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Written by Tera on September 24, 2012 – -
by Shana James
Have you ever felt the need to be able to take care of yourself — to be independent or prove you can do anything on your own? It is amazing to know that you can take care of yourself. But there’s also a cost.
When you can do everything yourself you actually push people away. People don’t feel needed. When they don’t feel needed they become less invested in you.
Here’s an example:
I was sitting with a friend as she breastfed her 1 1/2 year-old baby and rocked him to sleep. She had moved into a new home six weeks earlier and single-handedly unpacked it.
She finished her Masters Degree two weeks before the move. She gave birth to her son while in school. She took care of him while finishing her degree and…you may not believe this…was also running her own business with her husband at the time.
Talk about Super Woman! This woman can do anything she puts her mind to. Nothing stops her. She hardly ever asks for help. It often seems that she doesn’t need it. So I forget to offer.
But I’ve also been with her when she’s been feeling burnt out and exhausted and I know that if she had asked for help she wouldn’t feel this way.
For most of us, underneath over-working and trying to be Super Woman is a desire to be loved and cared for. (I know, it can be hard to admit that!) But we squash the desire for help and care when a huge fear arises: Will someone leave me if I need to much?
Would life be more enjoyable if you didn’t have to clean your home or put together furniture? If you didn’t have to cook dinner all the time or be responsible for sending out your email newsletter with links that work?
Would life be more enjoyable if you had your feet rubbed or were accompanied on a morning stroll each day? (Let’s think big and pleasurable!)
So what gets in the way of getting the help we need?
Asking for help is the fastest way to let others see behind our protective shield – the one that keeps others from seeing the parts in us we think aren’t good enough.
So, no wonder we hesitate to ask.
When we stop asking for help or support it starts to seem like people aren’t willing to help or care for us. It can really seem like that’s the truth. But it’s not!
Take a moment to consider: Are you pushing away love and support by trying to be Super Woman? (Hint…If you answer yes to 2 or more of these questions, it’s likely you are.)
Do you end your days feeling exhausted, without energy for relationship or pleasure?
Has it been more than a week since you did something to take care of yourself?
Do you feel uncomfortable when you even imagine asking for help?
Does your never-ending to-do list get in the way of enjoying time with friends or your hobbies?
Hobbies…what hobbies? Have you put your hobbies on the back burner?
Do you tend to feel irritated on a regular basis?
Well, congratulations if you have mastered being Super Woman! Because there is now nothing left to prove! Knowing you can do it on your own is great. Now ask yourself if you really want to!
Another amazing woman I met was telling me how she takes pride in the fact that she can fix her car, do her taxes and run her own business.
But she recently realized she’s been hiding behind her capabilities. Since wanting love and care seemed weak to her, she made sure everyone knew she was strong. You can imagine how much love and support that got her!
She finally admitted to me, her eyes filled with tears, “I’m tired. I don’t want to do it all myself.”
Here are three ways to counter your Super Woman tendencies and start being supported and cared for:
Slow down when you find yourself rushing — Stop and relax when you feel tense or frustrated. Ask yourself if you really want to do what you’re doing. If you don’t, make a change. Brainstorm who could do what you’re doing. (You can start small. No need to overthrow your whole life in one day.)
Ask yourself: “What am I doing or choosing in my life to prove that I’m enough?” — This is a doozie! When you discover this you become free to choose what’s more fulfilling for you, rather than what would make you look good, successful, intelligent… Write these down so you don’t forget! Next to them list what you’d rather be doing.
Ask for what you want — Simple, right? Hmmm…not so much. Asking can be terrifying and vulnerable. There is an art to asking for what you want in a way that inspires others to give it to you. Click here to learn how!
Asking for help actually inspires others and gives them a chance to grow in their capacity to give and care. Think of it as a gift you’re giving them. Aaah, now doesn’t that feel better?
Was there something you wanted today that you didn’t get? Why do you think you didn’t get it? For support with knowing and asking for what you want, be sure to check out The Art of Asking For What You Want. Classes begin October 15th.
Shana James is a dating and relationship coach, co-founder of the Authentic Woman Experience, and senior Course Leader for Authentic World. She helps women and men create phenomenal romantic relationships, lives they love, and real sister- and brotherhood…without compromising themselves.
Over the past ten years Shana has coached and mentored hundreds of people from around the world. Even therapists and long-time coaches credit her with helping them move through their blocks to finding and sustaining love. Shana co-created the Authentic Woman Experience workshop series to serve women who are dissatisfied, settling or feeling resigned about love. In these teleseminars and live events, women learn to create the loving partnerships they deeply desire. Women in relationship learn to keep it deep, connected and passionate for the long-term.
Shana has a masters degree in Psychology, along with hundreds of hours of coaching and course leadership training. She lives with her husband and their baby in the SF Bay Area.