Meet the Martyr Princess

I grew up without a dad and wanting for a lot.

My mom worked 70 hours a week as a waitress at a local hotel.

As the oldest of four children, I raised all of us.

This burden actually made incredibly capable, perseverant. My talent, resourcefulness and dedication help distinguish me in other areas.

I got a full scholarship to undergrad, art school in the south of France, worked in top companies.

Once my mom blurted to an ex that I needed to be treated like a princess.

I was appalled at the idea. Me a princess?

I’ve made my way in the world. I am generous, independent. I buy my own jewels, cars. My therapist once said I was the “better man” in relationships.

But, there was a grain of truth. So what was so abhorrent about being called a princess?

The truth is I was a bright and capable child who took on a lot of responsibilities early on. I learned to go above and beyond as a way of being self-sufficient. It became natural for me.

As time wore on always pushing myself gave me less satisfaction. I had become a martyr to my excellence.

I resented when other people did not work as hard. I resented when others did not appreciate or acknowledge my Olympic efforts. My mom’s princess comment brought to light the martyr and her other face the “princess”.

The incredibly capable little girl in me secretly harbored a fantasy that someday, someone, somewhere would swoop in.

Not only would they save me, they would lavish me like a true princess.

The problem is that no amount of generosity, service, love, or lavishing could satisfy me as Martyr Princess. She was insatiable. And, not in a good way. It made me more alone.

Extreme service from martyr and extreme expectation from princess makes it impossible for anyone meet our expectations.

A lot of alphas have some martyr princess in them. What if today you gave her the day off? What could happen?


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Tara Book CoverHi, I’m Tara
Padua, founder of NextFem. I help high-powered women master their relationships.

As a professional executive coach since 2003, I’ve accrued more than 7,000 client-coaching hours working with 400+ female leaders at organizations like Condé Nast, Cartier, Deutsche Bank, Diesel, Louis Vuitton, Siemens and many, many more.

Healthy relationships are the foundation of a life that works, and my life experiences have fueled my mission to help women get the love they deserve.

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