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  • Gabriella van Rij

Do You Over Promise and Over Extend Yourself? Here's How to Stop

Do you regularly find yourself falling into the trap of trying to do it all? Are you trying to be Superwoman?

Women today have such pressure to perform well and to outshine those next to them. From mothers taking care of their children to women in the workplace, we think we need to excel or we have failed. But there are only so many hours in a day… I know, I know, sometimes it is just easier to do the work yourself than to explain to another coworker who may not execute it the way you want. So you figure you might as well do it!

One of the main problems here is that women often feel the need to over promise and over deliver to make sure we are seen as valuable to our friends, our coworkers, or our boss. But that comes with a price… Because we are not super human. There is only so much a person can do before you reach your limit. Particularly for working moms who have many irons in the fire. Over-extending yourself at work comes with a price tag at home.

Here’s what the Harvard Business Review had to say about this:

“Everyone in today’s supercharged workplaces experiences stress. Yet executive and professional women consistently experience more stress, anxiety, and psychological distress than do men. … Stereotype threat occurs when a woman is aware of a stereotype that women perform poorly compared to men at a given task — test, negotiation, presentation, competition — as a result of which she fails to perform up to her ability.”

So what can we do about this? Here are 3 thoughts that will help to free yourself from the treadmill of overextending yourself:

Thought #1: I don’t need to do everything. The world will not end if you don’t reply to an email on the same day. Stop thinking that you are the only one that has the answer to the solution. Enrolling the help of others at work will not be seen as a weakness. It is a strength to find other capable coworkers to lighten your load. Next time you will help them.

Thought #2: I’m allowed to have an off day. Some days we are less than our best selves. But that’s okay. Be patient with yourself when you are having a bad moment. When you are compassionate with your own weakness, you are more quickly able to recognize when others need compassion.

Thought #3: Stop apologizing for who you are. Has apologizing become a knee-jerk reaction? If so, you might be undermining yourself without realizing you are doing it. How? By trying to be perfect all the time, you are setting yourself up to fall. But no one is perfect all the time. Do not feed into the myth of the perfect mother or the perfect woman. If you will take ownership of your flaws—you give other women permission to stop overextending themselves, too.

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