– By Jennifer Tavarez
I was raised to believe that it was selfish for us women to pursue our dreams while raising a family, that once you became a wife there was little room for “wants”, that been an “extraordinary” woman, devoted wife and good mother meant sacrificing all of who you are in the name of those you love. I was once told that the women in my family were destined to manage it all, take care of the home, the children, men and work. It was a prevalent pattern for generations, including my mother. But in despite of it all, I was not willing to settle for this idea. I wanted more if not everything out of life. I felt guilt and shame the day I decided to go after my dreams, yet I made a choice to do everything I could to make it work and most importantly believe it was possible. If you conquer mindset, you have conquered the world for sure.
My entrepreneurial adventure began January 2014, just 3 months after giving birth to my second child. I began producing conferences and seminars for a Seminar Leader and Speaker in Latin America, soon after I became her International Brand Manager. In less than a year, I was juggling more than 3 roles and traveling at least 1 to 2 weekends out of the month. I was not only a mother to a newborn and five year old, wife, but also an entrepreneur and full time employee.
How did my family and relationship make it? Before I even gave myself permission to go after my dreams I had to own and accept that I was not intending whatsoever to become a super mom or the greatest wife alive, even if its what it seemed or felt for me at times, instead I wanted to do my best as a woman, and doing my best as a mother and as a wife was part of been the woman I wanted to become. I would like to share with you seven strategies that allowed me to do my best on every turn, which strengthened my relationship with my husband and allowed me to thrive as a mother while honoring the woman I wanted to live as.
1-Get clear on your Why and What,
Your goals, your “have” and “be” need to be aligned with who you are and what you are willing to give to make it all happen. Prioritize your values and intention over the idea of who you think you “need” to become. I found that by getting comfortable been me I was able to gain more clarity on what I truly wanted, your nature can’t go wrong.
2-Cultivate confidence and look for ways to get inspired,
Identify references of success in your life, other women professional that are also mothers, wives and partners. Learn about their strategies, remain curious, stay learning and nourish your wisdom, build your network of influentiators and mentors.
3- Master your power and the rest will follow,
You can only genuinely love others in the same manner you are willing to love yourself.
Self-love is not about being selfish and putting others needs aside for your own. Is about honoring your greatest self, the sacred masterpiece you are. Is about living as you would want your dearest ones to live, is about doing your best from the best of who you are. This is our true power.
4- Honor your imperfections.
Elizabeth Gilbert says “embrace the glorious mess that you are”, our real selves empowers us to redefine our terms of happiness and success, it cultivates confidence to overcome fear and defeat unworthiness, it resets the mindset that blocked our ability to feel, give and receive what truly brings joy into our lives and those around us, in despite of our “flaws”. Our truth no matter how messy it can be, is imperfectly beautiful, is our essence and accepting it sets us free.
5-Assess your priorities and honor them.
It is easy to get immersed in our careers, especially when we feel passionate about what we do, but clarity of priorities allows you to attend what matters when is needed.
Building and pursuing a successful career is important but strengthening its foundation is crucial. This foundation is built by those you love and the invaluable moments they have you experience. The same way you set aside and block the time to create and plan, there must be a block exclusively dedicated for your loved ones. My regular operation hours where 8:30pm to 5:30pm, afterwards my family was priority, when they went to bed, my husband became priority, dedicate quality time, make him feel involved and important, ask for his insight and opinion, share the day. If I still had important tasks to attend in between then I would let him know in advance so he wouldn’t feel displaced by my phone or responsibilities.
6- Give your partner the most important role in your career, your “Main Advisor”.
Effective communication skills is key, if they are not in place yet, start to embrace it. Make your partner you main advisor, make him feel included, share possibilities, projects, ask how you can contribute to his career and dreams, keep each other accountable. This reinforces the commitment that both need to do in the name of those dreams and goals in common, in the end what is a passion and dream to one is an accomplishment for the other, but support and communication is key.
7- Rediscover your power by nourishing your inner self.
Investing in our inner expansion, nourishing the within keeps us grounded, energetic and capable of handling adverse moments to give more and do more of what we love for whom we love, this is what self-love is all about. Tools like: gratitude, meditation, exercise and mindfulness lead to fulfillment, joy and creativity to live greater and thrive at home, in love and career.