Feel stressed or pressured a lot? Many of the women I interact with and coach feel a lot of stress in their lives, and they know it's impacting them negatively. As sensitive women living in this day and age-- as HUMANS, really-- stress, pressure, and a sense of urgency really take a toll on us in all areas of our lives. Most definitely on our love lives.
So here's a story of my own to illustrate where much of it comes from, and how you can begin to melt away some of its underlying causes, for more ease and love in your life.
I had some delightfully unexpected free time crop up today. At least it felt delightful for a moment. But— what did I do with it? Take advantage of it and rest up, center myself, and get ready to crush the rest of the week? Nope. Efficiently attend to some of the tasks I’ve been so excited to get to, but have been putting on the back burner for months? Nope.
Instead, I indulged in guilt. Guilt that I sent my kiddo to daycare and was as of yet doing nothing “productive”. Guilt that I had this time to relax and yet I was feeling pressure to get things done! Under this all was the thought “I have to take best advantage of this time.”
Do you see how paralyzing that was? I couldn’t do right by me no matter what choice I made. The pressure was too much. So I made none. Just indulged in guilt. Which actually is a choice, in itself.
I’ve been doing this a lot lately. It’s a typical sensitive person thing. Indecision. Putting pressure on ourselves to do well. Feeling guilty, or ashamed when we don’t live up to our own standards.
But I’ve decided I really want to make changes in this area. Like so many of my clients and friends I talk to, I’m sick of feeling so much pressure and guilt.
For me it’s about time. I’m a time hog. I cherish it like others cherish attention. I try to manipulate it. I try to get it to slow down. To give me what I want. Peace. Ease. It reminds me of the way I used to relate to my husband.
And that may be where you are at. Feeling pressured and guilty about how you relate to your partner, or your kids. Feeling like you should be MORE…[insert any number of things]. It’s always something, right?
Luckily for myself, I’m a coach. A coach has an eye for the ways we trick ourselves into staying small, stuck, and unhappy. So I called myself out. I asked if I want to choose guilt, pressure, and paralyzation for myself today. No was my answer. Clearly.
Instead I wanted to feel both rested and inspired. Relaxed and accomplished. I wanted to re-connect to myself AND I wanted to write the article I’ve been putting off.
So I reminded myself how much I love and want the best for myself and just sat with that for a few minutes. Then I found a new story to tell myself : “When I am calm and centered I’m way more naturally inspired and efficient at my work”.
Suddenly I felt I had permission and the excitement to both rest AND work. So off I went on a slow walk in the spring rain, did some quiet journaling, and then crushed out a new article I’m super excited about. And wrote you this little love note. And it’s only just lunchtime right now. The rest of the day lies ahead. What a sense of spaciousness , peace, and accomplishment! (Just what I wanted.)
If you tend to feel pressure and guilt a lot, take look at what you are telling yourself. What can you tell yourself that will help you take the pressure off of you to be an amazing partner, or parent, or business owner or ….? Maybe something along the lines of : “When I’m calm and centered I’m way more naturally fun and loving with my family”.
Pressure will never produce the result you really want. But ease, desire, and lightness will.
Next week I’ll share some insights in a new Love Talks on a Walk Episode (my audio blog) about the pressure many sensitive people put on ourselves and how it can sabotage an otherwise healthy relationship. I'll share how I worked with one client worked to melt that pressure away. Keep a lookout for that.
Share your comments or questions below.