A lie that has been going around for decades now says women can and should do it all. What I mean by doing it all is having a career, raising a family, being a good wife, and caring for your home. And as Christians, we’ve added being a good Christian to this list. You know, having the perfect quiet time with a cup of coffee and a lit candle with the perfect journal and highlighters.
While all of these things are good in and of themselves, they can become idols when they become our primary focus instead of God. And this lie that women can and should do it all is just that, a lie.
As believers, our main purpose in life is to honor and glorify God in all we do. From there, our lives can look drastically different from one woman to another and one season to the next.
In this episode, I share how we can stop believing this lie and learn to focus on what God has called us to do in our current season of life.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, I love how social media has allowed me to connect with people from my past, my extended family, and new people that I’ve met. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say I like how it has caused me to measure my life by what other people are doing. Specifically when it comes to living out my calling or purpose.
And I’ve noticed that I compare my life with other people’s lives and find myself coming up short. Their homes seem to be cleaner or more fashionably decorated, their kids are well-behaved and excelling in school, sports, or music, and their husbands seem so attentive to their needs. While I feel that my home lacks in some way, my kids don’t always do the right thing, and my husband doesn’t do the things that some other husbands do for their wives. So it’s really just a toxic place to be sometimes.
Then, as I mentioned in the introduction, we’ve been led to believe this myth that women can and should do it all. The value of a woman who chooses to stay home and raise a family instead of pursuing a career is criticized. If you’re not doing all the things, then obviously, you are not doing life right.
The truth is we don’t have to do it all. There are only so many hours in a day to do what we know God is leading us to do. If we try to add in more than what we can handle, it will only lead to chaos and stress. On top of that, we will leave our callings unfulfilled because we are busy doing too many things.
I’ve talked about this in a couple of past episodes recorded several years ago. I feel that social media, especially, has perpetuated this lie exponentially over the last few years. So I think it’s important to revisit this topic to remind ourselves that it is a lie and that we must do it all.
There are three reasons we believe this lie.
We see other women who are supposedly doing it all.
Sometimes we really believe we can do it all.
We are people pleasers at heart.
It’s hard not to believe the world when you always hear this message. And now, with video and images being so prevalent on social media, we can see this lie in action. I confess I spend way too much time watching IG and FB reels that show women cleaning their homes, restocking their pantries and refrigerators, or showing off their beautifully organized homes. Sometimes those videos inspire me to do something in my home, but more often than not, I feel defeated, thinking that I’m not measuring up.
And there have been times when I really believed I could do it all. And when I believed this lie, my family suffered. I was spread too thin, often neglecting some of my family’s needs.
I’ve also had times in my life when I tried to please people rather than God. And I’ve discovered how to know when I’m falling into that habit of pleasing people.
5 Signs You Are A People Pleaser
- You try too hard to be seen as always doing the “right thing.”
- You know how others feel about you, and it deeply affects you.
- You have a hard time making tough decisions, especially ones that won’t please everyone.
- You have a hard time saying no without giving reasons why you are saying no.
- You become easily depressed or discouraged when others don’t affirm you.
The bottom line is we should only live to please God. He is the one who charts our course. We want to live in such a way that we seek Him daily to know what we should be doing.
My favorite verse that reminds me not to be a people pleaser is from Galatians 1:10. “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I think this is what the lie that we have to do it all has turned into. It has turned us into followers of the world who are trying to fit in and be accepted. And to do that, we have to be people pleasers.
What To Do When You Feel Like You Need To Please Everyone
- Learn how to set boundaries.
We need to know God’s plan for our life. I’ve already said our primary purpose is to glorify and honor God. But there is also the plan for your current season. If you’re not sure what that is, ask God to show you. Once we know that, we can set boundaries and teach those who want us to please them what those boundaries are. That means knowing what you will do and what you won’t do.
- Learn how to say no.
I don’t know about you, but this is hard for me. I really want to help people when they ask; however, just because we are asked to do something does not mean we should. What’s really hard is when someone says they’ve prayed about who to ask to do a certain task or to lead a group, and they really feel like God is telling them you are the one. I’ve had that happen before, and it’s hard to argue with.
However, I’ve learned to say, “Let me pray about it and see if God is telling me the same thing.” Sometimes the answer is yes, but often it is no. If I’m faithful to pray about it, God is faithful to show me if it’s His idea for me or if it’s not the right time, or if I’m not the right person. My best piece of advice on learning to say no is don’t say yes right away. Take some time to pray and consider it if possible. Look at your prior commitments and think about what God has called you to do.
- Learn how to take care of yourself.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will not be able to serve others. If we’re too busy trying to please others, we will end up damaging our health and not be able to do what God has called us to do.
Three Tips To Help You Stop Believing The Lie You Have To Do It All
Consider What You Are Already Committed To
Once you take a good hard look at your calendar and commitments, it’s easy to see how much time left you have for other obligations.
Quit Comparing Your Life To Someone Else’s
Social media can be beneficial, but it also helps fuel this lie of having to do it all. Not only can it be a time-waster, but it can also lead to discontentment. When we compare someone’s “highlight reels” to our real life, we often come up short. So it’s important we recognize what most people put out on social media represents only the best parts of their lives. It doesn’t tell the whole story.
Give Yourself And Others Grace
The next time you begin to believe the lie that you have to do it all, give yourself a little grace. Think about what we’ve talked through so far. Is your schedule full? Are you making progress on what you need to do, even if it’s not perfect progress? Allow yourself to be content with where you are without feeling the need to do more. People in your life will thank you, and you’ll be glad you did give yourself grace because you won’t be as stressed.
On the flip side, I think we should extend grace to others and not always add on to their responsibilities and make them feel like they should do it all. We should be each other’s cheerleaders instead of encouraging each other to do more.
I hope something I’ve said today has encouraged you to stop believing the lie that you have to do it all. Maybe you don’t believe that lie, but you do struggle with people pleasing. Take to heart the tips I’ve shared about how to stop being a people pleaser.
If this episode has encouraged you, would you consider taking a screenshot of it, sharing it on social media, and tagging me @jenniferboothministries? I’d love to hear how it encouraged you.