What do you think of when you hear the word ‘crumbs’? An abundant feast? Lavish provision? Fulfillment? No, probably not. Crumbs are the leftovers; what nobody else wanted. You’re not going to get full on crumbs, and unless you’re a mouse, they’re not what you really want. And yet I know an astounding number of highly kickassy women who are accepting crumbs in their professional and personal lives. You know who you are! I think we all are familiar with some of these situations:
- Your significant other continually points out how attractive other women are, and if you object, they tell you that you’re too a) controlling, b) insecure or c) old-fashioned. You’ve started wondering if maybe they’re right, and/or have decided it’s probably not worth the fight to say anything.
- You’re bored in your current role at work but are worried that if you ask for a promotion, you’ll be considered ungrateful and might lose the position you do have.
- You’ve always wanted to get a degree in ___, but you know your family doesn’t see the point, and it seems selfish to spend time and money on that right now.
- You’re in a relationship with someone who you’re not sure you really like, but it’s better than being alone.
- You can barely stand going to work in the morning, but you don’t feel qualified for anything else, and anyway, it’s better than nothing.
- You’re in a relationship with someone needy, complain-y, or just plain mean, but you’ve been with them too long to consider trying to change anything.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. In a million different ways, millions of otherwise amazing women are selling themselves short and settling for much less than they need or want in life. Basically, when you don’t believe you’re worthy of more, or able to actually get it, you go from an intrepid adventurer in your life to a…settler. And once we start settling for crumbs, we soon decide that we’re lucky to have them, and become fearful of losing even them.
We can find ourselves as settlers for different reasons, but basically we become settlers when we have declared ourselves unworthy. And dollars to doughnuts, if you’re at that spot, there’s a better than average chance that you’ve been shoulding on yourself. “You’re shoulding all over yourself!” is what my spiritual mentor has had to tell me on a regular basis, whenever I start beating myself up for what I should be doing, should have said, or should have already achieved. If you’re not careful, failing to live up to your shoulds will leave you demoralized and ashamed, and ripe for crumbs.
But where does all that should even come from?
I’m glad you asked…because there’s a whole chapter about this in the book! In the meantime, I’ve used my very best coaching and scientific research to put together a should detector for you. If I may say so myself, this might just be the best free content I’ve ever given away! If you go through this exercise you’ll get some great insight into if you’re stuck, why, and whether you’re shoulding all over yourself. And then the fun begins of getting out of all that muck! So click here for the download. If you’ve already subscribed, I’ll be emailing you special – because that’s what friends are for!
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Carrie Maldonado, is an organizational development consultant, author, and speaker. Carrie’s eclectic mix of professional interests include writing, speaking, coaching, and consulting on topics ranging from organizational behavior management to spiritual transformation in and out of the workplace. Carrie lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her patient and long-suffering husband and their three children, who may or may not be conspiring to destroy her. Reach Carrie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.