When Tammy Wynette wrote those ever eternal lyrics sometimes it’s hard to be a woman, I’m sure she didn’t imagine the context we’d be using them in now. Sure, as well as sorting out the perfect partner, the perfect job and perfect family we must also display the perfect abs, cook the perfect clean meal, meditate daily and of course find time and money for fancy cocktails with our friends on a Friday. If I’m honest, I’ve barely got time to wash the baked bean stain off my PJs (don’t judge me, life is hard) let alone hold myself up to some higher standard that the women police, or indeed the media have laid bare before me.
And genuinely, I throw two fingers up to this ideal – and if you are reading this I think you do too.
And yet – on a daily basis, I’m sabotaging myself and women sabotage themselves. I’m taking those two fingers I threw so carelessly at life yesterday and literally pointing them at my chest, prodding and poking and making myself feel crap today. There are so many little ways that collectively women sabotage themselves and their power every day, and having taken a straw poll of all the men I know, the guys – well they just don’t do this.
So, if you do any of these things, please stop. Immediately. Or, at least this week (that baked bean stain won’t solve itself). If you notice when women sabotage themselves – stop them. And if you don’t – please tell us your secrets below and keep throwing those two fingers up because you are a goddess.
1. What, this old thing?
Girl, listen to me. I know that you are your own worst enemy. Your inner critic is bigger, louder and meaner than Hayley who used to trip you up in front of the boys in the school corridor. You do not need to give the inner critic more strength, depth and volume by turning every compliment you receive into some sort of negative attack on your very existence. This is one of the worst examples of when women sabotage themselves.
When someone compliments you on your outfit, your response should not be “oh this old thing?” or “it was a fiver in the Primark sale I don’t even like it”. When someone tells you your hair looks awesome, you shouldn’t say “oh I just finally got around to washing it”. If someone at work tells you that you crushed a presentation your immediate response isn’t “Oh I didn’t really do anything and I just rushed it all last minute” (because I know you’ve been slaving on that work for weeks).
TAKE THE COMPLIMENT.
Smile, work it, say thanks, flip your hair and act like the god damn queen that you are. Just take the freaking compliment.
2. Not negotiating salary
There is a very good reason that you may not have thought of for the ever increasing pay gap between men and women. Sure systematic inequality plays a huge part, but tell me when was the last time you negotiated your salary? Women are 30% less likely to negotiate their salary and when we do, we ask for a lot less. PLEASE. No matter how awkward, hideous, unfeminine or cringe you think asking for more money is, bet on yourself. Because I will bet all the money I earn that the guy sitting next to you negotiated and he got his own and your pay rise rolled in to one.
- Negotiate when you are offered a job
- Negotiate at appraisal time
- Negotiate when you are promoted
- Negotiate at any time anyone offers you money in return for your skills.
Got it?Many people try to sabotage women - stop doing it yourself. Live your glory + bet on you!Click To Tweet
3. Get off the damn scales
Ok, you’ve got me. This was my number one way of self sabotaging. Every morning, without fail, after my morning toilet break I’d jump on the scales and my whole day would be soundtracked by whatever those scales said. Number has gone down, it was like an all out party in my brain. Number gone up? I’d be moody, inconsolable and lacking in self confidence for the week. I’d probably sabotage any healthy eating plans and go full in for white carbs at every meal with a Dominos on the side.
There is no point in weighing yourself every day. Why? Because bodies are incredible things. Periods, IBS, hydration levels and time of day all play a part in how much you’ll weigh on a particular day. None of those things have got anything to do with how much you truly weigh. Add to the fact that the scales are a crap way of actually measuring both size, self confidence and beauty you are literally wasting a minute of your day when you could be twerking in your front room to Rihanna.
4. Please get me in a size 8
The very small stitched in number in your clothing label means nothing to anyone else but you. And I’m telling you, it should mean fuck all to you either. Sure, perhaps you used to be a size 8. I ached for so long for my pre-wedding body, but I have to face facts that 1. I’m older and my body shape has changed and 2. They invented the Hungry House app. I’m screwed. For many months and years I tried to squeeze into my size 8 clothes and kept them hanging in the wardrobe for when I lost the weight.
Do you know what happened? I felt awful every single time I got dressed for the day. I’d look at the ghosts of clothing past and feel inadequate and sad. I’d squeeze into a skirt that cut into my waist and made me feel uncomfortable and look ridiculous. I’d cry in the changing rooms. I’d stop taking care of my appearance and then the cycle would start all over again. All over a tiny label that no one else can see.
It started with pants. I’m a 12-14 now, but I buy massive size 16 pants because they make me feel comfortable and they fit nicely. I wear size 14 skinny jeans and for the first time I feel confident in my appearance and I’ve had more compliments than I ever did squeezing myself into clothing that was far too small.
The best thing? In my new bigger clothes I’ve totally got room for a Nandos.
5. Not betting on yourself.
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? If you don’t try and live your dream who will live it for you? If you don’t start faking your self confidence until magically one day you wake up and it’s there beside you raring to go, who will? If women sabotage themselves, who won’t?
So often as women we bet on someone else to take the glory. But the number one way we self-sabotage is by not placing a bet on your number 1 – that’s you by the way.
For a call to arms on going and getting yours, watch incredible comedian Luisa Omielan. What she says about women is spot on and perfect – and it will make your day better.
I hate it when women sabotage themselves (even though I do too). GO GET IT!