Women are faced with millions of choices about work, family, buying, business, love, God – and the list goes on.They have social networks, websites, focus groups, dinner gatherings, parties and over-the-fence neighbor talk to exchange thought-provoking, enticing conversations.Women are no longer confined to the boundaries of the kitchen. They are industrious, educated and motivated to explore all avenues of expression and opportunity. Along with that new found freedom comes a wide range and mixture of emotion.

Women feel guilty at work about not being home with the children, and they feel guilty at home when they aren’t at work prepping for the next conference. They aren’t with their children enough. They aren’t working enough. They aren’t productive enough. And finally, they are not resting enough.

Basically, they are finding it challenging to manage their choices. What? Women have wanted choices from the beginning of time. They have fought hard to receive the gifts of choice – freedom. So, what is getting in the way?

Women still have the belief that they have to be all things to all people. They are suffering from society’s expectation of needing to successfully do it all – on your own.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Women can make choices. However, making choices doesn’t translate into choosing everything. Does doing it all mean total fulfillment and happiness? So, how do women make choices and not feel guilty, deprived, ashamed, judged or neglected?  Here are 5 ways you can make guilt-free choices:

1.    Know the pros and cons of each choice. When you need to make tough decisions, be informed. Don’t keep your head in the sand. Ask questions. Expect answers. Look for examples of others who made the same choice. What happened? Will you be happy in a similar circumstance?

2.    Who’s involved? If there will be fallout, repercussions, rewards, or consequences for your choice, it’s better to know them up front. This is tantamount to knowing the “blindspots” of your choice. What hidden aspects of your choice could come back to haunt you? Read the small print.

3.    Know your priorities. Women are pulled in a variety of directions, and it seems that no choice comes guilt-free. When making a choice, look to see if it aligns with your priorities. Does it coincide with your value system? Will your decision break the rules you live by?

4.    Try it on for size. Pretend you made the choice, then you ask yourself these three questions:

a. Is my life better because of this choice?
b. Is this choice causing pain in any other part of my life?
c. What would I change about this choice if I could?

If your answers to any of these questions make you uneasy, then it’s time to go back to the “choice board.”

5.    Say good bye to other choices not chosen. This doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. What it does mean is that you can, without guilt, run with the choice you did make. Don’t look back and second guess yourself or say “what-if.” Keep looking forward.

Can you really do “it all” (guilt-free) without losing your mind … and your desire? No. But you can do what you want without regretting a single choice.



From regional manager to international executive with quadruple the pay, Karen Keller’s unique blueprint carefully outlined the step-by-step process for creating high-impact influence and let me know when I was being influenced in a way that didn’t serve me.
Lloyd Moore
Global Director Supplier Quality & Development - Lear Corporation – South Carolina