When it comes to performance “women are often their own worst enemies” according to HR specialist Lizaane De Jong.
While socialisation has created certain challenges for women in the workplace and home, women also have a responsibility to change the way they think, says De Jong.
Historically women were expected to speak and act in a subservient way, says De Jong.
This submissive or compliant mindset undermines the ability of women to achieve work/ life balance.
The servant mindset consists of three basic parts:
Women experience huge amounts of guilt over their inability to be perfect.
For working mothers it's the guilt of not spending enough time with their children or spending money on their own needs.
Women feel guilty if they are not “the best worker, best mother, best wife.”
These feelings of guilt stem from unrealistic expectations and threaten their ability to live a full and happy life.
“We are not taught how to use our own power”.
Traditionally women would rely on men to take care of their needs. In the past this was necessary as women had very little rights or opportunity to live an independent lifestyle.
But even though great strides have been made in terms of women's rights, many females still struggle to stand up for themselves.
Refusal to ask for help
There are many reasons women don't ask for help. In the quest to be seen as 'perfect' women tend to disregard their needs and deny their weaknesses.
In severe cases women may even think it's wrong or selfish to ask for help.
As a result women tend to “act as Martyrs”, often volunteering to take on the most difficult tasks while secretly harbouring anger toward those who don't assist.
De Jong cautions women not to blame others for their reality. “At the end of the day the only one who can change it is you.”