Ep 207 #1 Family Dynamic That Can Hold You Back

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In today’s episode I’m discussing the #1 thing around family dynamics that can hold you back.  The answer may surprise you –  hint – it’s not all of the other members that drive you crazy.  Listen today from the lens of the family that works for you – family of origin, extended family, work family, or family you are creating and learn the cause, the options for change, and how to accomplish the goals you most want.     

In This Episode:

  • Dynamics of family 
  • Past family beliefs
  • Choosing your story around your family 
  • How it can be different
  • How family may keep you in your current results 
  • Disappointing others 
  • The magic of – I love you, and no  
  • It’s Your Time Free Planner: www.michellebourquecoaching.com/mytime 

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Episode Transcript:

Transcribed by OtterAi with minimal edits

Michelle Bourque 0:01 You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque. In today’s episode, I’m discussing how family dynamics can hold you back in your career. Welcome to the richer time Podcast, the podcast, we’re busy professionals, like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.

Michelle Bourque 0:39 Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. Okay, today, I want to talk to you about family dynamics, and how they can influence your life, your career and possibly even be holding you back. And I will tell you, the reason may not be what you think. And this is important because I see so many women hold themselves back or get super stressed and frustrated because of family relations. Now, let me tell you a funny story. This is what got the topic started. Mark and I were watching a comedy show and we were dying, laughing and if you haven’t washed yet, you can Google search, family talks and Sebastian Maniscalco. I think that’s how you say his last name. And it’s only about three or four minutes. But I’ll give you a quick overview. He’s talking about how his family always talks, he says that they tell you what they think it doesn’t matter if something is wrong, they will tell you. And He added that our feelings don’t get hurt, because we don’t have feelings. And you know, I’ve told you a number of times here that we did not grow up feeling feelings. And then he continued on to talk about how everyone calls mom, and they talk about each other Oh, don’t call Jessica. He says because they’re going through some things just stay away from them. And it was especially funny because my sister is Jessica. And then as he ends this skit, he’s saying that he runs over to his wife after he gets off the phone with his mom and says get the wine, honey, you have to hear what’s going on with my cousins. And I was just dying. It is. So my family. And I tell you this, as I also think about father, Brian, who used to say this was years and years ago, that his family put the fun in dysfunctional. And based on my experience, and also the work that I’ve done with clients. I think we might all have a bit of that, right? There are just so many layers to family dynamics. And it looks different for everyone. But there is one common thing that we all share the one common thing that will influence our interactions with them. And that is what we’re talking about today is let’s go ahead and dive in. The way you think about your family, your brain, that is the number one thing that affects the family dynamics might not be what you think, right? I know many of us think it’s all of the other people in our family, that are the ones that either stress us out or make us sad, disappoint us. But remember, we have thoughts about their actions. And I want to take a couple of different angles when we’re looking at this today. And I want you to consider as I’m going through the episode to really listen through the lens of what the family is in your life that you want to be considering all of these tools for. So that could be your family of origin. It could be an extended family. It could be your work family, it could be the family that you’re growing like look at this in a way that is most helpful for you to best understand. I want to start by reminding you that our brains are hard wired for survival. The function of the brain is to keep us alive. And this goes back to Days of ensuring that we were like not eaten by the saber toothed tigers. For humans. Our tribe is very important to us. The tribe is what helped to keep us safe from the saber toothed tigers. The tribe signifies belonging survival, but the thing is, we no longer have saber toothed Tigers roaming the streets but we Do her family members, right? And we often care deeply about what they think. And as children, subconsciously, we learn, it’s important to keep the adult people happy. That is something that keeps us safe and often loved. Right? There’s no problem here.

Michelle Bourque 5:22 I just think that it’s important that we recognize how we are programmed, so that we all have a baseline around where our beliefs come from. So number one, get curious about what are some of the things that you think you do in your life because you believe, notice that word, you believe that it makes your family, let’s say proud, I know, there are a lot of high achievers out there. So I’m guessing, proud might be feeling that you want your family to have, or maybe you think they think that something you’re doing is of importance. So for example, I remember my mom telling a story of how this was oh my gosh, probably decades ago. Now, she ran into an ex boyfriends parent, long, long ago, and she made sure she told him that she knew I had an important job. She wasn’t quite sure what I did. Honestly, I’m not sure she still knows exactly what I did. And that’s okay. But she thought that it was important. So for me for a long time, I not even realizing it at the time, thought that I for sure should stay in this job. Because someone important to me, my mom right thinks it’s important. And I through the years have for sure had other opportunities with smaller companies, and may actually be making more money than I do now. But I held tight to the idea

