Woman on top – 3 ways to check your ego
On my recent Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Interview, the programme was introduced with comments from journalist and acclaimed novelist Tony Parsons He went as far as to say that his penis would have fallen off if his wife had earned more than him. I think you’ll agree that this is a vivid image of emasculation.
Although you may not intend to emasculate your partner, as the breadwinner, the combination of your role at work and being the main earner at home can become a heady cocktail. The privilege that new or on-going financial status affords can be intoxicating. After all with money comes power. But if you notice yourself thinking that your opinion is the only one that matters because you’re the one holding the purse strings, it’s time to check your ego.
Here’s 3 ways you can do just that:
1. Seek out the harsh truth
At work you may be revered and perhaps no-one dares to question you. But a senior position like this can lead you into a trap of believing in your own self-importance. Find those who can be honest with you without fear of losing their job, we all have a good friend or family member who doesn’t mind sharing the harsh truth, seek them out and brace yourself.
2. Consult on decision-making
In my book Rocking Your Role, Victoria described decorating her whole house around her husband, without consulting him. I can’t emphasise enough how talking can help you rebalance. You can even make a joke out of it, maybe you and your partner can have a signal or special word when your ego is raising its head.
3. Value your partner
You know that money is only part of the equation. The reason that you chose your partner is likely to be based on so much more. Remember what you value about your partner, how they complement you and how they enable you right now. Share why you value them, what you give out you’ll get back.
One last thought.
How you feel about your role as a female breadwinner will change. At one moment you may be happy to have the responsibility but at others you may feel angry and overburdened. It’s often the Ego that gets in the way,check it and things will be better.
I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. See my upcoming events & training, if motivation, inspiration and support are what you are seeking.