The Choices Women Make

An oxymoron or the gospel truth?

Is it only me or do you also feel that there is a strange unrest under the smiling faces on social media. Everyone looks happy but the eyes are another matter. As I interact with more and more women I sense a deep sense of dissatisfaction that reflects in the choices they make. The question troubled me enough to fuel my new book The Anatomy of Choice.

So then, do women really have choices or are we collectively fooling ourselves? Or is the pendulum on the other extreme end that women have such unlimited options now and that they are suffering from ‘Analysis Paralysis’ and the perpetual ‘Grass is Greener’ syndrome.

Analysis paralysis is a moment when one overanalyses the situation to such an extent and that they are unable to take a decision and therefore a solution is not reached.

We all know of women who constantly look over your shoulder as you talk to them. You know they are looking to see if they need to talk to someone who is more influential than you, get that picture to post.

These are called Maximisers…they are forever on the lookout for that perfect lover, the perfect friend. Even though there is nothing wrong with their current situation, they are constantly looking for that elusive…better. Nothing wrong in it, it is just another way of dealing with their life.

We also know of women who are struggling with fast-track careers and being a mother and a wife to really be bothered with exploring a meaningful relationship with themselves.

Where then does the choice lie and how do we choose what is best for us?

Let’s ask ourselves.

Do too many choices leave you confused…unable to make that decision?

If the answer is yes…research shows that you are not alone, this is a generational problem. Growing up with a panorama of possibilities adds quantity for sure but it also repels clear thinking sometimes. Today’s well-meaning parents have made their girls, suns in their small galaxies. I am one such parent. My daughter is my pride and joy and I want to give her the world, truth be told.

 And yet our societies are still patriarchal and stifling when comes to women. Housework and child rearing still fall in the woman’s kitty. Accompanied with the lack of community and a social fabric in flux, it makes a woman lonelier than what she was before adding to an already high stack of odds against women.

Unable to exit the situation most women are only able to voice their displeasure at their choices, their discontent hoping to influence the situation, to bring about change. A lost battle.  

This instability however only results in a push and pull of what is right and what is needed. When women choose one option over the other, a slew of hypothetical trade-offs become apparent to them and what got left behind then takes the shape of a ‘missed opportunity’. This alters how they feel about the chosen option and affects the level of satisfaction they experience from their decision.

Expectations, demands, and that clocking in at home for the ‘second shift’ after an exhausting day at the workplace as one watches the man take his ‘Me’ time is likely to lead to ripples in the future.

Of course it is not all doom and gloom; women are in a better place than what they were a few decades back. I think we will all agree there. What had seemed unsurmountable has become doable now, the shattered glass ceiling, the easy juggling of the office and home front, the pleasures of multitasking. I see numerous women enjoy their lives and the contentment is visible in their eyes as well.

Are their lives perfect…?

I don’t think so but what I fathom is that they have made peace with their lives.

They have let go of things they cannot control. 

How?  

According to me, it is mindfulness of oneself. An awareness about what makes you happy and what is more important in your life. If it is reaching the heights of success then so be it and if it’s restfulness, a peace within, make efforts to achieve that. 

Make a list of priorities on paper, have short-term and long-term goals corresponding to that list of priorities. Now make conscious efforts to achieving those goals for your own happiness.

If you keep looking for something better you might miss the contentment that comes with training your eyes on what you have and feeling gratitude for the things that life has given you.

Glass half full… NO, you can refill that glass to the brim, but you have to want to change, to bend, to adjust not to others but to your ever evolving self.

Listen to yourself and what you want and you shall become unstoppable.

We are what we choose to be.

 

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