How Straight A’s Almost Did Me In

by Sarah on March 1, 2012

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Today, I’m digging deep into messy territory.  I’m reaching back into my childhood to talk about something that has been key to why the Healthy Home Biz System is so important.

One of the reasons I’m doing this is because so often we look at someone who seems successful, healthy and happy and assume that that’s just them. We think, “That couldn’t work for me. That’s them.”

But the truth is usually the opposite. Most people who get to a good place in life have had to fight an uphill battle. And it’s the journey itself that gives us tools to keep ourselves in this good place. Taking on the self-defeating patterns from years ago in my childhood and teenage years is where I acquired the tools I’m sharing with you today.

See, I grew up in a household where work came first.  Both my parents excelled in their fields. My brother and I kept up the tradition with straight A’s, success at the best schools, etc.

But relationship-wise – we were all disasters. Relating in my family was more about keeping up a front. Anger and sadness were shoved down and not dealt with. And consequently, real connection and deep love was also absent.

Work performance became the place where we all turned to gain a sense of approval and self-worth.

This unhealthy formula led to me struggling with depression and engaging in self-destructive behavior in high school.

It took me a long time to get myself out of this relationship hole where I devalued myself and only valued my work. My husband was pivotal in helping me get here.

And if there is one great lesson I’ve learned in working out of the morass I grew up in and developing the healthy family life I have now, it’s this:  It’s easy to turn to work to gain a sense of personal pride and satisfaction. In fact work for many of us becomes an escape from things we haven’t managed well in our personal lives.

Relationships are messy, frightening, filled with risks.  And they are not easily fixed since we all know how hard it is to patch together a broken heart.  Relationships tap into the deeper recesses of our mind where our animal instincts lurk.  Anger, fear, and desire tightly knot and tangle around our thoughts and feelings here.

And relationships don’t fit neatly in calendars, blackberries or personal organizers.  You can’t set a meeting at 11 to discuss how you’ve been hurt or how you hurt your spouse. Nor can you set a tight agenda allocating 15 minutes for each subtopic with a wrap-up at the end.

We can measure our worth so easily in the dollar value we bring home, the accolades for a report well done, the testimonials, etc. Compared with how we measure our self-worth in relationships, these measures are straightforward and clear.

No wonder so many of us turn to work as an easy way to feel good about ourselves, if not to escape some of the complexities and problems we’re facing in our personal life.

Finally, relationships take time. Time often we feel we can’t take from our busy work life. I confess, thanks to my family history, I’ve slipped into this too often.

But by learning to work more effectively by increasing my energy and productivity, I get more done and have more time for one of the ultimate goals of my business – namely enjoying life with the people who count.

Of course, you’ll have crunch times. But it’s like that car I referred to in the teleseminar talk. A well-maintained car (a.k.a. a healthy body) allows you to get through these times. And get through them more efficiently, with less stress and worry. So when you come out on the other side, you’re not struggling to recover.

You won’t be too worn out to go swimming with your daughter. Or unable to sit up for a little with your spouse and reflect on the day.

And here’s where it gets really interesting . . .

I’ve discovered over the years that as I increasingly address issues coming up with my spouse or children here’s what happens . . .

When I take the time to have an argument or a tough, uncomfortable talk and resolve it, my mind relaxes.

Then when I go to work I can completely focus on my work. I’m not preoccupied with a monstrous issue lurking outside my office door.

The days when issues are not resolved are the hardest days for me to concentrate on my projects.

And finally, here’s one more thing to think about . . .

How we feel about ourselves has everything to do with how we end up interacting with people – from clients to family.

By taking care of yourself, by nurturing your body – and challenging it strategically – so you can get in better shape, you end up with a lot more than a body you can feel good about.

You feel good, plain and simple.

And that good feeling spills out into all kinds of places in your life.

The way that caring for your body supports your emotional health is a core reason why this system is so important. When paired with strategic work on relationships and how they fit into having a business at home, it can be incredibly powerful.

If some of what I’ve touched on here hits a nerve, go check out the Healthy Home Biz System. Enrollment is limited until Wed. March 7th at midnight.

And please, share with me some of your thoughts on these thorny issues. How have your relationships fueled your work? How have they made it harder to work? How has your work nurtured or drained energy from your relationships? And what have you done to work on this?

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  • Russell Turner


    Have you thought that much of your argument has a second side? Relationships, particularly those that are not right at home, take energy and  effort that would be better used to accomplish meaningful work at whatever an individual has a passion for.

     For most  men, it is necessary to maintain a performance standard in order to sustain relationships within the work place  or with customers.  In a traditional household, the man was and often  still is the principal wage earner and the one who must satisfy others to maintain a standard of living for his family.  Often the relationship with other members of his family sap the time and strength which is necessary to accomplish this job.

    We tend to forget that we can not solve all of the problems, particularly within a family. Some persons can not be reasoned with, some are not willing to compromise in a way which will work for themselves and others, some are takers others are givers. However, no one can be a constant giver
    without running out of anything to give.  In fact, bad relationships  drain a lot more out of individuals than work ever did, especially physical work.

    Wouldn’t it be nicer if each member of a relationship carried their portion of the load of maintaining the relationship whether at home or at work or with persons outside the family? Why is it so hard for families to function as families or groups of related persons function as part of the larger family of kin?

    You speak of work performance as if it is disconnected from maintaining relationships but it is not.  Are you defining your business as a fitness business but just focusing on how it it applies to a home business?  Or do you feel that the principals will apply to anyone who has a job to do whether at home or at a place of employment. It would probably apply to workplaces like Apple, Facebook, Google, the military services, or any group of workers sharing the same working conditions,

    • Sarah

      Russel, how do you think relationships get to the impasse you describe? More often than not it’s that we depend on the good feeling of the early part of marriage or early love. And we don’t nurture our relationships or attend to it as time goes on.

      We stick within the solid framework of our roles – breadwinner, homekeeper – without acknowledging that whatever we’re doing to contribute to the household, we still have to play a part in nurturing the relationships. The relationship is the responsibility of both people.

      As I emphasize over and over again, it’s the little things – the day to day neglect that destroys marriages like it destroys your physical health.

      As described in the teleseminar, most catastrophes in our lives – physical health, relationships, etc. – are the accumulation of small acts of neglect. As business owners we may think to ourselves, we’ll have a better family life when we can afford those vacations. But too many unhappy marriages tell the tale that the promise of future comfort won’t make up for the little daily actions that hold things together. 

      The system I teach emphasizes that, even in terrible circumstances, the solution lies in taking small deliberate manageable steps to work our way back to health. Both acts of giving and acts of confronting issues and problem-solving

      There’s really no other way.

      Admittedly, some situations won’t be resolvable.

      But as I’ve discovered time and again, even though it may cost me time at work – or even contracts as I describe in the Fight The Funk report, taking time when needed to attend to my relationships yields me more wealth and stability in the long run.

      Finally, yes, attending to relationships is part of the comprehensive approach to health that this system covers. Fitness as well as emotional health.

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