Independence Day for Me and the USA

Happy 236th birthday, America!

It’s Independence Day, which makes me think about what I’ve grown independent from over the years. What habits, behaviors, or ways of thinking have you decided to let go of over time? What would you like to become independent of? I’m sure your list includes more than just “taxation without representation” since our country’s founding fathers took care of that for us over 236+ years ago.

Here are some of the things which came to my mind that I’m thankful to have grown independent from:

  • The drive for perfection at work or at home (such as pressure to have “perfect” children). Don’t get me wrong – I still have high standards for myself, and honestly for others too, but I’ve learned where and how to let go at appropriate times as well
  • Thinking I can or should try to “have it all” or “do it all” as an executive and working mother. Instead I’ve learned the beauty of what I refer to as LIFE/WORK balance (it’s important to me that LIFE comes first in that phrase)
  • Feeling like I need to always meet everyone’s expectations of me. I consciously identify whose expectations are most important and work toward those. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time.
  • The need to answer the phone immediately every time it rings (the same could be said for emails when they come in). There is a time for everything under the sun, as King Solomon noted 2000+ years ago, and the invention of the telephone and email hasn’t changed that. I’ll get to it – it just may not be right this instant. I’m going to prioritize my hour, my day, my life, not let my inbox or my voicemail box do it for me.

What would you add to the list from your own experiences?

Betsy Winkler is a Partner at People Results. She can be reached on email at or on Twitter at @BetsyWinkler1