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Codependency and Your Self Worth
In this episode, Michelle Farris and I discuss codependency in business.
By listening to this episode you will learn realize your self worth and avoid codependency.
How are you? I’m good. How are you? I’m good. Thank you so much for joining me today I was giving the audience a little bit of a background here on the Instagram Live, but for the podcast that will probably be edited out. So what I do want to do before we get into today’s topic, is have you share a little bit about you and what you do. And then we’re going to talk about how we can improve our relationships with our clients with ourselves in our own businesses, and really just improve our overall outcomes in our business, because we’re having a more positive experience with others and with ourselves.
So when it comes to our business, so go ahead and introduce yourself, and we’ll go from there. Great. My name is Michelle Faris, I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Jose. And I’m also a recovering tenant. So I know this journey well. And I know how this can impact us not only personally, but professionally. And I’ve always loved personal growth, kind of my thing. Even as a kid, I was just super interested in it. So I’m just really happy to be here. You have a great podcast. Thank you. Thanks for coming.
Characteristics of Codependency
Awesome. So tell us a little bit what is codependency? And what could that look like in somebody’s life? And especially when it comes to business? Yeah. So codependency is really a pattern of behavior where you tend to lose yourself in relationships. So these are the people who are really good. They’re big contributors, or life, they tend to want to rescue other people or even sometimes try to control them. Okay, I’m going to pause you because the first two bullet points you said I didn’t hear so I heard that they say one more time. So codependency is really about putting yourself in relationships. losing yourself, okay. And what happens is because we focus on getting our validation from other people and outside is our self esteem blows like the wind. Okay. Yes. And it’s like,
Yeah, exactly. It’s like a roller coaster. But when you’re codependent, you learn that your value comes from giving and caretaking, and helping other people. And while all of those are real traits, what happens to the codependent is they end up neglecting themselves in the process.
Okay, so can somebody I mean, I think we all maybe have a little bit of codependency in us. Because to be honest, there’s definitely been times where I just want to help people. And I’m like, Oh, my god, that was so low. I’m so excited for them, you know, get into, and I wouldn’t say I get my worth out of it. But I do think it is a little bit of a high that you get from helping other people. So tell me like, how do we know if this is harmful to us versus you know, healthy. It really depends on how much you do it.
So for instance, if you inconvenience yourself on occasion, because you love the person, you’ve decided, you know what? I’m willing to help them out even though it’s hard on me, because there’s a bigger reason and you’re choosing it. That’s dependency we all inconvenience ourselves, or give maybe a little bit on occasion. But if it’s a consistent pattern where you’re, you can never say no, you can never set a boundary, you can never say you know what, I’m gonna have to opt out or I’m gonna have to change my mind.
The codependent doesn’t do that they feel so consumed with guilt, that they can’t say no. So they feel so obligated because their whole worth is pleasing you. Instead of going well. Wait a minute, this good for me. So obviously, what you’re talking about is you’re able to balance that well. Is this good for me? Yeah.
But not all the time, you’re not gonna you’re not going to
Preventing Burn Out and Knowing Your Own Self Worth
on a daily basis, because then you wipe yourself out. Right? Right. Okay, so you don’t want to be doing this, to burn yourself out and to get your self worth out of helping other people. You do however, you know, want to do your job and work with your clients and provide support for them and that kind of thing. But not at the expense of things like right, as expensive what what would be some of the things that you see people running into when they’re when they’re really costing themselves with codependency habits. So they don’t prioritize their self care. They say when they’re hurt or upset about something because they feel like no, I have to please others. So I’m going to suck up all those negative feelings because they’re not going to be accepted. They’re really afraid of that. So their whole life becomes out.
