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This New Approach To Life Will Make You Feel Like You’re Smashing Your Goals

4 MIN READ • 14th May 2020

Whether you’re after a healthy mind, bank balance or relationships, we’ve got all your wellbeing needs covered this month

It feels quite empowering to think that we could have it all, doesn’t it? For so many years, women were restricted in the things they could do or the goals they could work towards but, as striving for equality has become the norm, the opportunities we can fight for are limitless. Want to climb the career ladder while looking after a happy family at home? Go for it! Fancy heading out for dinner with friends after you’ve signed up to a new exercise class and done the school run? Just do it! But, there is a problem. Perpetuating the idea that having it all is easy if only we try hard enough can be damaging to our wellbeing. While it’s inspiring to think we have these possibilities at our fingertips, many women feel like they’re failing if they’re not achieving in all areas of their life.

“The problem with the idea of ‘having it all’ is that it promotes a fixed, and often unrealistic, impression of what success means,” explains Hannah Martin, a qualified psychotherapist and the founder of the Talented Ladies Club ( “It can feel like if you’re not euphorically sailing from high-powered meetings to cocktails with your girlfriends and then going home to breastfeed your angelic baby, you’ve somehow failed.

“The reality is that ‘all’ differs wildly from woman to woman, as do her options in life. We know that the workplace doesn’t always make it easy for working mothers to achieve any kind of balance, and yet still we put pressure on ourselves.”

And it’s the stress caused by this which can be so damaging. “We can feel dissatisfied, like we have no control or as though we’re constantly failing – all of which is a toxic emotional cocktail that can manifest in physical symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks, exhaustion, IBS, depression and more,” Hannah says. “This level of stress can lead to breakdown and burnout.”

Make your own choices

So, how can you make a change? For Hannah, the key to feeling less overwhelmed is setting boundaries and redefining what it is you really want. “I believe that you can still ‘have it all’, but only when you decide what that ‘all’ is. Set your own vision for a life that will make you happy, and create that. Be realistic about what is possible to achieve, and learn to let go of what you can’t control.”

Transformational life coach Nicky Clinch ( agrees that our own version of success is certainly within our reach, as long as we forgo the idea of perfectionism.

“In my opinion, it is possible to have an enormously fulfilling life but only if we are willing to let go of the perfect picture we need it to look like,” she says. “There is simply no way to do it all perfectly and to truly have all these things in our lives we must be willing to let go of that concept. Each day our attention will be required on a different priority and if we are ready and willing to surrender to the juggle and dance of ever-flowing change then we can enjoy and live it all.”

Being realistic about the juggle is really important, and psychologists often talk about the four burners theory in relation to work-life balance. The idea is that each burner represents a different element of your life: family, friends, health and work, but you don’t have enough gas to keep all four burning brightly all the time. To be successful in life you have to cut off one of your burners, and to be really successful you have to turn off two. Of course, life isn’t as black and white as this, but the idea does demonstrate how it is often about compromise and how you can’t always focus on everything at the same time.

Be compassionate

Looking for other ways to stop feeling like you’re constantly failing? “Spend time each day acknowledging what you are doing well,” advises Nicky. “If you spend all your energy focusing on what you haven’t already done then you will feed a sense of ‘lack’ within yourself. Instead, bring your focus to your successes and nourish your self-worth.”

Be kind to yourself, too. Our own self-care often falls down our list of priorities when we’re busy and tired, but we need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves.

“Find time every day to do at least one small thing for yourself,” Hannah advises.

“Even if it’s just savouring a quiet cup of tea first thing in the morning. You’ll have more energy and emotional space for others if you do.”

Nicky has some essential words of wisdom to finish. “Remember that every single one of us is only human,” she says. “True empowerment and success comes from those who are ready and willing to fail, make mistakes, be imperfect and to learn from it and keep trying again. Make the commitment to welcome all of who you are, vulnerabilities and imperfections included.” Amen to that.

“I was falling apart at the seams”

Suzy Glaskie is a former PR boss who left behind her job after struggling to juggle the stressful task of running her business with looking after her three children. She’s now a certified health coach and the founder of Peppermint Wellness ( Here she tells us her story…

“Back in the days when I was juggling an impossibly stressful job with looking after a baby and a three-year-old who seemed to take it in turns to be ill, I turned into a walking wreck. I was desperate to be the consummate professional I’d always been, but I was falling apart at the seams. My weight plummeted, I had a constant knot of fear in my stomach and I was struck by all manner of ailments… until the day that I finally resigned.

Now that I’ve retrained as a health coach, I’m a lot more aware of what my body is trying to tell me. Whereas I used to plaster over the cracks, slap on more make-up, fake a smile and crack on with the job, I now recognise when I’m overstretched – and I take action. I’m far calmer, happier and more focused at 49 than I was at 29. Back then, I was attempting to do the impossible and was wrecking my health in the process. My mindset around my own selfcare is now radically different and I make sure I put my own wellbeing at the top of my list.”

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