Making choices is seldom easy. I hear this all the time. Women tell me about the choices they’ve made — or they let others make choices for them. Sometimes, women feel hesitant to make choices. Maybe they feel compelled to make “easier” or more “reasonable” choices rather than the ones they really wanted. Perhaps, they are afraid to make the choice that would lead them to a sense of fulfillment. Whether it is how to feed their babies or what to do with their career, many women have one thing in common: they often settle for the reasonable choice rather than the right one. Are you making the tough choices — the choices that could lead to a life-changing experience? Are you choosing success on your journey?
Often I hear: “I want to get my IBCLC certification …” “I’d like to get my lactation credits …” “I want to get a job where I can help moms with breastfeeding …” “I want to own my own business …”
But all too often, this is followed by “… but I can’t because …”
Getting in their own way
These women want to help mothers overcome challenges and achieve breastfeeding success. Yet, they get caught up in professional challenges that stymied their own success. They acknowledge that they are making a choice that feels difficult or even unreasonable under the circumstances. But their decision-making process lacks something that the women who go after what they want have.
Choosing success and staying the course
I remember a woman who came up to me at the end of my Comprehensive Lactation Course in Dallas a few years ago. She told me about her low-paying job, parenting responsibilities, unsupportive boss, and distance from the course.
She faced a host of barriers that could have been a deterrent to pursuing the credential she really wanted. Hence, it had taken her seven years to organize the time and money it took to attend the course. She hastened to add that she had done so only after a lot of “shopping” for the course. She was determined to find a course that would best help her pass the exam, get a better-paying job, and help other mothers to breastfeed.
The course had just finished, I was done teaching for the week, and here I was learning something from the woman I’d just been teaching! I hoped that the course would help her reach her goals. But more importantly, I felt impressed that although it took her so long she had stayed the course.
Empowering yourself to succeed
Women who are empowered to make the choices they most desire — not necessarily the easy or reasonable ones but the ones that are right for them — have a connection with themselves and with other people.
The conversation called to mind this quote, from Robert Fritz’s The Path of Least Resistance: “If you limit your choice only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”
The journey to become an IBCLC is often challenging, but commitment to what feels right for you can make all the difference.
How are you choosing success on your own journey?