“Nurturing is like honey, which has the power to transform a lemon into a thirst-quenching drink. It comes about through a genuine presence and compassion with our own and each other’s deepest emotional realities.”

-John Grey, PH.D The Joy of Relationship Cards

A mistake that many female small business owners make is thinking that we can do everything. And because this mistake is so common, there’s now a name for it: The Superwoman Syndrome.

This happens when we set impossibly high standards for ourselves—at work and at home. We’re running our business and meeting deadlines. We’re responding to emails and making phone calls to clients. We’re taking care of our kids, our romantic partner, and our friends.

When we move through life with an “I can do it all” mentality, but forget to take care of ourselves, our lives can never fully flourish.

Arianna Huffington’s personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye—the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group—one of the fastest growing media companies in the world—celebrated as one of the world’s most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?

As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success—money and power—has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters.”

-Overview from Thrive, by Arianna Huffington. I highly recommend this book.

Instead of putting everyone else’s happiness before our own, we can learn to tune in to our own needs and nurture ourselves. We are essentially no help to others if we are no help to ourselves, first.

Here are a few things to ask yourself daily, as a reminder that it’s ok to be YOU, not Superwoman:

  1. “What am I feeling right now?” Our feelings give us valuable insight into the quality of our lives. When we can stop long enough to acknowledge and fully experience our feelings (especially sadness, anger, or fear) without analysis, criticism, or blame, we can begin to accept these emotions and let them go.
  2. “Am I creating unnecessary burdens for myself?” Our emotions will let us know when we are veering off track. If we find ourselves taking on too much, we have the option to take a step back and reevaluate the things we are committing to.
  3. “What emotions am I resisting?” A healthy, thriving relationship requires us to be comfortable with our own feelings. If we’re uncomfortable with our own emotions, it’s likely that we won’t be able to hold a safe space for our partners and others to express themselves.

I would love to hear your journey below! Stay tuned for the final and third mistake in my August Ezine.

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Bridget Engel, CPPC, blends her business background, coaching principles, intuition and teaches her clients how to partner with their Divine Guidance. (which is a short cut to all good things). Read more articles by Bridget here.

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