Mistake #1: Isolate and try to do everything yourself
“Try,” as in, don’t even try, because you can’t. It just isn’t possible to do everything yourself.
Isolation isn’t good for anyone, but generally speaking, it bums women out faster than men. “Psychobiologists…have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you.” That’s the last place you want to be to create productivity in your work or your life- bummed out, sick or near death!
Let’s face it: women love attention and connection. We are famous for it. Also, women are more sensitive to the positive effects of being around other people- our oxytocin (bonding, love, or cuddle hormone) levels get much higher than men’s when we connect with other people, especially people we care about. And oxytocin is mostly calming and helps women connect to their loved ones and also to orgasm. It’s that vital to us.
So set yourself up to feel good, supported, connected….and learn a thing or two from those smart helpful people around you. You might as well, because you cannot and will not do everything yourself.
Mistake #2: Starve yourself and don’t drink water
Right, because you’re a woman, not a human? C’mon, Toots. You need to eat FOOD and drink WATER. Coffee is not food, ladies. (I tell myself this everyday). How are you going to look as beautiful as you really are, have healthy shiny hair, and ENERGY if you don’t feed and hydrate your body?
Nutrition and hydration contribute to skin elasticity, muscle building and digestion. I know, it can be hard to feed and hydrate yourself. And it’s going to take work if it doesn’t come naturally. Carry snacks, get a chef, prepare your food the night before…whatever it takes, DO IT. You need to live, human lady!
Mistake #3: Undercharge or just work for free
Getting paid is a lot like eating. You need it and it feels good. Even if you’re an heiress and you don’t need the money, it’s still valuable to be paid unless you make it clear you’re volunteering. It’s an energy investment in exchange for the project. Getting paid not only rewards you for what you’re doing, it gives you the resources to continue. YOU DESERVE TO BE PAID. Charge what you’re worth.
Mistake #4: Gossip
Did anyone ever tell you something someone else said about you that stayed with you for years? And you could never really resolve it because they didn’t say it to you? But you stopped liking them….or you told something someone else said and then they stopped being friends thanks to you…in any scenario, gossip sucks, and it will take over your life and be bad. Seriously, there’s nothing good about it. And if you’re talking about other people, they’re probably talking about you, too. Stay away from gossip, and stay away from people who like it. It’s all bad, and you’re better than that.
Mistake #5: Worry what others think
Ok, you’re not crazy if you think about what others think, you’re just a normal person. As stated in #1, women (and people) are social. In fact, if you don’t care at all about what other people think, you are a straight up sociopath or narcissist. Care, be aware, consider…but don’t be stopped from living or trying or daring because of your imagination of what others Might do or think. Do your thannng. You are strong enough to handle disapproval, envy, lawsuits, mean tweets…because just like #1 stated, you won’t be alone if you have to go to the bat to protect yourself. But let’s not focus on that. Do your thing and focus on that, and let’s see what happens in real life, not your imagination.
In this wonderful article, Ryan Holiday explains how people who changed the world simply pursued things they were interested in- they didn’t focus on changing the world or on anyone outside of themselves.
Mistake #6: Overpromise yourself
Listen, Superlady, there are only so many places you can be in one day. There are only so many things you can do, so many problems you can solve, so many people you can please. Overpromising stresses you out and inevitably compromises your reputation when you aren’t able to deliver and are basically a stressed fussy ball of unpleasant energy.
Promise LESS and overdeliver if you must, but don’t overpromise. You’ll let someone or everyone down, people will get stressed, and there might also be anger and tears. Create healthy productivity by underpromising yourself.
Mistake #7: Lie that’s it’s fine and then be miserable and resentful
Duh. Don’t b*llsh*t yourself or others! We talked about this in #6. In the end, it’s you who will spend sleepless nights bitterly clutching your cortisol (stress hormone that can make your belly fat and give you heart attacks) belly, angrily reviewing all the ways YOU LET other people wrong you. It takes strength, courage and discipline to tell the truth, but girlfriend it is worth it. Be realistic and truthful! People like you more when you say no, anyway. (Not always, but sometimes). Set yourself up for things to be good and easy and the way you like them…Then you can overdeliver, be more generous, etc. But it will come from pleasure and overflow, not bitterness from keeping your word about those lies you told.
Mistake #8: Never exercise
Whether or not sitting is the new smoking, there’s more to life than sitting around, and the more you want out of life the less you want to be sitting around!
Remember that thing you’re trying to escape that we discussed in #2, that you are human, my darling? Well it’s still true. Sitting or lying down all day everyday is not good for you. Even walking a little bit is not enough. Unless you are a 50’s housewife and gloriously scrubbing the floors, or a lady in the 1800’s vigorously washing your laundry on a washboard when you get home from work, you are not getting enough natural exercise just living your life.
Exercising is something we must do consciously, since we are not hunting and planting and expending energy like our ancestors did without trying. Whether you swim, run, walk 20+ minutes, lift weights, pole dance or play soccer, choose SOMETHING that you like and will be able to do at least 2-3 times/week.
Mistake #9: Micromanage
Micromanaging is like gossiping- getting too involved in other people’s affairs. There is a huge difference between leading, educating, training, inspiring and MICROMANAGING! It can also make you stressed and fat.
You can absolutely guide your assistant and your team to do things the way you believe works best, but getting involved in and being unhappy with every little thing will not go well for anyone. You will seem bitter, undersexed, unpleasant overall and unfun to work with.
