Holy Moly…What a Question!
I know…I’m sorry, but it has to be asked.
Think about a totem pole and then consider this…if you’re life is like a totem pole, where do you land?
Are you in the middle? Are you closer to the top or at the very top or are you at the bottom? Be honest.
If you’ve figured out how to place yourself towards the top – Congratulations! You don’t need to read any further, but if, like most women I know, you’re landing at the bottom, then you’ve got a Jenga Totem Pole!
Do you remember the game, Jenga? It’s played with blocks and you first build a tower using 54 blocks. Once the tower is built each player begins removing one block at a time. Eventually, someone removes a block and the entire tower comes tumbling down.
So it is with your life. If you’re at the bottom of your totem pole then you definitely have a Jenga Totem Pole and you’re pole is very wobbly, which means that at any moment your life could come tumbling down.
Why do we have such a hard time moving ourselves up the pole? Conditioning…society’s messages, comparisonitis, and the pressure we place upon ourselves to somehow be perfect by doing it all to point of exhaustion and frayed lives.
Wouldn’t it be great to get off the roller coaster ride and start designing a life that actually worked for you? Do you think it would make a difference or do you think I’m making this stuff up?
Or…have you lost your ability to even begin to imagine what it would be like to actually give yourself more personal importance and change what isn’t working?
I remember when my life felt like every single day was just one big whirlwind. I thought that everyone and everything was more important than my personal needs, and I had needs. I needed to rest. I needed a day off. I needed some time alone with me. I needed to learn my own value and I needed to accept that fact that I couldn’t PLEASE everyone all of the time!
It wasn’t easy. I was a single mother struggling to make up for the lack of attention my daughter got from her father. He always came first – a big part of our marriage problem. I tried and tried to be the most excellent, perfect mother I could be while working 50 hours a week in my corporate job so I could put food on the table because my ex also didn’t think it was necessary to pay his child support.
Those were some very dark and difficult days. I remember one time my bank account got down to five cents and I didn’t know where our next meal would come from. Because I was at the bottom of my totem pole, when my car broke down with 5 cents in the bank, I fell apart. Literally, uncontrollable crying…embarrassment…feeling like I couldn’t get a break and all the while still feeling like I had to go it alone instead of asking my family for help.
Do you see the insanity of this? It is total insanity and the worst part is that the more I stopped taking care of me, the more frustrated and short-tempered I became. I sacrificed everything for my daughter, but because I was so stressed I wasn’t good at work and I sure wasn’t good at home. So much for being the perfect single mother.
Can you relate to this? It doesn’t have to be this way. You are as SPECIAL and VALUABLE as anyone else.
You MATTER! Your LIFE MATTERS!
And more importantly you deserve better than a Jenga Totem Pole, because once it all comes tumbling down, it’s really hard to pick up the pieces and put your life back together again, especially if you have a mindset that you can’t ask for or even receive help.
Balance is Elusive but somehow you have to find some personal time in your life where you give yourself permission to start moving up your totem pole.
Try These 5 Steps for a Healthier Less Jenga-Like Totem Pole
- Take serious inventory of your life. Really. Get serious and honest with yourself. Where do you really land on the totem pole of your life. How do you feel at the end of the day?
- What can you say no to? No is an answer and sometimes the best thing you can do for everyone is to say no, I can’t do that right now. Where can you add no to your life?
- Ask yourself this question. “What can I do right now that would make a huge difference in how I feel about everything?” What do I want to do differently? What do I need help with? How can I get help so I can do something for me? And then take action and do it!
- Are you comparing yourself to others or are you being true to you? So often stress gets ramped up because we’re busy comparing our lives to someone else. I used to compare my life to my friend who had a husband, full time housekeeper, no job and didn’t have any financial worries. Good pick, don’t you think? Breaking comparisonitis is huge.
- Finally…get some help. If you need to surround yourself with girlfriends who GET YOU or if you need some coaching or other professional help…give yourself permission to invest something in you.
Will you do me a favor and leave a comment below about where you land on the totem pole of your life?