In a podcast episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Julie and Darlene talk about ruts that women fall into. (You can listen to that episode here.) You know, those tricky little potholes we run over from time to time… Unfortunately, they often take us much longer to get out of than we’d care to admit.
If you can relate and are currently stuck, I’d like you to know one thing: You’re not alone.
Just because you’ve got company, though, doesn’t mean you should settle in. So, as our dear co-founder would say, “What’s a girl to do?”
Let’s start by looking at two trenches women fall into…
1. The all-or-nothing mindset.
It sounds good and noble to say, “I’m just an all or nothing person,” but truthfully, you’re setting yourself up for failure. No one can be it all or do it all, so what does that leave you with? Nothing.
If we can’t be the best or achieve perfection, then many times we give up completely.
Example: Think of the way many view diet and exercise. When you’re “on” you are weighing your food, measuring your portions, counting your calories, timing your workouts, tracking your heart rate, scheduling your life around your meals and gym time… But when you’re “off” you’re eating the pizza, the ice cream afterward, and the leftover slice when you get back home to sit on the couch and watch Netflix all night.
The all-or-nothing mindset is so detrimental to our success because it says that if we can’t have the 100% version then we won’t try at all.
Celebrity fitness trainer, Autumn Calabrese, says, “One cheat meal won’t make you fat. Just like one clean meal won’t make you fit. You’ve got to practice self-discipline.”
A self-disciplined person tries their best to make as many good decisions as possible, but doesn’t allow their bad decisions to take control of their life and overrun their goals. And, when done in moderation, it’s not a bad decision to make the choice to give yourself an allowance of an indulgence, a night off, a vacation, etc. When indulgences and rest are not filtered through an all-or-nothing mindset, they are good things!
I know a lot of fit, healthy people who live by the 80:20 rule. Simply put, 80% of the time you eat healthy and 20% of the time you don’t. What if we looked at all areas of our life that way? What if we decided ahead of time that we were ok with the 80% version of our goals and dreams so that when we inevitably fail, misstep, or hit a wall, we throw that moment into the 20% category and keep going?
Shoot for the majority of your decisions to be good and healthy and productive, and you just might realize that the 80% version is still pretty darn good. It’s certainly better than nothing.
An article on Forbes.com says, “It’s not about getting it perfect. It’s about getting it out the door, and then adjusting from there.”
Don’t be an all-or-nothing person. Be a self-disciplined person.
Often masked as indecision, fear is a common pit that women dive into. I say “dive” because falling sounds so accidental, and oftentimes, sadly, it’s not.
Let me set the scene. We have a decision set before us, but we can’t pull the trigger one way or another because of all the “what ifs”. We run through every possible scenario in our mind of what could happen based on which decision we make. Factored into that decision is our desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our future, our things, our reputations, you name it—we try to protect it.
The real word for this nonsense is control. We try to control life, but the problem is that life is uncontrollable, and somewhere in our mind we know it. But we can’t accept it. So we worry and obsess and fear and ultimately all of that paralyzes us from ever making a decision. Thus, another rut.
Sometimes life presents opportunities that involve risk. Rather than trying to make a decision based on trying to prevent possible problems (most of which we’ve created in our mind), why not focus on what we hope for? What is the best case scenario?
Yes, if you start that relationship you might fall in love and the guy might break your heart. Yes, if you take that job across the country you might move there and realize you hate it. On the other hand, it could just be that this man is a great match for you and you could have a bright future together. You could take that job and realize that you’re finally working in a career that suits your gifts, talents, and temperament. Sometimes high-risk yields high-reward.
Also, know this: if you take a risk and it doesn’t work out, it may hurt. You might have a broken wing for a little while, but you will heal. And you will be a better woman for it. Trust me, every single woman who writes for this magazine has dozens of stories to prove it—just look around!
It’s all about perspective, grit, and grace.
To read a few stories of women who’ve failed, fallen, and healed, read:
You may also like these, by Leadership Expert, Jenni Catron:
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And don’t miss the podcast episode that sparked this article, Don’t Start the New Year Stuck in a Rut – 021!