The Biggest Lie You've Been Told

Time to read: Less than one minute

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Dear Rebels,

When you were young, did you dream of your future? Maybe a job that earned a good living. A family. Time to pursue your passions and interests. Travel. Then, once you got that job, you poured yourself into it with gusto (or not). You played volleyball after work. You took painting classes or sang in a choir. You slept in on weekends and had dinner regularly with friends.

Then maybe you committed to a partner. Perhaps you built a family. You got promoted or changed jobs or went back to school. Your parents got older. Maybe you bought a house. Life got more complex and even though it happened over years, it seems like overnight you became exhausted, overwhelmed, and focused on life as a checklist of transactions. You used to feel like you had it all together and now balls are dropping, friends are a distant memory, exercise was first to go, and the "few tips" you've tried to regain control lasted all of a minute before everything snapped back to the relentless new "normal."

Does some version of this sound familiar?

I grew up in the 1980s when young people were fed the biggest lie of all time.

The lie?

You can have it all.

It's total crap.

Also total crap is the feeling that there is something wrong with you if you can't manage it all.

A wise mentor once said to me, "You can have anything. You just can't have everything."

Cue one of my favorite themes: Choices.

You get to choose your priorities. When you're trying to stuff 15 pounds of life into a 5 pound bag, you get to choose what to let go, what is non-negotiable, what can wait, and what you'll prioritize.

Stop beating yourself up for not being able to manage it all. No one can. It's a lie.

With rebel love,


P.S. Know someone who needs to let go of the lie? Send them here to find relief.


You are not fooling anyone!

Estimated read time: 1:16.27 minutes

No cubes, real or imagined, were harmed for the creation of this newsletter.

No cubes, real or imagined, were harmed for the creation of this newsletter.

Meet Carole.*

*Carole's story is told with permission. In Carole's words, "Sure! I’m flattered."

When Carole walked into the conference room for the women's leadership program I was facilitating, she wore a tight bun, a polo shirt and what can only be described in 1950s terms as "slacks."

She was buttoned up.

As we spent time talking about the program topics like navigating politics and developing a business persona, I started to notice subtle things about Carole, like a pair of Saturn earrings or the cape she quickly removed when she walked in from the cold.

In our third session, we did a feedback exercise where the group shared what they wanted to see more of in each other. The other women wrote things on Carole's board like, "I wonder what it would be like if you wore your hair down and let your creativity fly?" After reading the feedback, Carole told the group in a stricken voice, "It's clear that I'm not fooling anyone."

In our next session, Carole said she realized how much she had sacrificed to fit some made-up image of a successful corporate professional. She decided to embrace her creative, rebelicious self, and let her masses of curly hair down, literally and figuratively. She started wearing the loose, creative clothes she loves and donned her giant jewelry, too. And she was right, her gorgeous hair looks just like Hermione from Harry Potter.

Carole liberated herself from the sense that she had to be a certain way to be successful in corporate environment.

Here's what she wrote in an email a few weeks later:

"I also decorated my cube with some colored fabric and art to express my personality, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback on being more authentic in both my décor and my appearance. I’m definitely getting a more positive vibe from people, and I’m more relaxed and open myself, too."

You are not fooling anyone, either.

Here's a challenge for you: Where will you let your hair down, literally or metaphorically, to be who you truly are - at the office and at home?

I hope Carole's story inspires you as much as it did me.

Love to all of you!


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