They focus on the other person and getting them connected with them. Or their
versus their we all want to prove all right. I mean, that’s natural. But if I don’t have a solid sense of self, then it’s going to be wonky, because my relationships are going to be everything to me, versus well, who am I? You know, do I like my? Can I trust my own perceptions and
ability to make sense? Because that’s where we into our professional life? Yeah, yes. So I totally agree with you there that you want to be coming at your business from a place of stability from a place of knowing your worth, from a place of not insecurity, and I have to do certain things to feel validated. And I’m looking for approval all the time. Because you’re going to be shaky all the time, you’re going to be ups and downs, like we talked about. So how does somebody who maybe has had a life of being a people pleaser of wanting to make everybody around them happy, even if it means not sharing their own views ever? or things like that?
How does somebody start to break out of that? What is the first kinds of steps that they can take? So the biggest thing is to get the focus off of trying to get other people like you or accept you and destroy some of that energy towards you? What do you like? How can you start taking care of yourself? How can you start to choose more about like, what do you like, because a lot of codependents don’t even know what they like, because they know what other people like.
But they really pay attention to Well, what are my hobbies, you know, and I sit still and relax and do nothing. So I can take some of that energy. And it’s not a lot, because to tell the codependent to stop giving is like cutting them off at the knees. That’s way too much. So we want to maybe take a portion of that energy that they’re caretaking and putting that on themselves, so that they can find some value in themselves. And if that’s hard, which it is, for a lot of us, what I have people do is I have people think about what compliments do you typically get,
like from your grandmother, from your friends from your mentors and teachers? Like what do people typically say about you? that’s positive, because there’s usually a theme.
The Importance of Self Care
And we can borrow that theme and go, Okay, well, I am a good person, or I am kind or I am helpful. And we can start to build ourselves and who we are by borrowing it from what we’ve heard so far. Okay. Yes. So somebody you know, I think it’s important to point out, like, if you’ve been a people pleaser, your whole life, and you’ve been, you know, not super in tune with yourself, you don’t just overnight, say, Hey, I’m going to start giving to myself and self care, and like, I’m doing a bubble bath, and all the things. Um, it’s a transition, and you start to learn about yourself.
And I think that there needs to be more emphasis and life like, I’m huge, like, I have spent, I love being by myself, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know myself in my life.
I think that, um, a lot of times our society and just like the way life works, people don’t ever, it’s like, more normal to just constantly be with people constantly think about how you can help in your community and all this stuff. And then you never get to know yourself, you never know what you like, you never learn how to spend time with yourself and all that stuff.
So this concept of self awareness serves us all so much in our business, because when you know your tendencies, you know how you work best, you know, when you need self care, when you could go hard, like, when you just know these kinds of things about yourself, you’re going to have a much better business experience, because you are showing up with a full cup and you know, you know, you’re not, you’re not over exhausting yourself and all that.
So, I think that you brought some good points up, and what about if somebody says okay, so I’ll give you an example. Um, when it comes to people pleasing, I know a lot of my audience, or my clients will say something like, I really want my audience to like me, and I really I see someone else doing something on social media, and I think I should be doing that. And they do this at the expense of what they believe or, or, you know, something like that. So how would somebody start in their business maybe, to work on setting boundaries, like what could that look like? And knowing what they stand for, like, what’s kind of some tips for going through, getting clear on on what you stand for and your boundaries.
Well, I think before I hit the boundary issue, you’re hitting on something really important, which is most people and codependence, really, they really compare themselves to other people. Oh, I’m not good enough. Oh, so in
programming I’m not they have a bigger following or whatever. And how to get out of that is we have, what is it that we offer? And that’s why we have to know ourselves, right? Is there something that you have that nobody has. And that’s what you want to cultivate not I should be more like so and so because they’re killing? Well, they’re killing it because they’re probably being authentic thing. And that’s really the goal. And it’s in online marketing and business knows that, you know, the variable is each person and what they bring.
So if you can look at, what are those quirks? What are those little things, people hearing about you? And how can you lead with that? versus if I’m always focused on what other people are doing? I am going to feel bad. There’s always going to be someone killing it. Right? Yeah.
