Are you a woman stressed from juggling too many projects or roles?
When you drop one of the balls does your self-esteem and confidence fall too?
Finding it difficult to say No?
Feeling eaten away by others demands?
You may be in the grips of Supercarer, or in a really bad case, what I call chronic carer syndrome.
We women are really bad at saying No to taking on responsibility for other people’s lives at the expense of our own.
If you want to move from feeling anxious or angry and put-upon, to comfortable, confident and in control, it helps if the man in your life understands your quest. So you may want to point him to this post.
Women have a caring nature and enjoy taking care of others. What is wrong with that you may ask? It makes the world go round. And it feels good to give.
Yes it does, but not at the expense of your confidence and self-esteem.
Be honest. Feeling stressed and anxious from overload; unable to prioritise and make decisions doesn’t feel good. Neither does the inability to relax and Let Go.
Becoming wired and exhausted is not healthy for you and helps nobody.
If you feel guilty taking a stand on your own behalf and believe you should be putting all your energy into others out there who need it more – Watch out. Supercarer is about!
Often it is down to a nagging old voice from the past making you feel guilty. You may harbour an outdated belief that it is selfish, uncaring and that you will be unloved if you say No.
In fact the opposite is true. If you never say No, your Yes has no value. With jellylike boundaries you will confuse people as to who you really are.
People may say of you “What’s not to like?” But you won’t discover those who really enjoy you for who you are and neither will you inspire confidence and respect.
Women’s people skills and ability to co-operate are legendary and sought after in business. But these same attributes without healthy boundaries lead to loss of respect.
Here’s another good reason to say No more often:
If you are typecast in the role of Supercarer, you are lucky if anyone takes you seriously when you say you are overwhelmed and could do with support. You have never revealed that you have ups, downs and limitations like the rest of us. You are Superwoman right?
My Supercarer clients usually appear calm, collected and strong even in meltdown from anxiety, overwhelm and hurt inside. No-one would guess their true feelings.
Underlying Supercarer is often a backlog of suppressed hurt, anger and resentment from denying your true self. This comes across you know. And breaks out in inappropriate ways.
You fear that if you reveal what you really think and feel, you will either be overwhelmed with tears or explode with anger. That is the cost of the Supercarer role.
I understand what a dilemma you are in because this was me many years ago. It takes a fresh perspective and behaviour change, along with the antidote of extreme self-care, to get into healthy balanced boundaries.
A cautionary note. Most people who have known you as Supercarer will be happy for you when you take your time to be more relaxed, happier and confident. Others will want you to stay the same either because it suits them, or simply because they don’t like change. But after a while they will come round. Occasionally it’s time to let go of people who are not enhancing your life.
It is not possible or necessary for everyone to like you. When you are being who you are “Some will, some won’t, so what…. someone’s waiting” said Jack Canfield
Be aware that over-giving is a habit on automatic pilot from years of practise. If you try to change overnight you will find it too difficult and boomerang back into familiar ways.
So, do not harangue yourself into change. Instead be really kind to yourself. Treat yourself as your best friend. Unfamiliar right?
For the courage to change with confidence and control you need a step-by-step plan.
Start here with
4 Tips to Say No with Grace and Ease:
Tip #1 Stop and Think
Pause before saying Yes. Give yourself time to think. Say, “I’ll come back to you on that”. This is an empowering thing to say. Resist the automatic Yes.
Think ahead. You may have time now to say “I can do that”, but what about down the line. What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Every time you say Yes, you are saying No to something else. Think about what that is. Is it your health, happiness and what you really want to do? Life is short. Are you saying Yes at the expense of your aliveness?
Tip #2 Say No to the Perfectionist
To restore balance when you are stressed you need to say No to the tyranny of the inner perfectionist who is usually hand-in-hand with Supercarer. Learn to lounge. Yes you really can learn to let go from time to time.
Tip #3 The 3 Ds: Do It, Delegate It or Delete It
Full of Shoulds? Put your To Dos into these 3 lists and clear the decks with the 3 Ds.
Trouble Delegating? Here is a story told by my star Supercarer-in- recovery.
Previously she made everything in the home her role in the family, whilst holding down a full-time job and planning to start her own business.
At least she had broken free of ironing and was hiring someone to do that. However, said person was on vacation. Time –stretched. Ironing piling up. What did she do?
She just ironed her own clothes that were absolutely necessary and hung husband’s shirts up in his wardrobe. He ironed a shirt per day himself. She cannot remember whether she even told him what she was doing, or if she just said D can’t come to do the ironing.
Think about what she accomplished there. She didn’t obsess about it. It just came naturally. No apologies, excuses, accusations or drama.
This didn’t happen out of the blue, but rather after reaching breaking point she had the courage to embrace a step-by-step personal development plan and the determination to turn her life around.
You men may think big deal, but many of my women readers know this is just scratching the surface of a big problem.
Tip #4 Say Yes to your real priorities
When stressed and stretched Say Yes only to people and projects that are top priorities, dear to your heart and keep you in alignment with your values
Not sure what your true values are?
Do not feel ashamed to reach out for help. You might be surprised at the number of successful women, even in the public eye, hiring a coach to develop these skills, empower themselves and gain the strength to really make a difference from a healthy strong sense of self.
Change your Mind and you Change Your World
with Bonus complimentary discovery coaching session
Graphics Credit: Copyright jamesmarsh.com
Author: Avril Allen
Coaching Psychologist & Change your Thoughts Mentor
Coaching Successful Professionals, Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
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