Are you taking on more responsibility for your clients than you should?
Feeling anxious in your business?
This could be why.
One morning I woke up feeling anxious…before even getting out of bed or looking at my phone, there was this looming sense of heaviness, pressure, ickiness. And, I felt like I had no control over it.
This is a feeling I’ve heard many coaches & healers share that they are feeling. And, they feel embarrassed about it…because they take a stand for waking up happy and looking forward to their day (that’s why they started their business in the first place…to not dread work!). They also love their work (except in this moment, because anxiety).
As you hopefully know by now, I believe pleasure is productive and that ease is possible while growing your business.
Unfortunately one of the things that doesn’t get talked about much is what is causing the anxiousness and heaviness (aka lack of ease) that many healers and coaches feel.
The thing that sucks away ease, like a great dyson vacuum, especially for empaths and those who are more sensitive, is actually processing your clients stuff – taking on their energy, problems and challenges as your own. Taking on responsibility to “make” someone feel or be a certain way.
Long before I ever started my business, I loved being in positions where I could help people.
Where I could feel needed — I associated that with being valuable and important. My favorite thing would be when I customer would come into the health food store or sex shop I was working at and they would ask for support and I could help them for hours.
I often considered myself to be doing a “great job” if I was “saving” other people from discomfort. I took on this responsibility without ever being asked, and without ever realizing that it was actually more harm than help.
Looking back I can see how it was all actually quite self serving.
Other people’s discomfort made me feel uncomfortable. I hated feeling uncomfortable. So, I would try and make them feel better.
If I couldn’t make them feel better, I made that mean that I was doing a bad job. And, I made doing a bad job mean that I wasn’t valuable, useful or important.
(You’ll notice this is ALL about me, and not really about the other person, which was incredibly embarrassing when I realized all this, and is still a little embarrassing to admit now).
The ironic thing is all of this trying to save someone else (or rather, trying to micromanage their feelings) was actually what caused me the most heaviness, anxiousness and discomfort.
Trying to make someone else’s’ life easier was making my life harder.
I’d love to say that this never happens anymore. I am grateful to say I fall into this pattern considerably less. The good thing is I can recognize very quickly when it’s coming up. I notice it by the sensations in my body – the anxiousness usually.
Then once I acknowledge the uncomfortable feeling, I can ask myself a variety of prompts to start releasing the stories and beliefs that I’m holding onto.
Here are just a few of the prompts I may start with:
- “What is causing this discomfort?”
- “What am I making that mean?”
- “Is that true?”
- “What do I need to do to release that right now?”
I have to remember that this is a pattern and core belief that has been playing out for over a quarter of a century (and potentially a lot longer)… it takes time to fully release and is released in layers. I am doing my best (you are doing your best). I’m not alone (you’re not alone).
Keep going. Here’s how:
I’d love to see coaches, healers and those in the helping professions see their clients as humans to support, instead of seeing them as people that need to be fixed, or who are unable to take responsibility and handle their own emotions, and experiences.
If you’ve been noticing yourself “taking on” the stuff of your clients, taking responsibility for your clients, or trying to micro-manage how they feel, here’s some small (big) reminders that may help:
- Know that no one needs saving. They simply need support.
- By trying to save them, or take responsibility for their experience you are robbing them of an experience that they may need in order for something to shift in their life (not all change comes when things are going perfectly, it often comes when we are faced with a challenge). You aren’t empowering them to rise, you’re empowering them to stay where they are.
- You are valuable, useful, and enough when you are being yourself – you don’t need to take on the responsibility of saving someone or even get recognized for changing someone’s life to be doing a good job, to be valuable and to be loved.
- Reflect on a memory of how someone having clear boundaries with you, and not taking responsibility for your experience actually contributed to you strengthening and rising up or making a change you needed to make.
- A great leader, coach, “healer”, trusts the guidance that flows through them and doesn’t attach ego to being the one who contributes to someone’s success OR failure. They know that neither the “success” nor the “failure” of someone else is theirs.
What have you found helpful or hard around this?