Conflicting Priorities

One of the hardest things for a shouldaholic to deal with is conflicting priorities. 

For example, I want my child to eat dinner, but I want them to eat healthy food, and I want us to have a peaceful dinner time. Anyone who has kids knows that they aren’t always going to be hungry at dinner time (especially if they have snacked) and for sure there will be foods they don’t like (like, brussel sprouts). After a long exhausting day, none of us want a fight on our hands. So the question is: which priority is more important? 

As a Shouldaholic, we often don’t realize it, but we make all the priorities of equal and utmost importance, which means that from our perspective, we have to be able to do all of them or else it means that it was a catastrophic failure. My child needs to eat dinner, but they must eat their brussel sprouts which they hate, and I don’t want a fight on my hands.

In business, and specifically in project management, there is something called the good, cheap, fast triangle. You can have good and cheap, but it won’t be fast, you can have cheap and fast, but it won’t be good, and you can have fast and good, but it won’t be cheap. That is to say, something has to give.  Sometimes has to be less important than the others.

But as Shouldaholics, we unconsciously demand of ourselves that all our values and all our priorities are met. 

Which is simply impossible. It’s just not possible. If we don’t figure out what priority or value is more important, we will 1) find it very difficult to make decisions and 2) we will get mad about the outcome no matter what it is, because there will be a priority that we didn’t meet. 

Then we shame ourselves, which sets off our shame spiral that takes us down dark paths. That’s a whole other series of videos that we can talk about forever.

This is a no win game, my friends. I’m here to tell you that there is another way. We can reframe our priorities, we can rank our priorities, and we can learn how to let go of that need to be perfect in very goal that we set. It just takes time, effort, practice, a safe space, and compassion for ourselves.

You can do this.

Let’s heal together.

Published by Sherry Yuan Hunter

Sherry Yuan Hunter is a certified trauma recovery coach and certified parenting coach. Taiwan-born American-Canadian Chinese, married, working mother of two, Sherry identifies as a Sandwich Parent, Third Culture Kid, an untigering Mom, and recovering shouldaholic. Based in Toronto, Canada, Sherry has been working in student success programs at University of Toronto for 20 years, supporting students, young professionals, new managers, working moms, and new immigrants to success.

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