Setting Boundaries in Business
So now, how do you want to tie that with boundaries? Well, how does somebody start to set boundaries in their business in general, like I know, for me,
and with your clients like so? Yeah, of course, we could talk about well logically put in your agreement, here’s what’s included. Here’s what’s not, here’s how it works, but from a personal standpoint, make boundaries. So I noticed that, and I think most of us do is if you pay attention to that. And if you sit still, when you get asked something, it’s going to be clear if it’s a yes or no. Because if it’s a no, you’re going to feel hesitant. You might have like your gut just got punched, you might start to feel cloudy and confused. But what the pendant will do is they’ll override all that and say, Well, you know what, I just need to do this anyway.
But the problem is, is that if we don’t honor those feelings, those feelings are telling us Hey, man, this isn’t something you want to be doing. And if we can start to honor whatever that is, like, for instance, the other day, I had a client no show. And they wanted an appointment the same day. Now, that didn’t work for me. Yeah. back and say, you know, I’m sorry. We can schedule for next week. And that felt really good to me because I was honoring my own time. Yeah. So it’s like, if people can just pay attention to what their know looks like. And usually it’s it’s a gut feeling like, oh, that doesn’t feel good. Or Oh, I don’t really want to do that. But I think I should, that, yeah. If you’re shooting yourself, then it’s probably something you don’t really want.
Yes. And I think people are so nervous, like you could have made that email that you sent back to your client, Hey, no, I can’t meet until next week. I think a lot of people make that mean, oh, my God, how are they going to receive this? Oh, my god, they’re gonna hate me. I’m scared to send sent, you know, like they’ve taken this thing versus just, oh, well, you know, our time is this time.
Let’s catch up next week. And that’s all it needs to be. There’s this expectation, I think, for a lot of us that we need to do everything that other people want us to do, like you said, and that’s just not true. You’re Is that really true? No. Okay, so ask yourself, what else might be true? It could just be I’m honoring my time today. And this client, I will have a great session that I’m more prepared for unable to serve them better for when we have our time next week. You know, leave it at that, right.
And the other thing that that changed the game for me when it comes to people pleasing is I think if you’re going to do something for someone else, you should want it I mean, and I’m not shitting on our audience, but like, yeah, ideally, this should be something that you want to do, and you’re not lying and saying you want to do something that you really don’t want to do. Because then you’re not being authentic to that person or yourself. You’re actually lying to yourself, and to the person saying, Oh my gosh, yes, I would love to throw everything off the table for today and bake cookies for the bake sale, when you really are like, I really don’t want to do that.
And you’re not being true to yourself. So I think when it comes to people pleasing, and when it comes to setting boundaries, make sure that of course there’s going to be things in your life that you don’t want to do sometimes that you just need to do. I don’t want to sit down and organize my taxes, but I also don’t want to go to jail. So I’m going to do that right. So get to ask yourself like, right now. I got to do certain things. But when it comes to
you know, being forming true relationships and serving from a full cup and and truly helping your clients and being authentic with them. I think it’s something that you want to be serving from a full cup and not pretending that you want to help somebody. Right? What’s your, what’s your thoughts on that? Oh, no, I totally agree. But it takes a lot to get there. So part of what I want to do is address, like, we’re talking about what we should be doing in recovery, right?
setting boundaries and honoring yourself. But before we do that people in the beginning are going to be scared like, I do this. So and I’m right there. I with every new behavior, I go to fear first.
And we have to allow that that’s okay. That feeling stuck feeling afraid, feeling like you can’t do it is all part of the process. Because what happens is, say after this, you know it you realize, okay, I’m going to try to set a boundary and you can’t, right? Yeah, the when is that, actually thought of it.
Because you’re going to get to the point where it’s so painful. And this is how I’ve learned is I’ve done the same thing over and over again and again, until I finally get in enough discomfort and I go, You know what? I’m done. I’m willing one thing differently. But that’s the journey. It’s not okay, after this it live, you’re going to go set boundaries never going to be perfect. No, you’re going to still be scared. And that’s okay. So part of what I want people to hear is, honor where you’re at, because it is hard to change.
