The Importance of Identifying Concerns

Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on the following question: What issue for today’s working women is of most concern to you? When I started writing my response I noticed that I had more concerns than I realized and that these concerns weren’t just for working women but for all of us. For me, taking the time to identify these concerns has brought them to my consciousness and motivated me to do what I can to lessen some of them. As we start this New Year I hope that we work togethter to lessen our concerns. Best wishes for a 2019 filled with all that brings you joy and peace! Read response below.

What issue for today’s working women is of most concern to you?

My biggest concern for today’s working woman is multifaceted. I am concerned that we live with the belief that self-sacrifice is more honorable than self-care. We have forgotten how to say, “No.” to yet another request. We fill our schedules so tight that we no longer have time for dreaming, playing, laughing, and passion. I am concerned that we have forgotten that we are human “beings” and have instead become human “doings.” We know that we can’t manage time, but we have forgotten the importance of managing our commitments.

I am concerned about our level of our consumerism. We believe that the next purchase will bring more happiness, but we don’t consider the cost beyond the dollar.

I am concerned that we hide not just our pain and fear but also our joys. I believe that we are more afraid of our potential then we are our failure. We diminish our own light, fearful of shinning too brightly. We silence the voice that whispers of our greatness. We settle.

I am concerned that we don’t ask for help. People want to help. They just don’t know how to help until they are asked. Being asked for help makes us feel valuable – part of something beyond ourselves. I am concerned that we are so afraid of showing any weakness or vulnerability that we isolate ourselves from what makes life awesome. One of the quotes that came alive for me on my journey to become a coach was Joseph Campbell’s “Do not be afraid, follow your bliss, and where there were walls doors will appear.” When asked by Bill Moyer during an interview if he believed in “helping hands” Joseph simply laughed and said that he had no choice but to believe. I believe that following our bliss includes being supported by something bigger than us, but we are simply afraid to ask.

I am concerned that we don’t seek to mentor and be mentored. The coolest thing about being mentored by someone that we admire is that what we see in them is actually in us – just waiting to be developed. Being a mentor gives us the opportunity to provide wind beneath another’s wings and it also gives up the opportunity to reflect on our experiences and share our wisdom and our knowledge. Being mentored is empowering. Having another person willing to invest in our potential motivates us to go beyond our personal limits.

I am saddened that we don’t venture into deeper levels of communication. We see the same faces at meetings and events, but we don’t make time to honor each other with the gift of time and friendship. We don’t know each other stories. There has been a 40% decline in empathy in college students since 2000. If we don’t have empathy how can we have healthy communication that leads to inspiration and co-creation?  (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/born-love/201005/shocker-empathy-dropped-40-in-college-students-2000)

I am concerned that we talk a good talk about supporting each other but too often that is not the reality. However, when women come together amazing things can happen. Women have an innate ability to put minor differences aside to work towards fixing bigger problems. It is my hope that this will become the norm and we will stop giving power to differences and realize that we all bleed red, we are all beautifully created, we all have a story, and we all have value.

I believe that when we come together and use our powers for good that injustices such as unequal pay will be a thing of the past just as the inability to vote was banished. We CAN make our world a better place. I am a believer in the OAR Model: We can change the observer we are, new actions become apparent and results improve. We are divinely created but as Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

It brings me joy to know that while the concerns I have are significant, where there is breath, there is HOPE.

I hope that we will all look for opportunities each day to show kindness and support. Even the smallest act can make a ripple effect for good beyond our imaginations.

Encourage. Lead. Listen. Love. Mentor. Nominate. Support. What other words might we add?

Stacey Bevill, ACC, NCC, MPM®