Michelle Bourque 6:58 that this job was important. This work can be so subtle, so much of our lives. And I will say the fact that you are listening tells me that you are different than the majority of the folks in this world, because the majority of the folks in this world, just live unconsciously. But you are here to gain some awareness. And knowing that, like once, I can see the story that I built up around my job and thinking that it’s important because a family member thinks it’s important. I just get to decide, do I still want to think that right? Gaining the awareness allows you the opportunity to make the changes in your life, and to maybe take it to the next level. People just living unconsciously not caring about what they’re thinking about. Just believe everything around them is truth. Friends, this might sound a bit wacky, but we are all making this up. You make up the story of your life. And it’s through the filter by which you see your life, that you gain that story. So let me just share an example on the flip side of this, okay. So on one side, mom thinks it’s important. I take that internally. And I make sure I also think it’s important. But then, fast forward to a couple years ago, I was coaching in one of my masterminds, getting coached on how I think I’m so lucky to have my job, and how I work for the world’s largest device company. And I should probably never leave because insert right, my mind thinks that it’s important. And as I’m looking around at everyone, the coaching colleagues are telling me, we’ve never actually even heard of that company. So be onto yourself and the stories that you are telling. You need to know what you are telling yourself in order to make the changes. You have to listen and pay attention to the thoughts that you are having, and where you’re doing things that maybe you don’t even really want to be doing. But you’re only doing it because you think it makes other people proud, happy. Whatever the feeling is, that is in your story. Insert it right. And of course, we can mean a lot of different people when I say other people, so when I’m talking about because you make other people happy. That can be a lot of different people, right? For today’s episode, I really want you to focus on your family. And maybe for you it might be that you’re cooking dinner every night after long exhausting days because you think that your kids your partner or whoever it is that you have with you that that will make them happy. Or you may, like so many women just believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We have been socialized to believe it is our job to take care of everything, and to keep everything together for everyone. And then we wonder why we are so stressed and overwhelmed. Listen, let me share a tip with you do your job. And your job is to figure out what you want to do in your life. It’s a challenging job for many people to really stop and think about what you want in your life. Because many of us have a lot of baggage that we’ve brought into adulthood with us right as to what the family means, or as far as what we believe to be true about ourselves, or what it means to have a quote unquote, good relationship. That’s all made up, you get to take what works for you. So you take along the beliefs that work for you. And you get to leave behind the ones that don’t, because it is different to different families and even beliefs, right, are different to different family members within the same family. So we know, they are not absolute truths. We all have manuals for each other. I think I know what grandparents roles should be right? I don’t even have kids. I’m pretty sure my siblings who do have kids have different ideas and their manual of what a grandparents role is in the family setting. And by manual, I Michelle Bourque 11:48 mean, the list of expectations that you have for someone else. We even have manuals for ourselves, we think, for example, on a manual in order for me to be happy, you should do XYZ, this hoses us every single time because the other person rarely follows our manual. And let me tell you, the moment I figure out how to get them to follow that manual, I will for sure do an episode, a special episode for you. The fact is, we rarely even give the other person insight as to what is in our manual, right. And if you listen to last week, for example, I think I talked about how I believe that mark should just know to empty the dishwasher, for example, when in fact, he might not even realize that I ran it. And usually, I want him to be happy about emptying the dishwasher. As on some days, I may or may not kind of slam the dishes in the cabinets, right? So take a moment here to pause. And think about this. The number one thing that I said is important for your family dynamics that affects your life that might be holding you back is your thinking. Great to know because you always get to choose your thinking. And then under the umbrella of thinking we have knowing the importance of tribal survival. And we are no longer being chased by the saber toothed tigers. But we might disappoint loved ones, if we don’t always do what they want us to do. Right, the manual goes both ways. They also have manuals for us, and we may not follow them. And that’s okay, we are not going to die. It is not the same as the saber toothed Tiger. And yet, our brain hasn’t quite caught up to that right. It is hard wired to believe it is just doing your job. It’s just doing the job that it is meant to do to keep you safe. So let me share another example. While we’re on this for you of what other people’s manuals may be, and how you i and this example may disappoint others. So I have family members. That thing being a good aunt, for example, might be doing things like overnights or apple picking or pumpkin picking where we all go. And we take pictures and you do it to have fun and the memories. And as I mentioned the pictures and for me. I don’t really think that’s a whole lot of fun. You know, I do love the ant trips where we travel and learn history. And I talk personal development with the older ones. And I imagine in part, that’s why they probably call me crazy and Michelly right so I say no to some of the other adventures ie apple picking and when I’ve said no to the apple picking in the past I’ve been told that I have a Hold heart. That is not the case. Here’s my thinking around it. I try not to base my emotional well being on babies, toddlers, teens, right? So I don’t get upset. If, for example, the baby is crying and wants one of her moms. Then off she goes, she gets to have one of her moms. And I don’t get upset if the toddler can’t see my name. And I don’t get crazy. If the team doesn’t text me back immediately. And again, I am told that I am cold hearted. I, in fact, like to think of it as mental health.


