Dialing Back to Make an Impact with Less Work, More Wisdom
Written By: Virginia James
This memo is for my fellow women who’ve hit the mid-career arena quickly going, “WT-actual-F,” am I doing? Actually, this is a memo for all women and my younger self, too.
After years of burning myself out, I finally tapped into my wise woman wisdom: I can’t do it all 24/7… And the better question was, “Do I even want to?”
See, I’d been going after job titles that boosted my confidence since college, and I was trying to collect degrees like dogs (I do love dogs). But by 2017, and again in 2020, I hit the proverbial wall.
In 2017, I was working full-time at a university in student affairs and was enrolled full-time in a Ph.D. program. Doing both wasn’t the problem, per se (though I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have solid resources in place); it was why I was doing it. Let’s get real together: I was doing it to fill a void in my heart from childhood and young adulthood of never feeling good enough, smart enough, capable enough, and more.
Come 2020; I left a job that had reactivated this same wound in me and decided to focus my efforts on FSW and my second master’s degree (don’t ask).
Today, the biggest piece of advice that I can give to women in my circles is: if you want to really make an impact in this world, you need to dial back what doesn’t suit, fit, or bolster you up.
Now, I know in a culture and country of oppressive systems, it’s not always easy just to jump ship and GTFO. I’m not suggesting this if the timing isn’t right or you need more resources (like some savings, networking, and more).
What I am suggesting is reflecting on three key points to get started:
Begin to look beyond your job titles and org. Charts to acknowledge your strengths and what’s not on paper
Unpack your comfort zones, which can look different to each of us, and why you could be burning out or just plain exhausted (putting the pandemic and global stressors aside)
Finally, see how you can dial back and why, so you can breathe, recenter, and expand going forward.
My “comfort zones” of go-go-go and ambition took their toll on my entire holistic system: body, mind, and spirit. I’ll admit I’ve always been driven because I want the world to be a better place. Even now, I just get so friggin’ joyful when women realize what they can do for themselves, and they start living from that place; but even with my purpose-filled joy, I need to remember sustainability.
Take it from me: if we don’t listen to what our body, emotional/mental, and spiritual elements need, all the wisdom we have to offer others can peter out like a flame that doesn’t get enough oxygen.
We need to remember to create space to be with our whole selves for the long game because no one can share our message like we can.
Truly, once we go from scattered to realigned, there’s no stopping us. Sure, we may pivot, redirect, or find a new pathway, but at least we’ll have our wholeness back and lead our lives from there by tapping into our own feminine sage wisdom.
This article stems from the masterclass I shared on June 14, 2022-- Less Work, More Wisdom: How to Take Your First Step Towards Fulfilling Work That Changes the World (and You)
Meet the Author
Virginia James, M.S.W./C.S.W-P.I.P.
Boss and Founder of Feminine Sage Wisdom, LLC
An Anti-Career Guide & LGBT+ Owned Biz 🌈 Guiding Millenial/Gen Y Go-Getter Women to shift from soul-sucking work to soul-full living and work-life balance. How? With The Zone of Purpose™ Blueprint.