Don’t you wish everyone was as ________ (fill in blank) as you? And why is it that we carry around expectations that constantly set us up for disappointment?
In her new book, Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction, Marcia Reynolds, PhD points out that women are master jugglers. We’re busier than ever, but human bodies weren’t meant to run at full-speed 24/7.
All this stress compromises digestion, immunity, sex drive, memory, blood pressure, and overall mood. You aren’t happy if you are a stress-producing machine.
If you listen to your self-talk, you can hear what Reynolds i.d.’s as the
5 top stress-inducing assumptions:
There’s one right answer and it’s mine:
Always being right hurts your relationships. Your body triggers a ‘fight-response’ when your brain senses disagreement. Even if you have learned to manage your mouth, your belief will still trigger your stress. Can you let others be right sometimes too?
No one can do the job like I can:
Things will spin out of control or fail if they aren’t done by you. So, you take on too many projects, and resist sharing work. This produces stress, resentment, and exhaustion. Look for opportunities to delegate and teach someone else. Let them learn from their mistakes as you have done.
Whether it’s a job or a relationship, you start out excited about the possibilities, then feel let down. Your standards are unreasonably high, no job or person can meet them. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, try seeing what is right and what is possible.
I don’t need help:
You’re so strong and smart, you don’t need anyone to help you succeed. Figuring everything out on your own is a waste of your precious time. Letting people help you is more efficient, builds relationships, and makes you look stronger in the long run.
I have to be great at everything:
Women are now brought up to believe we can do anything. To make up for lost time, this message is being delivered with a vengeance. As a result, we interpret the words to mean, “I must be great at anything I choose.” The “burden of greatness” becomes heavier and heavier. Then, when one accomplishment is complete, we quickly search for the next thing to conquer. As a result, we don’t enjoy our achievements as we stressfully move on to accomplish something more.**
Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., is the author of Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction and a world-renowned leadership coach. She has a doctorate in organizational psychology, and is often interviewed in national media.