Today, I want to talk about a pattern that I’ve noticed with some of the women that I am attracting into my coaching containers, particularly my one-to-one mentorship. I’ve noticed that I tend to attract a lot of high-achieving women; women who run their own businesses, women who are very high up in their career, all very successful women.
They’re very entrepreneurial. They’re very business-minded, ambitious, successful women. And to anyone looking in from the outside, it looks like they have everything. They’ve got the money, they’ve got the car, they’ve got the friends, they’ve got the body. But for some reason, their relationships, particularly with men, are lacking.
I want to tuck into that archetype of the strong, independent woman. This archetype is so, so, so pedestaled in our society nowadays, and honestly? It’s not serving you the way you think it is.
Now, I am obviously strong, independent, and a woman. But I would not classify myself as that stereotypical strong, independent woman who don’t need no man. Because the reality of the situation is that people actually do need people.
Do you need a relationship to be happy? Absolutely not. Of course not. But this strong, independent woman is not just ambitious and successful and driven and all the things—oftentimes, she actually cuts herself off from receiving. There’s an energy of, “I have to do everything myself. If I want something done and I want it done the right way, then I’ve got to do it myself. No one can do it as well as I can.”
With a strong, independent woman, even if she’s running a business, she may really struggle to delegate to team members. This is how I started out; when I hired my team, even once I got the right people, it was difficult for me to delegate anything. And even when I would delegate something, I’d still be looking over her shoulder trying to micromanage.
Obviously, there’s an element of learning in business; you always have to teach people the way that you do things so they can fit into your business the way you need. But with the strong, independent woman, you end up bringing that same fucking energy into your romantic relationships.
You’re on him about the dishwasher. You’re on him about leaving his socks on the floor. You’re on him about taking the trash out. The strong, independent woman has these extremely high standards that no man can meet, and that means something coming from me, all right? I consistently advocate for high standards. It’s literally my entire MO. I help women set high standards for the way they lead themselves, both in their lives and in business.
But the strong, independent woman will often end up shooting herself in the foot, because she has this long-ass list of a million things that she wants a man to have. Suddenly, because he’s wearing the wrong shirt to dinner, she’s like, “Nah, I don’t think it’s for me.” And you know what happens then? The strong, independent woman ends up being 60 years old, still single, asking herself why it didn’t work out for her.
Not that you can’t find love at 60; of course you can. I’ve helped women find love at 60. You can totally do that. But the point that I’m trying to make is that you shoot yourself in the foot when you have these extremely high standards, and honestly? That isn’t even having high standards. That’s having an air of perfectionism, and you’ve done that because that’s the way you find safety in your world: by creating control. By controlling every piece of your environment.
You know why? Because that shit is what got you to the top in business. You liked things to be a certain way, you had a vision, and you would do whatever it took to make that vision play out. Right? And you had the strategy, which is amazing. But the thing about relationships is that they aren’t really something you can strategize your way through.
There are certain ingredients to the recipe of a relationship that make it work, but also, honestly? There’s just a lot of magic. There’s a lot of serendipity that happens. And that can be incredibly frustrating to someone who plays into this archetype, because they’re like, “I don’t fucking get it. I don’t fucking get it.”
Here’s the thing: you can be this driven, successful woman who is so confident, so self-assured, so trusting in your business or your career. You can have absolutely no doubt in your body that things will work out for you in that arena. For me, that’s what’s gotten me to the place I’m in with my business: I keep coming back to faith. I keep coming back to trust. But when it comes to love, that part of you bails and you become either avoidant—which looks like critiquing some piece of him that doesn’t really matter and deciding that’s it for you, you’re done—or you become anxious as fuck and start losing yourself. And out of nowhere, that woman who was so confident, so self-assured, is nowhere to be found.
This is where we get into situations where the strong, independent woman goes out on a couple of dates with a guy, and he’s super interested. The chemistry is amazing. The compatibility is there, all of it. And then maybe she sleeps with him, and all her chemicals suddenly start going haywire. She’s no longer this woman who’s so self-assured, who’s anchored in herself, who is secure. She’s now become a woman who is anxious and checking her phone constantly to see if he’s reached out or called.
What happens then is simple energetics. Because you’ve gone anxious, they go avoidant. That’s just what happens. It’s like two magnets that are repelling each other; you are quite literally pushing him away with your dysregulated clinging-on.
When you fall into this archetype of the strong, independent woman, you need to be really conscious of who you’re showing up as in your relationships. Are you showing up as the woman who is secure and knows who she is? Or are you showing up as this little teenager who just wants validation and reassurance?
If the strong, independent woman falls more avoidant than anxious, there can be an energy of hiding behind the facade of being successful. We can hide behind this energy of being successful because we think that’s what men are attracted to.
I’m not saying that he’s not attracted to your success. My partner is extremely attracted to my success and my drive and my ambition, and the fact that I have an extremely large vision and I am willing to do what it takes to get there. But beyond that, he’s deeply attracted to my heart.
This is what the strong, independent woman lacks. It’s not that she lacks heart, it’s that she lacks the ability to reveal it. She lacks the ability to actually show it. So she’s showing up with this hard-ass energy of “I’ve done this, I’ve done that, and here are my accolades,” blah blah blah, and the guys are like, “Fucking cool. Great. I feel like I’m at a job interview. I can’t feel you.”
Men want to feel you, right? That’s feminine energy. Being in your feminine is not about sacrificing all your ambition and drive, but rather about your ability to express yourself, to actually have a connection to your internal world.
This is what the strong, independent woman is missing. It comes from a place of, “I haven’t felt safe in my vulnerability, so I’ve created this mask so that I can feel safe in the world.” But guess what? That’s not going to find you love.
There. I said it. That’s not going to find you love. If you want the love you actually desire, my strong, independent woman, you have to reveal yourself.
Within the energy of this strong, independent woman is a hint of “cool girl” energy. “I don’t care. I’ve got me. I don’t need anyone else. I don’t need no fucking man. I’m a boss bitch. I can do it all by myself.”
Okay. Maybe you can, but do you want to?
Personally, I don’t. Even if I wasn’t in a romantic relationship, I don’t want to do it all myself. It’s why I have a team. It’s why I have a support network. It’s why I have friendships. It’s why I have mentors, because I don’t want to do it all myself.
I want to feel held. I want to feel supported, and I know that’s actually a desire of yours. I know it. If you play into this archetype, I know it, but I also know you don’t give yourself permission to actually go there. You’re so obsessed with being in control because you don’t feel safe not being in control, but deep down, you want to feel safe enough to let some of that go.
So we have to find faith. We have to find safety. We have to find trust. We have to connect with our hearts, with our bodies, with our pussies, with our energy body. We have to look at all the ways that our shadows are playing out. The way that our ego tells us what we should and shouldn’t do and actually clean it up.
This is why group containers are amazing. My Connected Woman program is fucking amazing, because we’re going to dive deep into this kind of work.
So if you want to go from feeling anxious AF about your love life to feeling confident, secure, and having unfuckwithable self-worth, join my program The Connected Woman, starting in early February: https://michellepanning.com/the-connected-woman
If you’re ready to step into your era of delusional confidence, sign up for my six-week course, Main Character Energy, starting in early January: https://michellepanning.thrivecart.com/main-character-energy/
Can’t choose? You don’t have to! Get the Main Character Energy and The Connected Woman BUNDLE: https://michellepanning.thrivecart.com/hot-girl-shit-bundle-tcw-mce/
Join The Hotline, a 4-week group Voxer container for you to plug into my mind: https://michellepanning.thrivecart.com/the-hotline/
Be sure to connect with me over on Instagram. I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were. Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”