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Ambitions: How to lean in if you’re already all in

All moms are working moms. Period.

Whether they’re working inside the home or outside the home, they’re working. Hard.

It’s dawn to dusk, and then some. It’s changing gears constantly, from household tasks, to professional responsibilities, to emotional maintenance.

A few years ago I gave Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” to my wife, Sarah Jane, thinking she might enjoy this best-selling tome of inspiration.

Sandberg is an accomplished professional – COO of Facebook, Harvard MBA, and single mother of two. (Her husband, Dave Goldberg, died of a sudden heart attack in 2015.)

“Lean In, that’s the title?” Sarah Jane said.

“Yes,” I said. “Clever, right?”

“Offensive, actually,” Sarah Jane said. “Lean in? I’m already all in!

Good point.

Sarah Jane’s reaction reminded me that being a mom is a total commitment, and that all moms have ambitions – desires to achieve, inside and outside of the home, in every aspect of their lives.

Here are five principles from Sandberg’s “Lean In” (that I’ve slightly adapted) that can help women achieve the success, recognition and happiness they deserve – wherever and whenever they want to:
Take more risks. Don’t worry about having perfectly developed skills in any field. Dive in, learn quickly, and contribute.
Stop trying to please everyone.
The desire to be liked is a good one, but it can hold you back. Step up, push back, and challenge decisions.
It’s a jungle gym, not a ladder. “Ladders are limiting,” Sandberg writes. “Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. There are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfillment.”
Allow yourself to daydream. Think long-term and short-term. Have a plan for growth. Explore new personal, professional and playful endeavors.
Find peers for encouragement and accountability. Find others in similar situations where you can express hopes, dreams and fears in a safe space.

Thanks to all the moms out there who are already all in and making big differences in the lives of their families, friends and communities every day.Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day! Have a great week.

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