I’m a powerful woman but I’ve still got wobbly bits!
emphatically exclaimed a friend and colleague, at which point we both fell about laughing at her choice of words. But moments later, the profundity of this statement started to sink in.
How much freedom do we feel we have to both admit to, or show, our wobbly bits? Either physically or metaphorically! Putting gym toned bodies aside for the moment, as professional women it is the emotional wobbly bits we seem to want to hide the most.
In declaring herself both powerful and wobbly my colleague was putting aside the notion that power is at one end of a continuum with weakness at the other. Often our belief systems have us buying into the notion that to be powerful in our careers, we need to push away all forms of perceived weakness. This may work fine for a while, until the morning when we awake feeling anxious, unsure and vulnerable. If we are siding with our powerful primary selves then our natural reaction will be to label our feelings as aberrant, try to berate ourselves into being stronger, force our features into making a brave face, while all the while feeling like a fraud inside. And there lies pain.
But if we can accept that feeling wobbly is just something that will happen to all of us from time to time, then we can stop the worst part of all this and that is isolating ourselves by feeling we are the only ones struggling.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve lost count of the number of people who have said to me they are struggling with feeling wobbly, which has helped normalise my own struggles over the same period. My more alternative friends have blamed the solstice and “super moon”, some have put it down to the election, Brexit and shifting power dynamics in the UK, while others point to heat stroke, overwork and the need for a holiday.
Whatever the actual cause of our collective wobbles, my view is if we can all learn to embrace ourselves with a bit more compassion, then the parts of us that don’t match up to Wonder Woman can relax a bit. After all the most important part of being a professional woman is to remember our humanity and if we can do that, then we will truly be powerful.