As a business coach, I spend a fair amount of time exploring failure. A recurring theme is how women feel that they fall short..not successful enough..not organized enough…not thin enough…the list goes on and on. The longer I coach, the clearer it becomes that we have an epidemic of inadequacy.
After working with hundreds of women, here is my theory… we feel inadequate because we set ourselves up for it. We heap our plates so full that Superwoman couldn’t get it all done. We value what we are told we “should” value, not what matters to us. Then we spend time on Pinterest gazing at images of perfection…perfect homes.. perfect cookies… perfectly wrapped gifts and perfect pantries. Our “real life” seems like a dismal failure in comparison and comparison is the thief of joy.
Elf on the Shelf is a fascinating example of how we set ourselves up for failure. First, it’s easy to believe that the entire world is Elfing. Hundreds of Pinterest boards offer ideas from expert Elfers for the rest of us who maybe creatively challenged. There are millions of posts on facebook, Instagram and beyond that remind us how well everyone else is doing it. There are anguished posts from Moms who forgot to move the Elf. It’s everywhere.
So let me sum this up. You work full time. You are a mother. If you are reading this blog you are probably a direct sellers ALSO running a business. It is Christmas. There are a million things to do. And somehow it seems perfectly logical to add 25 additional tasks and opportunities for failure to a plate already so full it’s spilling onto the proverbial floor.
Lest I incur the wrath of avid Elfers, let me say that I am not picking on the Elf. He is a cute little fellow. Nor I am picking on Pinterest. I love Pinterest but I understand the reality behind it. NO ONE does all that we see on social media. If they do creative things with Elf on the Shelf, they do not also: bake cookies, make handmade cards, create their own ornaments, make homemade gifts, bake their own gingerbread houses, work out every day, home school their children, cook a gourmet meal nightly, keep love alive AND keep a clean home.
Bottom line: it isn’t possible to do it all, have it all, be it all AND sleep. Something has to give. In my house, its the Elf and it’s ok.
This busy season, give YOURSELF a gift.. the gift of PEACE. Take off the Superwoman cape and cut yourself a little slack. If you enjoy Elf on the Shelf, great… Elf away. If you don’t, skip it. Christmas will still be magic, maybe even more so.