Why Are You Overwhelmed? You Are Being a Horrible Boss (to Yourself)

I am seeing a pattern lately with my clients, where the sweetest, most dedicated woman will behave like a tyrant when it comes to judging her own performance. She acts like one bad bitch, and not in a good way. These bad bosses don’t give credit, ignore overload, and won’t let you leave your desk for lunch. Are you a bad boss to yourself too?

Mean boss like Veronica Palmer from Better off Ted

You’ll say you didn’t accomplish anything yesterday except the laundry, dinner and cleaning the whole house. (I’d say that’s accomplishing quite a bit.) You will commit yourself to carting two kids to twice-weekly extracurriculars but not allow yourself to join a monthly book club. You’ll volunteer for two causes, bring a meal to a neighbor, and console a friend, but won’t allow yourself a few hours break for a hike or adult field trip. Do you even know what your hopes, dreams and passions are anymore?

I need you to be the kind of boss who is fiercely loyal to her own team (you!) Who is a highly sought-after executive whose time is a precious resource. (It is!)

Yes, your heart breaks and you want to help everyone. But you can’t help everyone else out without completely losing yourself.

I want to share with you a quote from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés:

“The aggravated theft of a woman’s … [soul] occurs … subtly through the theft of a woman’s resources and of her time. The world is lonely for comfort and for the hips and breasts of women. It calls out in a thousand-handed, million-voiced way, waving to us, plucking and pulling at us, asking for our attention.

Sometimes it seems that everywhere we turn there is a someone or a something of the world that needs, wants, wishes. Some of the people, issues and things of the world are appealing and charming; others may be demanding and angry; and yet others seem to heartrendingly helpless that, against our wills, our empathy overflows, our milk runs down our bellies. But unless it is a life-and-death matter, take the time, make the time to “put on the brass brassiere.” Stop running the milk train. Do the work of turning toward home.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés – The Women Who Run With Wolves

There are many ways to emerge from this unsustainable relationship with yourself, but a great way to start is to think about what your ideal boss would do.

  • Celebrate your accomplishments. Write down and note all the hard work you have been doing, and celebrate both your efforts and your results as often as you can.
  • Give yourself some time off. Allow yourself to rest, whether it be for periods during the day or to take a day off.
  • Practice saying “No” to demands more often. You can do this in a caring but firm way.

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