Independence On Overdrive: Mindset Self-sabotage | TMOHP Episode 062

This is the fifth in a series of episodes where I’m sharing five mindsets that keep you stuck in cycles of overeating and emotional eating. Today I’m calling out the thoughts and beliefs that you may have about your own independence. The beliefs that keep you stuck and that can even lead to more overeating or emotional eating. I’m a firm believer that superwoman has a support squad in the wings - cheering her on, adjusting her cape, and telling her the hard truths she might not want to hear. But too often, we have a set of thoughts floating around in our brains telling us that we don’t need or deserve or warrant that same foundation.

If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to you - take a listen anyway. I want to explore some blind spots that might exist. If you know that this is your Achilles heel, I have some steps you can take to break the pattern. 

Be sure to check out the other episodes in this series exploring five mindsets - ways of setting your mind - that you might believe are helping you, but that usually are not.

In this episode:

  • One reason you may be such an accomplished high-achiever in the rest of your life and continue to feel like creating peace with food is impossible
  • How independence on overdrive can create vicious cycles of overwhelm and overeating
  • How to capture a real-time picture of your own mindset

Featured on the show:

Episode Transcript

Hello everybody, come on in. Welcome back to the Too Much On Her Plate podcast. And if you're new here, welcome. Take a listen and if you like what you're here, be sure to subscribe so that you get updated about all the upcoming episodes when they are created and made available to you. This is the final episode, not of the podcast, but the final episode in a series that I've been doing on mindset, trouble. Ways of thinking, stories that we tell ourselves, patterns in our head that so often high achieving women think are helping them create more success, when actually what they're doing is slowing you down or tangling you up, or making things way more complicated than they need to be.

You don't need to listen to these episodes in order, but they're all really important and I will put the link to the other four episodes in the show notes for you. So the last mindset minefield, the one that I want to talk about today is what I call independence on overdrive or the Superwoman mindset, hyper independence.

I guess that's actually three names. And maybe by the time we title this episode, I'll know which one to stick with. This is the mindset, this is the way of thinking that so many smart, successful women come by, kind of honestly. They kind of create it for themselves and with good reason. If you do a lot, if you manage a lot of responsibilities, if you work to be successful, you are very likely to also pride yourself on your own personal strength and independence and your ability to get the job done right.

These are good things. , of course they are. But independence, the ability to be independent can morph into a sabotaging mindset, a sabotaging set of thoughts and beliefs when it becomes overly rigid. Now, I want to caution you here about all or nothing thinking, which is a whole other episode. This mindset, trouble does not come in an all or nothing package. Independence on overdrive. That superwoman mindset may be a characteristic that is everywhere in your life. Or, it could be something that shows up only in certain areas. There might be certain corners of your life, certain sectors where you have this story that you should be able to handle things all by yourself. I hope you can hear the air quotes, right? 

The truth is that many successful women don't even think about asking for help in certain areas of their lives. I'm especially talking about areas that have to do with your own care. And your own needs. And extra, especially talking about your relationship with food and overeating or emotional eating.

Many successful women don't even think about asking for help in these areas. And when you combine a story that you shouldn't need help with not having achieved your objectives in that area. So you shouldn't need help, but you're not achieving your goals, you're not getting where you want to go? Then that can lead to guilt and shame, and that whole combination tangles everything up even more.

You might be a master delegator at work. You may be a great team builder. You might be very clear on the value of that capable team and how that contributes to your own success, how that gets your objectives met, what that brings to your business. But it might not ever even occur to you to ask for that very kind of help that could help you soar in your personal life. Or with your healthy lifestyle goals. Or with changing your eating. This can be a devastating blind spot. 

Mindset trouble can involve blind spots, and it also involves stories and beliefs that we tell ourselves that keep us from seeing that blind spot. Or that keep us purposefully ignoring that blind spot. When you're telling yourself a story that creates independence on overdrive, you're only looking within for the answers.

You might tell yourself stories that lead to overly valuing your ability to not rely on others and the importance of not relying on others. And you may also have a long list of expectations for yourself that get in the way of you having what you truly need to actually be superwoman when it comes to tackling, overeating, or emotional eating or other things.

So what are examples of stories and beliefs that can isolate you and that can reinforce this superwoman hyper independence mindset? I'm so glad you asked. I want you to ask yourself how many of these ideas and beliefs and thoughts that you, how many of these do you have floating around in your head when it comes to overeating and emotional eating? All right. I shouldn't need help with this. That's a big one. I should be able to figure this out. There are a lot of shoulds in, in most mindset trouble there are a lot of shoulds, but there are a lot of shoulds in this area. There's no reason I can't get this done by myself if I just focus or if I just buckle down or if I just get serious. There's no reason I can't do this by myself. If I only.

Here's a big one. No one can do it the way I want. No one can actually help me the way I want to be helped. And then when you throw in a dose of being overly busy or just plain being busy, you get that thought. I don't have time. I don't have time to explain this to anyone. I don't have time to get help.

Another big showstopper can be. No one, no one can help me with this because I'm not even sure what I need. I don't even know what to ask for. How many of these thoughts and beliefs come up for you on a regular or even a semi-regular basis? Or in specific areas of your life? 

Your relationship with food isn't just about food. In fact, it often isn't about food at all if you're eating in a way that isn't working for you. Your relationship with overeating or emotional eating is also quite probably related to your level of stress or overwhelm or exhaustion or busyness. 

Now, as a side note, if you want to figure out what it's related to or if you want to target how to start untangling that mess, then make sure you take the free hidden hungers quiz at TooMuchOnHerPlate.com/hidden-hungers with an S dash quiz.

