How I did not give up or give in

Everytime I walk into a conversation with young ambitious women navigating the corporate corridors, one topic that is always ripe for discussion is ‘Career after marriage’. Some of them are planning to marry at x time, others have just gotten married and are stepping onto the trapeze for the balancing act. Most of them begin with the question, “How can I create a balance?” In response, I ask another question, “What is not in balance NOW?”

I’m greeted with long pauses after this question with generous interruptions of “Maam, are you married?”

“Yes I am”.

“You know how it is after marriage?”

This is an interesting phase for I love to bring up this question here, “Tell me, HOW it is after Marriage?”

Long pauses ensue. By now the ice has broken and it isn’t long before they feel comfortable to pour out.

The first statement in most cases is, “I’m expected to be available all the time.”

“My job and career isnt taken seriously by anyone at home.”

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Now it is my turn to pause as numerous years flash across the façade of my memory. It hasn’t been easy for any of us as we have continued despite all pressures and expectations. Each of us is forged by the intensity of experiences.

What did I do differently to match the rising gamut of expectations? Here is what helped me.


I added my twist to the proverb, ‘If you can’t defeat them, join them. Well, I accepted the fact that I wasn’t in a position to challenge societal expectations. So instead of joining them, I looked inward to connect to my strengths. This took me a step closer to accepting that I wasn’t born with superpowers to change anything. All I could change was my attitude and perspective on every dilemma and problem. From reminding myself of how others were reacting to my current situation I shifted to accepting the situation the way it is and began focussing on my reactions and responses.

Benefit : it is an energy saver. I deflected the energy into drafting my goals for the next few years.


I too am Human

‘There aren’t any medals to for trying to prove my super strength’, is another realization that has opened doors to discover new strengths. I learned that help would come only if I asked. My intuitive powers do not rub over others, thus giving insights into my needs. It meant that for a long time I was balancing the tight rope taking on all chores and tasks in sight in an attempt to oblige everyone around. It took a toll on my health in a way that I’m paying for it even today. So this became an important learning. It is ok to not be able to cook on some days. It is ok to delay laundry to the weekend. It is ok to ask for support from family and friends. Delegation, the familiar word. Well, it applies to our personal lives too. Thankfully the world we are in today, there are experts for each area. So why not give them an opportunity to showcase their expertise while you spend the saved time to hone up yours.

Benefits – It is a tool to implement delegation, leading to time-saving. Time for most of us is a scarce resource so whatever can be saved is a bonus.


The Inner Circle

Nothing matches the energy of your inner circle of friends. Choose and nurture this relationship selectively. Thankfully I discovered this early in my career. For me, this circle was a non-judgmental bouncing board, a haven, and most importantly women cruising along in a similar ship as mine. I made it a point to not let go of this circle ever. Even today when I presume to have surfed through the high tide, we continue to meet and inspire. There is always some lifting up we can do for each other. At least once a month, it is a mandated catch-up. It is the ‘chin-up’ moment for all of us. We discuss everything from fashion to family unpretentiously. The inner circle served me best when I was going through a phase of career transition. This involved a major decision of giving up my ongoing successful career in Human Resources and figuring out what I was going to do next. They did not tell me what to do or how wrong I was. The words used instead were “Go with your gut feeling. We trust your decision.” The confidence it instilled in me saw me through a career transition and helped me unveil a passion for writing.


Benefit- I never lose my way with them around. Each time I bring up a dilemma, the discussion lifts the haze and the path becomes clear.


Powerful You

This is the best version of myself and I always want to be aligned with it. It didn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It took a million moments of questioning, doubting, regret, tears, and resolve. It still is an imperfect version but yet a lot more powerful than ten years ago.

How do I do it? It means consciously sitting down with a pen and paper or the laptop on a decided frequency. Writing down achievements/failures follows next. Against each of these, I mention what values I displayed and the strengths that emerged. Yes, it works. the definition of the best version is evolving as am I. I practice this as a form of self-development. It is a great reflection tool that brings awareness about where a course correction may be the need of the hour.


Benefits – I have moved from a state of constant self-doubt to acceptance. I am happy to be laid back and immerse myself in the flow of time.


About the Author

Saravjot Hansrao

life has always been about waking up with a renewed passion each day. I owe my inner strength to blessings of the eternal truth God, my bringing up amidst real heroes of the Indian Army read more...

10 Posts | 1,649 Views

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