I wasn’t letting the oxygen go all the way to the bottom of my lungs. I wasn’t allowing the muscles along the back of my neck to let go.
I wasn’t letting myself relax because I thought I couldn’t.
But I was wrong.
As my husband Mike and I reinvent our relationship after nearly 10 years of being all up in each other’s business (the one we’ve built together), so we can both expand in ways we haven’t been able to while running the day-to-day together, a lot is changing.
With all of the shifts, I’d taken on an identity that made me feel strong and proud at first:
I’d drive up to my house and look at it and think, “My ideas bought this house.”
I’d think about our team and think, “Wow! Isn’t it so cool that my business supports not only my own family, but also, at least in part, the families of these incredible women, too?”
I’d think back to being in my early twenties, turning my back on my mounting credit card debt and feeling like I was “playing business,” and revel in how far I’d come.
Then a couple of weeks ago the scales tipped, and I no longer felt strong and proud.
I’d started wearing the identity of primary breadwinner as a martyr, not as the heroine of my own story.
(And when I dug deeper, it wasn’t even an accurate identity.)
It started to feel like a burden.
The things that I’d been holding with pride began to feel heavy. Really freaking heavy.
It came to my attention that there were three insidious beliefs hiding just under the surface of my “primary breadwinner” identity that were responsible for the extra weight.
I’m sharing them because I’m likely not the only one who’s found herself having thoughts that are making her life harder.
I’ve taken the liberty of turning each one of the insidious beliefs into a supportive one, so you don’t need to do those mental gymnastics.
Three insidious beliefs about responsibility swapped out for supportive ones:
1. All of these people’s wellbeing depends on me. → We are up to big things in the world and we’re doing them together.
This “Lone Ranger” archetype I’d put on was making me feel lonely in my significant responsibility. With the help of my coach I put my attention on all of the community I have around me contributing to bigger mission (including my amazing husband, even if our work relationship is changing.)
Hello, instant relief. I no longer felt isolated. I no longer felt over-burdened. Instead, I felt excited to contribute to the greater whole, knowing that the greater whole is not exclusively up to me. I’m simply responsible for showing up for my shift.
2. I have so much to do and I’m the only one who can do it. → There are important things to get done and I’m not the best person to do all of them.
When you’re carrying a really heavy tote bag and you let someone else hold the other strap, you instantly lighten your load by 50%. I was riding so high and mighty on my “primary breadwinner” horse that I’d forgotten the three keys to effective delegation, which I find myself telling my friends and clients all the time.
Focusing on letting others take over the things that you’re not even the best person for is one of the most freeing things for you– and empowering things for other people – that you can do.
3. In order to make enough money I have to put in more hours. → God/Goddess/the Universe are my Source, not money. My top priority is connecting to Source and when I do that, the money flows with ease.
The belief that our primary purpose as adults is to make money has been drilled into us by toxic capitalism. It’s a lie that keeps us grinding, exhausted, and orienting to the world through the lens of lack.
I’m not saying that money doesn’t matter. I’m saying that deluding ourselves that making money is our purpose (and that the only way to do it is to put in more hours and work harder) perpetuates the very system that has indoctrinated us to believe that we have to suffer a certain amount in order to deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor and rest.
Instead, I’ve reprioritized plugging into Source (more on the specifics of how I do that on the blog next week – make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it).
The result? I found myself saying the following to a friend last week:
Nothing in my life changed, but everything suddenly feels easier.
Being human is a lot. But there are things that we do and think that make it harder than it needs to be.
For me, identifying as the primary breadwinner was one of those things.
So I decided to put it down.
Nothing else actually changed. But essentially everything did.
Which one of the three beliefs about being responsible resonates the most with you, and which new belief are you going to carry with you instead? Since it’s my first week back on the blog in almost two years, I would LOVE to read what this brought up for you so leave a comment!
So happy to be back here on the blog with you,
Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, and mother who supports ambitious, motivated and successful women to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process. Committed to empowering women entrepreneurs to create their most successful businesses while navigating motherhood, Kate is the founder and CEO of Origin Collective, a monthly membership site where women all over the world gather to achieve more while doing less. Her first book, Money: A Love Story, has been published in 5 languages. Kate’s work has been featured by The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, and she’s spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences, and more. Kate lives with her husband and business partner, Mike, and their daughter Penelope in Maine. Find out more and receive your free copy of the 5 Simple and effective ways to get the results you want in your business at katenorthrup.com.
Image courtesy of Julia Caesar.