I realized yesterday, as I listened to a podcast introduction, that I have a negative reaction to successful, powerful women. Women who are balancing their lives, who are doing interesting work, who are out there in public, who are living their lives powerfully.

Well, isn’t that interesting? I’m reading Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass book, and she early on she talks about being aware of the subconscious beliefs we have about the world. I, of course, immediately thought I didn’t have any. Or if I did, that they were innocuous, or maybe even positive.


I’m working to understand what exactly my reaction is. I know in real life, I feel uncomfortable with people who are very direct and outgoing—I feel intimidated because I have a hard time holding my own space with them. Often I find myself either oozing into a shape that seems more acceptable to them, or retreating into myself to stay safe.

But I think I am also jealous of these women and everything they have achieved. Some days I feel like I have a hard time just plowing through the things I need to do for my family—how can I ever be successful in anything when I struggle so much with these bare-minimum things? How will I have time to go back to school and work with nutrition clients when I spend all my time picking up socks and chopping up vegetables? And self-care? When would I do that?

So maybe I am also jealous of the boundaries that these women must have, and that I lack. The ability to arrange their own priorities instead of feeling compelled to respond to those of others’ instead.

This gives me two steps to take immediately: be aware of how I react to powerful women, and be aware of where I’ve established my boundaries and where they really need to be.