Eventually, Michelle Bourque 15:42 the baby will trust me. And eventually, the toddler will figure out how to say crazy aunt Michelly. And the team. Well, I think she most likes my craziness and all of the personal development stuff. So that’s the thought I have for her. And I mean, she’s a teen. Of course, she doesn’t want to text me back right away. But others in the family might get really upset. For example, when maybe the toddler doesn’t say the name or the team doesn’t text. My point is you get to make their actions mean whatever you want about you. So this is about your relationship with them. And knowing that you can believe something like I can be a good aunt that loves my nieces to pieces and says no to some things. And I can believe that I am still part of the quote unquote, tribe. I also have the option, which I’ve done in the past, let’s be clear, I can be a people pleasing nutjob at times. And I work on that daily. So in the past, I have had thoughts that I must be doing it wrong. I’m doing life wrong, right? Because I don’t have kids. I know that is a big thought that I’ve had for a long time. Not super helpful, right? But both are options for me. One, I will tell you feels much better. The one knowing I can be a good aunt and maybe say no to some things definitely seems a bit more useful in my life, then I’m doing life wrong. So what are you choosing? And how do you feel about it? How do you feel is such an important question. Does it feel in alignment with what you want in your life or listen, honestly, people pleasing is basically lying. You’re doing things that you don’t want to do and telling people you do. And you usually feel terrible while doing it. You get to make what they say about you mean whatever you want. So get clear about that. Because when we think their convenience and comfort is more important than ours. That’s what does us in. That’s what causes all the stress and anxiety and overwhelm. And listen, you don’t hear me saying, stop caring about your family and just screw everyone over. Right? It’s just an example of where we can use and I love you and no, they can go together. The next piece under the umbrella was the belief system. That’s what we talked about the luggage, right? So decide what belief you want to have on purpose. And you know what, it can be different now, even if you’ve had the beliefs through all of these years, you get to re wire those patterns. You can show your daughter new ways. For example, if you are someone listening with kids, and I love what I recently heard Robin from peloton say she was talking about going to Burning Man with pasties in a thong. I was like Holy Hannah, look at her. And she basically said, just because I became a mom doesn’t mean I lost my sexy, we get to be a lot of uns you can be a mom and a career woman and a partner and a friend. You don’t just have to be one identity. And you get to do it the way you want to. That’s by deciding what that looks like for you. Not based on what your family has instilled in you, unless of course that is working for you. And not what society says you quote unquote should be. What do you want to think about your family dynamics?

Michelle Bourque 19:42 What do you want to decide? Are your beliefs, the ones that you have currently, about yourself? The ones that you want to continue? Where can you remind yourself that you were always safe? We go back to the idea of the tribe If you can remind yourself that you are always safe, because you take care of yourself, and you have more belief in yourself, when you have more belief in yourself, you will bring about more belief because again, your brain also has the reticular activating system, which is that lens through which you see your life. And so the more you believe in yourself, guess what? You find more evidence for that. So, you get to make the changes, you get to set your priorities. You get to plan your life. And remember, if you need help getting started, head to MichelleBourquecoaching.com/my time and download the free planner, it will help you start setting priorities, planning your time. Listen, if you don’t plan your time, someone else will. Maybe that’s your family members right now. Do you still want to continue down that trail? Is it your family currently planning? Is it your job? What is it trust me, you are the one that knows the best what your life should be. So get over there. Download the planner, get curious about some of the questions I’ve shared here today and let me know how it goes. You can always reach out on the socials at Michellebourquecoaching Okay friends, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now, make it a great day take care

Michelle Bourque 21:33 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to Michelle Burt coaching.com and click on get started to begin

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