As a woman business owner, I know that being single is not always easy, especially if you are a single mom! As much as it has helped me in my career and personal life, there are times when you need someone who can understand your needs or wants more than just a friend. But for now, I am content with living the single life and taking on the world solo.
So, why is the single-life perspective different? Well, for one, when we are constantly bending for everyone around us, we don’t know what our actual shape really is. We also don’t know how it feels to not change ourselves for someone else, so we keep doing it instinctively.
But being single is a time for us to unkink and remove the knots and figure that out. And when this happened to me, this is what I learned.
You see just how capable you really are.
Being single means, you are doing a lot by yourself. This isn’t just taking care of your household and paying your own bills. This means your emotional needs as well. You learn how to pep talk and encourage yourself when you’re single. And when you do this, those voices in your head that can talk you out of doing certain things actually begin to quiet down. That’s because it’s more powerful to look ourselves in the eyes in the mirror and remind us of our strength and abilities than to have someone else do it for us. And when you take over the Head Cheerleader job in your own life, it will really start to show up in all areas of your life, including your business. This takes us to the next lesson.
You don’t have to tolerate bad relationships.
The most intimate connection we have with people is in our friendships and intimate partners. And the fear of losing the people closest to us or having them reject us means we may have learned how to put up with their destructive behaviors too long. This real, human fear can follow us into our relationships with our business partners or even our customers.
When you’re on your own, you notice how often you do things for other people instead of yourself. You will also notice how often these other people are doing something for you in return. You see how much more time you have for yourself and your pursuits when you aren’t taking care of other people or doing what they want you to do for them.
You also worry less about what other people will think when you make a choice for yourself. And you begin to see how much time you have to focus on yourself and your goals instead of managing a relationship with someone else. This is especially true if your exes have always been demanding.
Saying “No” will be easier than ever before.
Loving who I am while single has been one of the biggest reasons I can now set and hold boundaries with others. It has also helped me see what I really need from my relationships with people. Plus, I now place a more significant value on saying “yes” to my own needs because I know how great that feels.
The more I love the woman I am while I get to do and live in a way that genuinely makes me happy and fulfilled, the less likely I will ever give that up again for the wrong people. And that is because I know what’s really at stake if I say “yes” to something I don’t really want to allow.
So how do you get these perspectives if you are in a relationship? It begins by doing these three exercises.
- Sit down, figure out your values, and ask yourself if you are living by them.
- Are you doing what you really want to be doing, personally and professionally? If not, why not?
- Do you have people in your life who expect you to take care of them all the time? If so, ask yourself why you think you need to keep doing that. And ask yourself what benefits you’d get if you quit.
I’ll admit, it was hard at first living on my own with my kids. But being single has helped me grow as a person and learn how to identify bad relationships in my life. Now when someone tries to pull me into something that doesn’t serve me or is toxic for my well-being, I can see it coming from miles away. This can be a customer of mine trying to make an unreasonable request or another friend who’s always doing things without asking if we’re on the same page. The best part? It’s given me more time to focus on what really matters most: myself and my dreams! What small change can you make today so that you start developing this awareness too?
Ameé Quiriconi is the Founder of Activity Girl, LLC. She is a leadership coach for entrepreneurs and businesses. She helps clients build self-awareness, emotional and social intelligence, self-confidence, and communication abilities to help them grow professionally and personally. She hosts a mental health podcast called “One Broken Mom.” She is also the author of “The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business: What Every Woman Needs to Know to Be a Courageous, Authentic, and Unstoppable Entrepreneur.”