working.
I was all 10 of those woman below. All ten of them superimposed on each other. It created a monster (don't ask for proof because those were dark times where I hid from pictures).
Today, I see patients in my medical office, talk to people through my health website, and speak to my friends -- who seem to all fall in and out of these same mindset traps.
And why should you listen to me about what to do and what not to do? You shouldn't. I'm no expert. In fact, you should listen to no one when it comes to your life.
But here's my experience (and I've learned the hard way about what NOT to do and a little bit about what TO do.):
1. The Woman Who Ignores Her Bodies' Signals
Every time I see a woman in my office I see how closely women's hormones are tied to their physical symptoms. Fatigue? It might be thyroid imbalance. Growing waist? It might be progesterone steal. Don't be so busy that you miss what your body is telling you.
Tip: Eat and train with your menstrual cycle. For example, it's okay to do a restorative workout like yoga when your body is telling you to do so.
And don't ignore a pain because you're too busy to get it checked out by an expert.
2. The Woman Who Carries Guilt... ALL the time
Do you feel guilty when you miss a call from your boss or important business contact?
Chances are you feel 30-40 percent more guilty than your male counterpart.
Same goes for you moms who leave your children at home.
Stop your exercise guilt, your sleep guilt and your leaving-work-to-go-home-to-your-kids guilt.
It's counterproductive and exhausting.
Sorry no solution for this one -- just stop it.
3. The Woman Who Thinks She Needs To Do It All -- Everyday
Yes, you can do it all BUT why should you? It will leave you exhausted, depleted hormonally, and burned out.
Tip: Outsource as many chores as you can, ask for family help, and pare down your daily priority list. Also, to beat decision fatigue, pick out a weeks worth of clothes, and a week of meals and repeat it EVERY week.
Think like Obama when dressing.
4. The Woman Who Views Food As The Enemy
Society tells us we have to be thin and that thinner = more attractive, more successful, happier.
This causes women to think food is the enemy. Food obsession, guilt and emotional eating are the disease of modern woman. We often forget that food is required to live, function and perfom.
I can't say I know how to completely fix as this is a lifelong battle for some -- but start with stress reduction, listening to hunger and even testing how certain food groups make you feel can help.
5. The Woman Who Leaves The Finances to The Man
Whether it's your husband, father, or boyfriend, DO NOT be in the dark about your finances. A financial planner I spoke to said she requires that all parties be present because so many times the woman is the relationship is "completely clueless" about where their money is invested and how much debt the family has.
A quick biweekly or monthly financial review is probably sufficient. I know that I groan when I think about a meeting about our finances but I know it will be good for me.
If you ever have to urge to leave your finances to someone else:
b) you're an idiot.
6. The Woman Who Thinks Time Is Always Running Out
Need to work out? No time
Need to sleep? What a waste of time
Meditation? Oh please, that's for people with nothing else going on in their lives.
Okay, you get the picture.
The one tip for this one: learn the abundance mentality. Basically it's a midset shift about how much time, money, and opportunity we have. Here's some examples.
7. The Woman Who Hovers In The Shadows
From body language in the board room to speaking up for a raise -- women often feel like they should sit on the sidelines, literally and figuratively.
I once walked in to a large conference room with one chair left at the table. I went and sat on the side leaving the chair unclaimed. It just seems to crowded at the table I thought. A male colleague walked in and beelined it straight to that chair and he even had to ask the neighbor to move to let him in.
This TED talk about body language is an amazing tool.
Sorry? You're not sorry -- so why say it?
8. The Woman Who Thinks She Has to Be Feminine To Be Happy
Seriously, not every woman wants to look and dress up like Barbie or a Disney princess.
I have banned my daughter from dressing like a princess for Halloween (but she's 4 and let's see how long that lasts). I want her to develop her own tastes and not be pushed to be feminine.
9. Women Who Feel They MUST Fake Sexual Prowess
Whatever your preferences, romantic history or current state of desire -- it's FINE. There is no one definition of normal. We shouldn't have to "pretend" to be anything when it comes to your sexuality.
10. Women Who Are Afraid to be Seen As A B*tch
Women want to be powerful just as much as men. They want to be rich, and want to be leaders. But they are often hesitant because of seeming too bossy.
It can even be detrimental in the dating scene.
This women Michelle said she couldn't get a date because she was too successful.
You know what? Just keep on working with authenticity and passion -- and screw them.
Today, I have an idea -- I'm going to delegate a task to someone else who really should be doing it and I am not going to feel guilty about it.
Wish me luck.