While feeling a strong urge by my ego to pretend I have it all together, the reality isn't quite that.
Despite my achievements, professionally and personally, there is a part of my life where I struggle to find balance and thrive.
As a professional coach, I share this personal side of me today to inspire you to give yourself permission to face that area in your life that is causing an imbalance too. And if you're inclined to do something about it, to take the initiative starting today.
Last week I shared with you that ten years ago my marriage ended, and we started a divorce that lasted almost four years. My divorce meant that as a professional woman in my 40s, single head of household, and divorced mother, I would be facing life challenges without a partner in crime, financially, emotionally, and otherwise.
At the time, as the primary breadwinner during my marriage, the financial aspect didn’t seem like a big deal for me. However, emotionally facing my 40s and beyond alone was excruciatingly disappointing and painful.
Fast forward ten years to 2019, and I realize today that many of us divorced professionals, men, and women, struggle to put back the pieces of a thriving romantic relationship. As a critical area in our Wheel of Life, and with the core value that "everything is connected," talking about it is cathartic and beneficial to life-work integration.
What are some relationship challenges?
As a busy professional and business owner, meeting other single adults online is a popular, convenient, and readily accessible outlet. However, here are some of the roadblocks and hurdles I’ve encountered.
Family responsibilities and complexity
Truth? The first three are under my control as I explore them and become intentional to manage them, creating the support and opportunities to self-develop, communicate, simplify, and prioritize.
The fourth one, scammers, has been the toughest hurdle. Focusing on scammers, specifically, these are the most troubling scammer profiles I’ve found:
The Catfish – Adults online who post old pictures from their 20s or 30s, pretending to be and look a certain way when the reality is not even in the same hemisphere as planet earth.
Men and women are both on this boat, according to my single guy friends. The catfish believes that when you meet them, you'll overlook the deceit and hope that "integrity" falls off the cliff from your values-set.
“Two-timers” – These are adults, usually with grown children, who claim with great certainty to be looking for others in a relationship status that matches yours.
Opposite what they claim, you learn quickly or by surprise that you are one of many other players on their chess board.
I remember vividly getting a phone call from "Erin" one Saturday morning. She introduced herself to me as "Jay's girlfriend," and proceeded to inform me that Jay was dating, her, me, and nine other women, simultaneously.
The immature adult with low EQ - This group of singles express a strong value compass and appear to be responsible on the one hand, but their actions contradict their stories.
For example, they represent to be accountable at their job, with their families, and with their relationship aspirations. However, they'll make plans with you to meet and won't show up without cancellation or prior notice.
As you read this article, if you happen to fit any of these single profiles, consider this question: What's your end game?
As someone who respects and values others' time, feelings, and well-being, it's not remotely cute to behave in this manner at any age, but especially in your late 40s and 50s.
Consider how this behavior is a disservice to yourself if the other person is of insignificance in your world.
If you can relate to these challenges or similar ones, this is an opportunity to experience yourself growing and learning from each and taking your self-leadership to a whole new level.
Finding the Gold
As I've encountered these dating scenarios, I've been growing and increasing my emotional intelligence (Emotional Quotient) along the way, and that has been invaluable.
This means expanding my "self-awareness, "noticing my emotions and how I show up to the conversations; getting to my next level of "self-management" or how I react to these situations, behaviors, and related emotions; growing my "social awareness" and how I notice others' feelings while self-managing accordingly; and expanding my "relationship management" or ability to build healthy boundaries and guardrails for existing and future relationships.
I will be lying if I don't admit that until recently, I initially felt angry and disappointed when I ran into these scenarios. In hindsight, what I appreciate the most is the lessons, clarity, and self-mastery to which I've risen over the past decade.
Today, when I run into these profiles, I can laugh them off, not let them take over my energetic state, and write about it!
Choosing Your Course
Channeling my heart and feelings toward self-care, creative, and joyful activities help me positively release them. And this is very good for my well-being, my contributions to my family and clients, and my business.
Staying focused on my commitment to service, freedom, and leadership transcends getting caught in the drama and the negative meanings I could be attaching to these experiences.
So, here's your homework.
If you're struggling, what is the one thing you can do that will make a huge difference and help you get closer to the outcomes you desire?
Observing your professional challenges today—those walls in your way—how can you leverage them to get to your next level of growth?
Self-leadership is about not letting the hurdles take you down, but instead, using them to fuel your desires and own your choices.
Finding the humor and laughing about these scenarios has been a great medicine. I'm grateful for the person I'm becoming and how these dating "comedies" serve a great purpose in my personal growth and development.
Along the way, I've also met very interesting people and have even developed lasting friendships where we share common interests and values. I believe life is one big symphony and all of this is happening for a reason—I'll let you know when I figure it out.
Can you relate to some of these profiles? What has been most insightful about your dating experiences?
If you enjoyed this article, share it with your network and leave us a comment.
In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)
With love and appreciation,
About Dr. Ginny A. Baro
Dr. Ginny Baro is an international executive coach, speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. She is the CEO and founder of ExecutiveBound™ and Fearless Women @Work™ and the creator of the innovative and proven method, C.A.R.E.S. Success System™.
Ginny specializes in helping executives develop leaders, maximize performance, and increase profits. As a career strategist, she partners with talented individuals who are navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their professional careers.
She has successfully facilitated leadership training and coaching programs for global companies with over 65,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000 people.
For over two decades, Ginny held multiple Director and senior leadership roles in financial services and technology. Her academic degrees include a Ph.D. in Information Systems, an MS in Computer Science, an MBA in Management, and a BA in Computer Science and Economics. She's a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) accredited by the International Coach Federation. For more information, visit www.executivebound.com.
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