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From YourTango

By Kavita Patel

Last week, I had a three-hour intensive session with a client, during which we talked through how my client, Kerry, owns her own business and feels like she is constantly working hard at her job and in her persona lrelationships. She is tired of being single and wants to feel supported in her life by a man she loves. And while I completely understand what she was saying, a red flag went up for me when she said she consistently feels like she has to do it all on her own.

As we were discussing her relationship with her parents, I started to see a pattern of her admiring both her mother and father for the fact that they always have her back. Her dad exemplifies this — not only in his relationship with her — but with his entire family and friends. I dug a little deeper and asked her why is it so important for her to feel like someone has her back. She said, “Because then I know that I am fully supported.”

The dots started connecting for me. When we admire something about our parents, we put them on a pedestal around that specific characteristic. When you place one or both parents on a pedestal, you put pressure on yourself to be just like them. Usually, you do not give yourself credit for already being great in this area and continue to work toward being just like your mother or father.

This was showing up in Kerry’s life in how she so desperately wanted a man to have her back and somehow kept attracting men that did not. This was happening for Kerry because she was putting so much pressure on herself to constantly uphold the values of her parents. Always being someone else’s support system meant that their was no space for someone else to be her’s. Hence, she was consistently feeling like she has to control her life and is tired of not having a man be her support system.

Read Kavita Patel’s advice for how to ease up on yourself at

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