And it is hard to look at these patterns. But the fact that you’re here listening us is a sign that you want to recover, and you want to get better. And that’s the growth and you want to celebrate. Yeah, totally love it. So when somebody’s scared, and they’re feeling scared, and they haven’t made the boundary yet, and they keep saying they’re going to do something, but they’re not doing it. What recommend.
So I do a lot with self talk. So it’s kind of like an affirmation. But it’s something where you can tell yourself, you know what, I’m a good person, this is hard, I’m doing the best I can. So if you can come up with a mantra that’s soothing, that’s loving to yourself, giving to yourself, because we base our worth on the end result. Yeah, we can’t control the end result. But we can be can in the moment, be gentle with ourselves. And you could think of a mentor, someone that you really trust, what would they tell you, when you’re feeling down, and use that as your message, like, I love you, you’re doing great, it’s okay, this is gonna pass all those kinds of things.
If you can have one of those, and create like a mantra in the moment that can help you sort of get over that hump, because it really is about accepting yourself where you’re at not being at another place. That’s better. It’s how can I where I am today, even though I feel XYZ? Yes, I love that. And what you’re saying there is you’re allowing people to feel their feelings and let it be hard and let it you know, observe their feelings rather than needing to act on it. Right? And when you’re repressing your feelings and saying, No, no, I shouldn’t be doing this, I got to do this, I’m gonna wait, I’m really not gonna, like, you know, try to use willpower. It’s not going to work, right?
It’s gonna be really hard. Yeah. Versus and you’re allowing that, you know, when you’re talking to yourself in a kind way, I think it’s gonna feel you’re gonna be able to observe what comes up for you and such a more curious, compassionate way, that’s gonna allow you to start to be open minded to a change or shift. That’s just going to feel a little more natural, right? So and one of the things I want to ask you is, why is it so easy to do our commitments that we tell others? So like, I have a meeting at 12? I’m going to show up to it, right? But then when it comes to ourselves, and like, Hey, I’m going to, I’m going to have a cut off time tonight at 8pm. From business. Why is it so hard to honor our own commitments to ourselves?
Well, because sometimes we hold them differently, right? We think, Oh, I have to show up for this because somebody else is expecting me. But the goal is, is how can we honor ourselves in the same way. Now. We’re going to be more flexible with ourselves because we can, but that doesn’t mean to always choose other people before us because we can still do that. But eventually we’re going to pay the price, overwhelm and anxiety and wiping ourselves out. So keep doing that. Eventually, if you’re in the process of growth, you’re to the point where you’re going to say I can’t do this anymore. It’s too
Much. So again, pain is a great motivator. Yeah, yeah, totally. What if somebody is saying I try to avoid pain at all costs. And so I need to keep
people doing this status quo, because I’m afraid to shake things up and feel pain, right? Well, eventually that’s going to shift and pain is going to be more evident than their discomfort. So we, when we do run over again, I do this myself, every time I add a new behavior, and I’m changing, it’s usually because I have done that old behavior so often that I can’t do it anymore. So eventually, as long as you are willing to stay on the path of growth, and be aware, and have people that support your growth, you will eventually get to the you want to change even if it’s a minor one.
Yeah. And why like what you said, when what pain is greater, the pain of continuing to practice this habit that you are wearing yourself out, and you finally hit a breaking point, or the pain of trying to do something new, but in the long run, your future self is going to be like, thank you for doing that. Right. So I love the way that you put that. And what about when it comes to I know for people pleasers, right? Oh, we can I especially in the coaching industry, I want to talk about the coaching industry in particular, we tend to want so badly to help our clients and feel responsible for their results. When the end of the day, you said earlier, we can’t even control our own results.
Because, you know, for some things, right? So how, how does how do we start to detach or be able to serve our clients from a place of I want to help them and not need them to do anything today? And to get there, you know, be attached to their results? How do we start to do that? Well, as a therapist, that’s super important to me, because the issues can be really intense. So part of that is to be able to look at Okay, am I doing my footwork? Am I helping the client? Am I giving them research? And, am I showing them support? Am I doing my job? If I’m doing my job, then at some point, I have to let go of it and go You know what, it’s their choice.
