Women in the Business Arena™ EP118: (Part 3) How Over-Owning Responsibility is Sabotaging Your Success

“If over-owning or under-owning is your pattern, one of the first things you can do is prioritize self-care, self-inquiry, and space for yourself.” - Sonya Stattmann (13:40-13:51)

Some business owners struggle to know when they need to step in to take over and when they should take a step back. The line between under-owning and over-owning our responsibilities can be subtle and hard to see. But when we’re able to step back, we become more aware of the patterns that are playing out in our work and at home.

Identifying the different roles you play in life can be the first step to finding a balance in your responsibility to others. 

There are some roles you play that make you feel like you’re in a state of flow. Other roles might feel heavy and weigh you down physically, mentally, or emotionally. That heavy feeling can be a sign that you’re overburdened, which may be linked to a pattern of over-owning. The more aware you become, the better you’ll be at choosing where to focus your attention. This comes from ongoing self-reflection. When looking at a role that feels overwhelming, learn to ask questions that lead to new insights. Why do you hold that role? Is it necessary, or are you holding it out of a sense of obligation? This kind of radical inquiry takes you deeper so you can prioritize self-care and self-exploration. You prioritize your needs. 

“Until we get clear about all the roles we play, we can’t really discern the level of responsibility we’re taking in each role.” - Laura Shook-Guzman (4:02-4:11)

Start With Self-Care 

Self-care can be difficult when we have a public persona we feel we need to maintain. We place ourselves at the mercy of other people’s expectations of us. When you try to keep up with everyone else’s idea of who you are, it becomes harder to discern what’s theirs and what’s yours. We may try to control others by getting them to take certain actions. But the truth is that we don’t have a responsibility to others except to fulfill the agreements we’ve made or communicate what we’re feeling. But we can restructure those agreements at any time. If you try to fill the role of being a capable and reliable person at all times, it can become too big a role to fulfill. When we over-control or over-own things, we become exhausted. 

Your Dreams Require a Healthy You

Self-care and awareness are essential to making your dreams a reality. You need to say “yes” to yourself in order to bring your vision to fruition. Leadership is about stepping into your power and being a shining example for others. That leads to real change and creates the most inspiration for you and those around you. Our service to others comes second to our own ability to be in our power. 

Prioritizing self-care and owning your responsibility to yourself helps you overcome imbalances in your ownership. This comes from clearly communicating your needs to others and saying “no” when needed. We must also create new agreements or renegotiate existing agreements we have with others to better meet our needs. Working with a coach or some other neutral party can be a great way to express your needs and find the strategies that work for you. 

“The opposite of over-controlling and over owning is that you learn how to create a sustainable ebb and flow of your energy.” - Laura Shook-Guzman (22:42 -22:57)

You don’t have to overcome these issues on your own. Ask for help and use the strategies that give you the results you’re after. Remember that the strategies that will work best for YOU will probably change over time. But when you take these steps to create that awareness, you’ll know what to do when you feel overwhelmed. You’ll know when you’re over-owning or under-owning your responsibilities. You’ll become better at reclaiming the balance you need to serve others while living a life that inspires everything you do. 

How to get involved

  • Join the Women in the Business Arena Group on Facebook and continue the discussion starting next week! 
  • Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you’re at in life and business! Find out more here.  

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