Co-Authored by Dr Bev McLagan (The Burnout Queens), UK's Leading Coaches for Highly Sensitive Women and Burnout
Who Should We Blame for Burning Out? Why Mother of course!
Oh, it's ok, we're only teasing! We just wanted to hear the audible gasp of indignation since Mums get blamed for everything! However, having said that, there is a modicum of truth in the statement! As women we are raised and trained to burnout!
Why? It's called sex role training, or in the psychology and marketing biz...the pinks and the blues! No don't go groaning, this is important stuff. We know it is no longer the 1950s, 1960s, or even the 1970s (thank goodness, the fashion!) but did you really think we had reached a time where little girls and little boys are raised the same? Sorry, afraid not. Sex-role stereotyping, although in some ways may have gone underground with political correctness, is still going strong. To back our point, just visit the nearest toy department and see what we mean.
So we ask the question, (as we tentatively raise our heads above the parapet), "Why did our Mum's raise and train us to burnout?"
The easiest and most obvious answer is that mums just did what they were supposed to do, raise us to be the spitting image of them! Let's just get this out of the way once and for all, we are not in the business of blaming Mums for everything in the Universe (even with all our background in psychotherapy)! Not at all. However, the reality is, even though we live mid-21st century, Mums still do most of the child-raising. We're not even touching the politics of that one, it's just the way it still is.
What's important is until we understand what makes us as women so prone to burning out we will just keep raising our next generation of daughters and granddaughters to do the same. It's time to change the inheritance!
More than likely we were raised to be good little girls: helpful, nice, and polite. We were taught to play cooperatively, not competitively. We were praised for sharing our toys without complain or whining. We were taught to be neat, tidy, careful, and probably cautious. We were taught that risks were for boys, which means we came to see risk as, well, too risky.
Girls are raised to be more dependent than independent. (Hold your fire, it's not our fault!). In fact, it's well researched that little girls are encouraged to stay close to home with Mum, where little boys are 'expected' to explore wider afield. Why? Well little boys have to let go of Mum and identify with Dad, little girls need to stay close to Mum so they can learn their 'appropriate' sex- role. It's 'no-fault' parenting at its best: it just is and probably always will be.
We have been subtly discouraged from asserting our values and beliefs, and from demanding our personal power. No one "likes" a powerful little girl! Horrors, she may be bossy or strong-willed! However, in stepping back from our rightful power we are taught to say 'yes' to others, but 'NO' to ourself.
In short, we end up believing we have no right to ask for more, to ask for what we want or need because that would appear too grabby, selfish, or assertive. Instead, we end up not feeling important enough or good enough to get what we really really want.
All of this shapes our attitudes, beliefs, and way of living. It shapes our choices of relationships and determines our choice of work. It is a headliner in whether we find work that truly expresses who we are. We end up not knowing, or disowning, our strengths, gifts and abilities.
Oh it's true times have changed a lot but many women are still raised to sit on the side of the dance floor waiting to be asked. This may be okay in a club, but it's not okay in life.
It's time to break the rules. It's time to embrace your Inner Queen; so grab your crown, take to the dance floor and lead!
One great tip: Take a big risk this week (go on just one): Say NO, ask for more, stand up and be counted, make yourself heard!
Until next time, grab life by the crown!
Love, The Burnout Queens