3 Reasons to Lean Out

Do Not Lean In While Sheryl Sandberg famously encouraged women to “lean in” in order to become the next great female executive or entrepreneur and Amy Poehler suggests “leaning out”, a lot of women are wondering which powerhouse is right. The question should be why it’s only women who are being pulled in one direction (in) or another (out). The reality is that nobody can “have it all” because it’s impossible to give 100 percent to more than one activity or priority.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that multi-tasking doesn’t work, as reported by Forbes and other sources, yet every person wants to believe they’re the exception. Women in particular may report feeling under pressure to do the impossible, such as raising a family, keeping in fantastic shape, being well-read and climbing up the corporate ladder. Here are a few reasons why “lean out” should be the new mantra going into 2015.

1. There’s nothing compared to less stress

Reduced stress leads to a longer lifespan, less chronic diseases (or even the likelihood of catching the flu), and from an aesthetics perspective you’ll simply look better. Instead of trying to cram in an extra therapy session, spending $40 on a blowout or talking with a nutritionist about which new supplement to try to battle thinning hair, doing less might be the ticket. Recently, The Mayo Clinic even reported positive thinking can be the first step in stress reduction.

2. Consider who you’re really trying to please

How many executives working 100+ hours per week are truly happy with that arrangement? Even if they’re making millions, there’s no time to spend it or enjoy it. Ask yourself who you’re really trying to please or impress, and if it’s not 100 percent you, then there’s probably some changes that need to be made. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to impress your kids, your spouse, or those people on Facebook you haven’t seen in 20 years. Your family and friends should respect you regardless of how you make a living and who cares about anyone else?

3. It’s the ticket to making time for hobbies

Whether you’ve always dreamt of fighting once in the ring as an amateur or learning money laundering skills (okay, maybe that one isn’t the best idea), are you making time for you? This means more than scheduling your regular gel manicure, especially if part of why you do that is to look pulled together at the office. In addition to making time to relax, you also need to make time to grow in more than your career. Being “selfish” a couple of hours per week is perfectly legitimate.

Which direction are you leaning? Assess your happiness and make 2015 the year to start putting yourself first (at least once in awhile).

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