EP 119: Breaking Free of Your Role in Your Family with Jenna


The essence of today’s episode is about breaking free of the roles we play in our families. Today’s caller, Jenna, is not stepping into her potential — specifically her financial potential — because she is still playing the role in her family that she played as a child and teenager. She wants to make sure everyone else is okay and it is holding her back.

Many of us deal with the same issue as we individuate and become adults. There is a certain way we fit into our family to get safety, security, and love. When we start to have success and abundance, there is a part of us that feels like we are unworthy or unsafe. This is what I call an Upper Limits problem.

We often stop ourselves from moving forward because we are so concerned about what other people think. If you think your success comes at the risk of someone else not getting it, feeling small, or not understanding, you will keep getting in your own way. If you value fitting in and protecting your role over living your dreams, you may need to shift.

Sometimes your very existence may trigger someone. If other people in your family are suffering that is their choice. If they are making choices that make them unhappy it is not your job to suffer with them. Break free of the role of carrying your family’s burdens. Break free of trying to make everyone understand you.

You cannot see your vision clearly or see your full potential clearly if you are watching and managing how people are reacting to what you are doing. Know that trying to make other people feel comfortable at the same time as living into your full potential is impossible. It is your job to fulfill your mission.

If you resonated with this episode go back and listen to my coaching call #113 with Sarah about shining your light.

BIG NEWS! I have four spaces open for my one-on-one coaching. If you want to uplevel your life and career email Jill@ChristineHassler.com to get an application.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • How are you getting in your own way? How are you sabotaging your own success, specifically financially?
  • What role did you play in your family? What did you do to fit in, to please everyone else to keep yourself safe?
  • How is that role potentially holding you back at this point in your life?
  • Is there a part of you who is afraid to step into your full potential? Are you playing small because you don’t want to make other people feel small?

Jenna’s Question:

Jenna would like to become a bigger version of herself but feels something always pulls her back. She would like to uplevel her yoga business.

Jenna’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She is keeping herself small to make other people comfortable.
  • She was a caretaker in her family.
  • She felt embarrassed by her ambitions.
  • She didn’t want to make others feel small.
  • She feels successful even with financial challenges.
  • It’s okay for her to share herself with confidence even if it triggers other people.
  • If she doesn’t shift she may end up resenting people.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • She should write letters she doesn’t intend to mail, to cut the energetic cords to family members.
  • She should realize people are capable of handling their own experience.
  • She should write down some new beliefs.
  • She should turn her efforts inward to help her and her little girl make her dreams come true.


  • Write a letter to the people you feel you will upset without mailing it.
  • Visualize and practice yourself looking forward, not backward.
  • Write a list of your competing intentions. Get fully aligned with the intentions that put you where you want to go and accept that you can’t make everyone happy.
  • Consider how the role you played in your family is impacting your life right now and journal your thoughts. What is your new role?


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  • Victor Ogleby

    Interesting discussion on the podcast but I saw a completely 180 degree opposite issue with Jenna. (Some correlations.)

    Most often people complain that as kids they weren’t heard or *seen* or truly encouraged, they were ignored, not loved enough, etc and this presents issues later in life. Well here Jenna shows the flip side, when as a kid you’re told you’re absolutely perfect and brilliant and will be the first female President. Jenna is experiencing the issues when expectation and unrealistic perfectionism become a burden for her, so her choices are more aligned with perfectionism issues/avoidance.

    Verbally she articulates it as not wanting to show up others by how good she is, but in reality that’s not it at all, that’s her coping mechanism to rationalise it to herself. She even repeats her programmed beliefs that she was better and smarter than everyone else. I felt Christine swallowed that and went with what Jenna was saying on the surface rather than uncovering the true subtext.

    What it really is IMO is if Jenna attempts high and fails, all that perfectionism idealism she was fed as a kid (and believes) will crumble and her parents will see her as a fraud or failure. (Actually she will view herself as a fraud.) So she’ll aim low. Nowadays the added issue is she feels that secretly she’s not even doing as well as she can in an alternative career. So that’s a double whammy to the programming.

    Parents instead of saying you WILL BE the first President or you WILL BE the first person on Mars or you’re so perfect you WILL BE a Nobel Prize Winner, you WILL BE… WILL BE… WILL BE… (tremendous positive reinforcement and encouragement but damaging and flawed) should instead say the world is your oyster, you can try anything you want and you will find what you’re good at and love and follow your heart to what makes you happy whatever that is. Whatever your great talent and gift is, try and work that out. You’ll be good at some things, not so good at others, keep heading towards what makes you happy.

    That’s Jenna’s issue IMO. Dealing with perfectionist expectations and avoidance. If you’re reading this Jenna I hope that helps and my invoice is in the mail to both you and Christine simultaneously. Maybe split it.

  • Leanne Overlander

    Thank you for this episode. I had some really big aha’s. I have been struggling with the transition to being a parent of mostly adults (1 teenager left) who still live with us and starting up my coaching business. I still want to take care of them. I realize I need to let them be responsible for themselves so I can focus on myself and my dreams. It isn’t being selfish, it is just a new stage in life for me.