I should say that again, TooMuchOnHerPlate.com/hidden-hungers-quiz. That's the link to the free hidden hungers quiz. I'll put the link in the show notes. That's a side note, but that will help you target what's, what's the best place for me to start with all of those reasons that are leading me to overeat instead of feeling like I have to do it all at once. Okay, so back to what I was saying.

If one of your triggers to overeat is stress, Or if it's overwhelm, for example, then you can see how having a mindset that encourages independence or independence on overdrive when actually asking for help or support or when delegating would be more effective. You can see how that mindset that encourages you to go it alone can lead you down a path that's going to lead to more overwhelm or more stress, and then to emotional eating or overeating.

Developing and relying on a quality network of support, a base of support, that's a skill, and it's one that some high achievers never learn. At least in certain areas of their life. This is a key piece. Because most of you absolutely know how to build a network of support, and you do it in certain areas of your life or in most areas of your life. But, it is not uncommon to have blind spots or areas of your life where you are telling yourself that support isn't warranted or deserved, or it shouldn't be necessary. 

And if this is the case, it's holding you back, it's slowing you down, or it's keeping you in a vicious cycle of feeling overwhelmed or stressed and overeating. Your support foundation. The foundation of support and help when it is fleshed out, it is not just help and other people doing things. It's also an awesome source of that actual nourishing feeling of being supported. You know how that feels. It's also an actual awesome source of information and motivation and encouragement and accountability and perspective and partnership and mentorship and so much more.

When you have that missing in one specific area of your life, it's like having a garden and then having a corner of the garden that you just decide never to water or tend or weed or nourish. You can absolutely predict what that part of the garden is going to look like. 

Superwoman syndrome, independence on overdrive. This can also be very specific. It is not unusual to be very successful in just about every area of your life, and then use that success and competence as a weapon against yourself and as a reason that you shouldn't need help with that other area. That one area that just seems to elude you. Right? And for a lot of high achieving smart, successful women, it is that area of taking control, taking their power back from emotional eating or overeating, or your relationship with food.

Here's what I want you to do. I have an assignment for you in this episode. I want you to take a moment or two to sit down with yourself and a journal or anything to write with and on. I want you to do this by hand. And I want you to write this sentence at the top of the paper. All right. Here's the sentence I want you to write. I could get help to make my eating and my relationship with food feel good and work for me. Okay? The sentence again, I could get help to make my eating and my relationship with food feel good and work for me. Just write the sentence. Just pause. Pause the podcast. I will wait. 

I could get help to make my eating and my relationship with food feel good and work for me.

Now, take a couple of deep breaths, get yourself to a place of nonjudgmental curiosity. And I want you to write down uncensored everything that comes to mind about that sentence every thought, every objection. Everything you notice that you feel inside your body, every judgment, every reason that your brain tells you this would be great or impossible or inaccessible or unreasonable, or the best thing ever. Or it wouldn't work or it would work so well. Write down everything. Uncensored. 

I'd actually love it if you would literally pause this podcast episode and go do this now. But if you need to do it later, I want you to definitely do it and don't censor yourself. I want you to approach this with curiosity. What comes out when you respond uncensored to that sentence? I could get help actually. Let's make it, I can get help to make my eating and my relationship with food feel good and work for me.

 

This is an experiment. It is an absolute experiment with no right answers. You are collecting data, do it uncensored. Don't censor yourself. Do it with curiosity. And when you're done with the list, don't judge that either. It's just data. Data about the dialogue that you have going on in your head about allowing help. About the possibility of help to create the best relationship with food that you could have. 

Take a look at that list without judgment, without curiosity, right? We're just analyzing our data. Look at the list. Look at the thoughts looking, look at the beliefs. Are they helping you? Are they holding you back? Are they reinforcing the idea that you'll never succeed? Or did the things that you wrote down leave you feeling like there is a foundation available to you that you could use to elevate you yourself to a place where you feel like superwoman, where you feel unstoppable? What's the data that you have on that page about the mindset that you are carrying around about independence or hyper independence and asking for help? 

I want to challenge you to find whatever data you collected interesting. And challenge yourself to think about, you know, if I want to change this, how can I start to change it one step at a time. If you look at that list and you are feeling like your independence muscle is overdeveloped and you need some help activating or creating more support, here are some things you can do to get started. And they're simple, they're doable, and I want to remind you to avoid the all or nothing thinking or the go big or go home mindset. And remember that simple is stuff that we will do. It is something we can execute. And simple small steps are way more powerful than you think. 

Start by asking a simple question and start practicing asking who can help me with this? Ask yourself what it would feel like to allow help and support in. What would be some thoughts that might be more helpful if you don't like the thoughts that came up for you? Thoughts that feel accessible and helpful that you might be able to practice.

In areas of your life where it's appropriate, start asking who you can delegate to. And if you want help and coaching and resources to create real freedom and real peace in your relationship with food and the way that you eat, then definitely check out Your Missing Peace. 

Life is too short to spend it trying to do everything yourself. Plus it's impossible. 

Take a step. Break the vicious cycle. And I'll talk to you soon.

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Your Missing Peace is the psychologist-designed program that provides the tools, the support, the coaching, and the confidence to create freedom from emotional eating and overeating. Finally - emotional eating help done right! Your Missing Peace is specifically designed for smart, high-achieving women who are DONE with diets, who want a lasting solution, and who are ready to take their power back from food, from overeating, and the scale. 

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