Instead, surround yourself with professional people whom you TRUST. People who may not have all the skills you desire but they are willing to communicate and WANT to work well with you. Did you know Netflix give their employees unlimited vacation days? Set your working birds free and they will continue to come home to roost. And, most importantly, RAISE the people you work with up to the level you need them to be:
You don’t exactly have to let go and let G-d, but you can relax and believe the best in people, especially trusting in your own ability to lead AND get what you want.
Mistake #10: Be a perfectionist
You’re right. And no one else is. And they’ll never manage to please you, and you’ll never be satisfied or happy. I get it. For the detail-oriented in us, especially us ladies, when we want things to be a certain way, we cannot rest until they are. But this is damaging to our health. It makes us anxious, picky and unhappy.
Get clear on what is most important in any project or relationship. And focus on those values or goals. You will notice the imperfections, of course, but try to manage your irritation. Take care of things yourself, let things go, and communicate about things that really do matter in a respectful and clear way.
Mistake #11: Interpret others’ silences as negative
Ok, admit it. Women can by cray. I mean, cray cray. CRAZY LOONY NUTS! If 5 minutes or 2 hours goes by with no response to a text or email, plenty of normal, well-educated women can be on the ledge with fear, discomfort, anger, desperation….we be cray. And the sorts of stories we can doctor up in 2 minutes to explain the silence are the sort of choose-your-own-adventure-hell that could win Oscars and Pulitzers, they are so creative…and absurd!
In many cases, yes, there can be a negative reason why there’s no response. But honestly, technology really can make mistakes. I have SAID and have also HEARD from totally smart people, “Oh, he got the text” when in fact he did not get the text. Or whatever, the email, the message…People can be totally available responding to you and then suddenly get busy. And because they are human, too, and don’t realize how insane they are making you with their silence, they can just go ahead and forget to respond. Or respond immediately and it goes into outbox or isn’t sent…they are many many many reasons why people don’t respond in a timely fashion, and it’s not always the insanely negative reason we often think it is. You will add years to your life if you can just not notice the silences and give people the benefit of the doubt. And you know what? Even if it does turn out to be something negative that you suspected, save yourself the ruing and anger-building that usually ensues until you find out what’s really going on.
Mistake #12: Be disorganized and late
Oh, an absolute guarantee right here to make you miserable and fat. GUA.RAN.TEE:
- Don’t write things down: keep addresses, appointments and phone numbers on your phone.
- Rely on technology that often breaks down to tell you where you need to be at the last minute.
- Take a taxi in traffic when you’re already running late.
- Don’t keep track of anything, and stress for months when your taxes are due.
- Treat your life like a paper that was due in 7thgrade and plan to do it at the very last minute.
Remember our nemesis cortisol, the stress hormone we discussed in #7? It can literally make you fat. Also adrenaline overload taxes your body and is hell on your adrenals and your thyroid, not to mention your kidneys and liver, depending whom you speak to. The point is, if you treat your body like you are always running from the tiger, it will screw you up, you’ll be stressed and exhausted, and you won’t certainly won’t have great energy, be productive, and look sexy. Bad planning usually snowballs into bigger problems, and we women end up wearing those problems in our faces, bellies, thighs, and butts. And maybe in those arm wings, too.
Just like eating breakfast and drinking water, there are many little things you can do, like writing down an address or confirming the day before, that make a huge difference.
Mistake #13: Don’t communicate timing, plans, or expectations
Nah, why bother? Let them wait, be confused, and become angry or disappointed. Let people think you’re irresponsible and cannot be counted on. Turn your reputation into an untrustworthy, unrealistic and unreliable person.
Whaaaat?! Communicating your timing, on time or late, or the expected scope of the project, and especially changes in timing or expectation is the absolute simplest way to appear as a clear visionary and good manager. You’ll also seem fair, humble, and put together.
Mistake #14: Stay up at least 3 hours later than you meant to
Another wonderful way to gain weight is to stay up too late, spend a smaller percentage of your sleep time in REM sleep, and have no energy to exercise or eat well. You’ll be tired and grumpy and you won’t be able to concentrate or make good decisions. It will be hard to wake up and there’s a great chance you’ll feel crappy when you do.
It’s hard to do things that aren’t natural, especially when our natural state is lying in bed snacking and staring at our phones late into the night. But, doing things the easy, automatic, lazy and destructive way brings only crappy results- exhaustion, weight gain, inability to focus…and not being a nice person because we’re just dang tired!
Mistake #15: Give up easily and hate yourself
Hating yourself is just cliché, ladies. It’s passé. Everyone does it. It’s boring. And giving up easily? Whew! Could you be less original? It’s so easy that almost everyone does it. It’s really really bad for you to give up easily. Don’t do it! I teach my students and clients to follow up 5-12 times. It seems insane, but most people don’t even get to one, let alone two tries. The most common way is not to try at all. Or to try once and then give up.
Arnold Shwarzenegger’s amazing success had a lot to do with him simply outpracticing everyone: doing more reps than anyone else, visioning and not giving up until he beat everyone and succeeded. Ok, you probably don’t want to be Arnold, but you can be inspired by him and not quit at the first failure. Or second or third or a hundredth.
And for G-d’s sake, don’t hate, especially not yourself. Remember #4? Hating is even a form of gossip-unto yourself. Your mean voice is thinking and judging and whispering terrible things to you, and you just can’t defend yourself. It’s toxic and damaging, and it certainly won’t give you the energy to persevere the next time you fall down.
Be kind, realistic, and patient. Focus on your goals and ask for help. If you can’t enjoy the rocky journey, at least lie down from time to time and look at the sky…knowing each action of yours is tiny in the grand scheme of things…and maybe you’re actually secretly awesome after all.
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