For many women entrepreneurs, acting like Superwoman and/or Mother Teresa becomes a vicious circle. We get caught in the Love-Business Trap. One way to break out of that trap is to figure out: are you ASKING for what you NEED?
Hello and welcome to the weekly vlog!
Recently in our webinar about the Love-Business Trap, we discussed the pressures that women feel to behave as “Superwomen,” with things like running a business, keeping a beautiful clean house, volunteering – often ALL at the same time. And “Mother Teresas”: taking care of children, employees, extended family and of course, never saying NO to someone in need.
If you think of Superwoman or Mother Teresa, neither of them would be people you’d think of when it comes to ASKING FOR HELP. We think of them as strong, resilient women, never complaining, and keeping their own needs to themselves as they go about their job of saving lives.
The problem is, NOT asking for help, not expressing our own needs is what keeps us trapped between love and business. Forever doing everything for others, exhausting ourselves physically and emotionally in the process.
In the B.R.E.A.K. Out of the Love-Business Trap Bootcamp, we went through specific steps to work our way out of that trap. For some participants this entailed establishing a plan that to enlist the help of their husband or their family members to chip in more to get meals prepared or keep the house tidy.
That’s the task-oriented stuff in our lives, whether at home or in our business. Asking for and getting help in this arena is absolutely a requirement for better balance in love and business.
But what about our emotional needs?
What about asking for help or for what we need at the emotional and relationship level?
If you’ve followed the vlog over the last two installments, you’ve heard how Heinz and I had a disagreement when we realized we had a “mis-alignment” in our relationship.
Part of that was due to our forgetting about our preferences when it comes to our Love Languages. This came to a head because we had not expressed what we need from one another – Heinz for instance needed me to be more present so we could have Quality Time together, but he didn’t express that until it had become too much.
Earlier this week I finally had a conversation with him and asked him for what I need. Not about taking care of household chores or anything like that – thankfully we figured that out long ago. I asked him for what I need emotionally.
In general I think that, as women, we’re not very good at asking for what we need. Our Bootcamp participants confirmed that. We get used to taking care of everyone else – acting like Superwomen and Mother Teresas – and we get frustrated when people around us don’t naturally give us what we need.
It’s a lot to expect that our partner or anyone in our life to know what we need emotionally. Because frankly sometimes WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE NEED! I had to dig deep to figure out what I needed from Heinz at THIS stage in our life.
When I finally got quiet and listened to my inner voice, I realized I wasn’t feeling valued because we often talked about business, but rarely about MY WORK. So for instance he’d point out that I was missing a receipt or that an update had to be done on the computer or something technical had to be done on one of my videos.
But what I really needed him to do is to show interest about the nature of my work, my research, my programs or events. I hadn’t even realized I needed that for myself. So no wonder he wasn’t doing it. I had to ASK HIM. I had to tell him I wanted him to show interest and even be my sounding board.
Now you’d think that after 33 years together we might have figured out what we needed to do for one another emotionally… But we had not. Maybe we’re slow learners, I don’t know!
The sudden insight that I had never really expressed how he could help me get more meaning and joy in my life in relation to my work was a game-changing revelation.
Going forward I know this may be a tall order for us. His interest in the psychological research that I dig into for my workshops is probably as interesting to him as the FIFA World Cup or the latest sports trades – things he cares about – are for me. But I believe this is what needs to happen for us to go deeper in our love and business relationship.
In closing there is one thing I’d like to add: whatever relationship you find yourself in, remember that:
YOU are responsible for YOU: are you ASKING for what you NEED?
You need to own up to what you want and express it. Whether it’s physical or practical in your everyday life. Or whether it’s more emotional and even spiritual.
To expect anyone – your partner, your kids, or even your employees to notice and know what you NEED is like expecting them to be mind readers or psychics!
As women we may fancy ourselves as highly intuitive and able to “read” people’s emotions, and we may be right… But it’s best not to assume or put that pressure onto others.
Keep to what you know for sure. And that’s YOU. Ask for what YOU need.
I’m curious… What’s been your experience asking for help or for what you need emotionally?
Or perhaps you have a question? Please leave either in the comment box below.
Thanks for watching. Until next week, make it a great one!
Yours for love and business,
Featured Image Photo Credit: Ben White, Unsplash.com