I should have named this article “socially
accepted glorified co-dependent behaviors in business”. Because most of these are learned behaviors and coping mechanisms that we learned as part of being in a dysfunctional family or emotionally volatile environment.
People pleasing, perfectionism, workaholism and more. We think that these are good traits because they make us considerate, hard-working, and good. But really, they have a heavy price tag. One that you, your business, and the people around you are paying.
Today, I wanted to get real about how these co-dependent behaviors hold us back BIG TIME in business. And give you a few starting steps to start healing so you don’t have to keep them up.
Keep reading to learn how your co-dependency is holding you back in business.
We like to think that we’re people pleasing as a favor or kindness to others. But really, people pleasing is a violation of your own boundaries in hopes of controlling another person’s reaction.
It’s actually a selfish act so that you can avoid feeling uncomfortable or guilty for getting your needs met. People pleasing is a learned behavior that we develop in childhood when we weren’t exposed to healthy conflict or couldn’t be our fullest selves around others without risking rejection.
It’s a co-dependent habit because we’re ultimately tying our worthiness to the opinions, judgments, and reactions of other people. It’s safer to not rock the boat and deny our needs than to ask for our needs to be met and risk being rejected.
People pleasing shows up in business as going out of scope for projects, not utilizing your support systems for fear of “bothering them”, being unwilling to cancel plans or have flexibility in your schedule, and generally not wanting to ask for anything for fear of being “inconvenient” or “high maintenance”. This turns into a huge energy and money suck because you’re too dang exhausted all the time.
People love to glorify the hustle and hard work. And while I truly believe there is a time for healthy hustle when you’re inspired and turned on by the work, working non-stop is a co-dependant habit that WILL bring you business to a dead hault (eventually).
We get this compulsive need to be mentally, emotionally, digitally, or physically involved in the business 24/7. Wake up, think about sales. Going to bed, thinking about the client. Having lunch, brainstorming social media strategy. Going to bathroom, checking email on your phone.
I’m exhausted just writing it all out. I say that it’s time that we poop in peace, my friends.
Your ego might say that taking step back from your business (even for a moment) means that you’re weak or not cut out for the work. It also might say that your whole business and all cash flow will come crumbling down.
Often, the compulsive need to always work is an expression of anxious or fearful avoidant attachment. Your inner child says “if I leave the business, the business (and money) will leave me”. If you recognize this behavior in yourself, it’s especially important for you to practice creating space between you and your business in known safe containers.
Just made a sale? Take break! You know that money just showed up for you. So it’s safe for you to take a step back. Whether that’s a long lunch, afternoon off, or a three day weekend. Create distance to show your inner child that the business will be there when you get back.
Oooh perfectionsim. Procrastination in disguise! Perfectionism is a form of procrastination driven by the need to make things “perfect” before sharing your work/yourself. Anything less than “perfect” (an unattainable illusion) is seen as a personal failure.
Perfectionism stems from the belief that you must be perfect in order to be good enough. Your external creations, work, accomplishments, and failures are measurements of your personal worthiness.
The perfectionism mindset is often created in hyper-critical environments where you were frequently judged or compared to someone else (like your sibling). The ego tried to protect you from the criticism by pre-emptively predicting it. It’s also the method for receiving criticism that was modeled for you (versus healthy, constructive criticism). Your brain literally doesn’t know how to think differently.
See also inner critic, mother wound, and ego work.
I’m looking at YOUU coaches and healers. But also anyone else who this resonates with. You know you have hero syndome if you’re trying to do it all, hold it all together, and save everyone all by yourself…all the damn time.
You’re also probably unwilling to trust others or rely on them. Like not hiring support (“no one can do it as well as I can!”) or willing to be vulnerable with others (“I just want a coach who teaches me ALLLL strategy. I don’t need the mindset stuff”).
Hero syndrome comes about because your inner child learned that it’s not safe to rely on other people. This often comes from an unstable childhood and getting your physical / emotional needs met was hit or miss. This instability taught you that you can only rely on you (and only you). This pattern continues into adulthood (and business) even if you’re no longer at the mercy of the wounded caretakers who didn’t have the capacity to provide for your needs.
So, you see that you’re co-dependent af in your business. You’re probably co-dependent af in your life too because the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. But what do you do next?
You heal yourself.
- Recognize where these patterns of behavior started. Remind your inner child that the conditions that created them are no longer present.
- Notice when you’re engaging in co-dependent behaviors and actively behave differently. Remembering that discomfort, guilt, and feeling vulnerable are normal.
- Clear your life of triggers. End relationships, unfollow accounts, unsubscribe from emails, etc that trigger codependent thought patterns and behaviors.
- Create a new support system. Follow supportive accounts, hire a mindset coach, work with a therapist, tell your friends how you’re really doing.
- Give yourself grace. You can only go as fast as you’re ready to. Be willing to be uncomfortable. But know what is a stretch for growth or a break.
My friend, you’re not alone when it comes to people pleasing, perfectionsim, and workoholism in business. There’s nothing wrong with you. What’s important is that you’re now working to break these patterns and heal yourself. And if you’re looking for a community of women in business who are dedicated to the healing journey, I invite you to join the Self Healers Sanctuary below!