And honestly, I think it comes with practice, because the first 10 clients you get, you are going to feel more responsible, like, Oh my god, I need them to succeed. But after a while, you’re gonna realize, Oh, yeah, you know what, I did the same thing as I did with her, and one of them did well, and one of them is struggling. Mm hmm. The different denominator is themselves in their own choices. So it’s like, if I can look at what I, again, the focus on me, then I can say to myself, did I serve that person? Yes. Did I do it?
No, he does. That’s okay. But did I do a good job? Yes. And that’s where validating yourself, then because if I think the only way I was valued is if this person says, then I’m going to be forever frustrated. And that’s where if you’re a coach, you really have to look at what is it that you’ve done for this client. That’s the success, that’s the contributing factor, what they do with it, you know, it’s like any relationship, we can’t control with the other to do with it.
That’s difficult, but it’s comforting, because you can, if I know that I’m the only one responsible for me, I’m not responsible for the outcome, then my stress is a lot less, because I’m like, you know what, I can do my part, but I can’t do more than that. Yeah, yeah. It’s a partnership. And that’s the other thing when it comes to relationships, I think it’s so important to not go into a relationship thinking I need someone else to make me feel whole. But instead to go into a relationship, feeling whole, and being whole together and you know, experiencing life together, right?
And same thing in your business, you would you have a client who wants to achieve a certain goal, you know, that you can, you know, help them and provide support along the way to that goal, and you both are working together. And it’s a partnership and and both people are bringing their best to the relationship, right, versus if we are both broken, and we’re both needing each other and we’re both,
you know, looking for the other person to fill our voids in our life, right, then it’s going to be a rocky relationship. So when it comes to like, I think, just to recap, starting to feel whole yourself has to do with getting to know yourself and what you even like and what you want and and
owning that and not judging yourself for it or acting like
it’s bad to to be a little bit have boundaries and honor yourself. It has to do what anything you want to add to that for when it comes to coming whole into a relationship versus putting three parts to codependency recovery. And the for growth as well the first part is starting to take better care of yourself. Simple things, are you getting an eating? Well? Are you supported emotionally?
Can you relax and handle stress? The second part is relationships. Usually most of us don’t grow up learning how to communicate well handle anger set boundaries. So we all have to learn as we go in adulthood, which is really hard. So that’s the second part of recovery is to really focus on how can I get better at ship because you have to know how to say you’re sorry, you have to know, indicate not blame, resolve conflict, that a boundary that those kinds of things, and is the childhood work.
Because if you come from a family that’s dysfunctional, which most of us have been, whether that’s neglect, or you didn’t have your feelings are validated. So you didn’t learn to trust yourself. That’s the other third leg of the work. And the heart, when you’re doing this work all through, can happen simultaneously, which is why it’s so difficult. You’re working. So you’re working on your relation, and you may be working on your childhood. So, you know, that’s why you have to be gentle with yourself. Not a race. This is not something you can do in four months. This is kind of a lifestyle change. Yeah.
You can go on a diet for a month and lose weight. But if you stay on maintenance, you’re gonna gain it back. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And you have to change who you are really? Yeah. So Alright, so tell us, Michelle, where people can connect with you and find you online. So I’m at counseling, recovery calm. And I post weekly shows and on Facebook and Pinterest, and I G. Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much for coming to the show, and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks. Bye bye.
About Michelle Farris
Like many, Michelle had trouble getting her needs met in relationships. In her early twenties she started working on herself. By getting the right support, she found more value in her becoming a therapist! She understands the pain and what it takes to heal. Michelle gets the struggle, but she also knows what it’s like to be on the other side of it.
In 1997, Michelle got her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology.
- Complimentary Business Consult
- Health Coach Nation: Marketing, Business, & Mindset for Health Coaches
You can find Michelle on her website here.