How NOT to Be A Right Brain Super Hero

Michael O. "Coop" CooperRight BrainLeave a Comment

In the last post we talked about what the Super Hero Syndrome is, and why it is a particular challenge for the right brain entrepreneur. One of the reasons right brain entrepreneurs are overworked is because of this syndrome.

In today's post we're going to talk about the primary elements that create the Super Hero Syndrome and predispose us to be overworked:

  • Brain Function
  • Beliefs
  • Specific Habits

Here's how our brain gets involved:

We don’t estimate how much time things will take or how much is on our plate already. This sets us up for a constant battle of unrealistic expectations.

  • We say yes to things to gain people’s respect.
  • We get seduced by "shiny objects" - those intriguing and fascinating ideas and projects that pull us off focus.
  • We really aren't great at finishing things. Right brainers tend to have lots (and lots) of unfinished projects.
  • We have difficulty telling people no, partly because "yes" is so much more fun.
  • Time and time management are left brain activities, but we don't think of them that way.
  • We don't organize ourselves for maximum results-oriented productivity, and we wear “busy” as a badge of honor. The truth is, if we focused on results, we wouldn’t work as hard. Instead, we focus on the quantity of work and how much time it takes vs. getting the results we want and only doing the work that leads toward that.
  • We aren’t always clear about what are #1 priority is. If we are, and focus on it, we wouldn’t have to work so hard.

Like most super heroes, we would rather tackle a problem ourselves than ask for help. We enjoy the adrenaline rush we get when we fix someone else's problem. What most other people don't see is the number of family events we miss, the vacations we skip, the stress, sleepless nights, fatigue and worry that we carry from working in this way.

To stop being a Super Hero, we have to recognize this is what's going on so we can "catch" ourselves and choose a different response that the one we're naturally, biologically inclined to choose. Otherwise we're just going to keep repeating the "overworked" experience in our work, and in our lives.

Our beliefs also contribute to our super hero-ness.

I've written about beliefs before, but here are the main ones that contribute to the Super Hero Syndrome:

  • I have to do it all.
  • I have to do it all myself.
  • I can’t ask for help. 
  • I can’t find or hire good people.

While these are all critical, the belief that we can't ask for help is particularly insidious. That's because asking for help is exactly what we need to do to NOT be a super hero. Not only have we become programmed for this, it's become a large part of our identity. We think of ourselves as the helpful ones, the ones who help everyone else. To stop "being" that, challenges our whole sense of who we are.

As right brainers we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the hero and save the day. What we don't realize is that it is costing us precious time, often sets our clients up to continue to expect this level of work from us. It's costing our health and, truthfully, it just isn't sustainable.

That brings us to the habits of the right brain super hero.

The habitual things we do that contribute the most to keeping us this state of being overworked are:

  • Saying yes to too much, primarily because we don't estimate how much time and effort this new opportunity it will take.
  • Focusing on being busy vs. the focusing on the results you really want. (We talked about this being our "badge of honor" in the last post.)
  • We set unrealistic expectations - of ourselves, primarily, but we model this for others in our business and in our lives when we do it for ourselves.
  • We don't have strong boundaries - or any at all. Some examples of not having boundaries are: taking work on vacation; working late and still bringing work home with us; missing important family events because we have to work; not scheduling vacation for ourselves because we’re so far behind; thinking about work all the time so we aren’t “present” when we’re with people.
  • We ignore what we need to recharge - and we often don't even pick up on the signals our bodies are giving us.

Most coaches would tell a Super Hero client to focus on changing their habits. That's because most people believe habits are at the root of our problems. We just keep doing things that don't serve us, right?

Well, that's true. We do keep doing things that don 't serve us. But the reason we keep doing them is because of our beliefs and our brain wiring. We can't change our brains, but we can design our environments to support us in making better decisions and designing more effective structures.

What we can change are our beliefs. THIS is the core of overcoming the Super Hero Syndrome. Changing beliefs isn't as easy as saying "OK, I won't believe that anymore. I'll just think this." The problem with that is we can't "think" our way out of our beliefs. If we could, none of us would have this problem and we'd already be living in nirvana.

Unfortunately most professionals (coaches, consultants, counselors, etc.) don't actually know how to change beliefs.

The good news is...I do. Over the last 15 years of working with right brain entrepreneurs, and some profound training in using energy medicine to create these shifts, my clients have been enormously successful at changing their limiting or unhelpful beliefs and installing empowering, life affirming beliefs.

To learn more about this, and to experience it for yourself (and finally hop off the hamster wheel of being overworked), join me for the teleclass on Oct.  24, 2013, “Save Yourself From Super Hero Syndrome – Why You’re Overworked and What to Do About It”.

We'll go more deeply into your beliefs, demonstrate how to change them (we can do this together), and share even more specifics about how to not be an overworked Super Hero any longer.

To join the teleclass, just go here to register.