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I consider myself to be a caring and kind person, I try to help others out where I can, I don’t like to see others upset, or unhappy and my first thought is very often, what can I do to make them feel better.
I love being this kind of person.
I love being the sort of person who spends her time considering other people’s needs, and feelings and situations, sometimes at the expense of my own.
But that’s okay, it makes me feel good about myself that I can help and support others.
That is why I do what I do in my business. I have developed my own way of articulating another person’s wishes and feelings, giving it context, a meaning, and helping them feel okay about whatever it is they are facing, whether it is anxiety, guilt, fear or an overwhelming feeling of inner sadness.
However, from working with my clients I have started to realise something.
Am I saying yes too much?
We all have personal challenges in our lives, sometimes those where we do need to ask for help. Those who know me well know that I am pretty rubbish at asking for help and support myself, to my detriment.
Looking after everyone else before me starts to wear me down, even, dare I say it, makes me feel a bit resentful when it feels like there is no-one there to look after me when the going gets tough.
It’s all my own fault, you can’t know I need help and support unless I tell you, right?
The lesson here?
The responsibility for looking after yourself rests with you, yourself, no-one else. If you keep on giving, and giving, and giving then that resentment can start to build, and a sense of being ‘the martyr’ appears ‘I can cope’, ‘I am a survivor’, ‘I have no-one else to depend on except me’.
Not a fun way to live every day, and all of a sudden the positive feelings you get from helping out others disappear in a puff of smoke.
Now, I am not advocating never offering to help others out, ignoring the needs of people you care about. But what I am saying it keep a bit of balance in your life. Receiving is okay, don’t feel guilty about it, just like it makes you feel good to be there for friends and family, it gives others that feel good feeling when they can be a support to you.
My husband thanked me at the weekend for giving him three hours to go out and do a bike ride in training for his 100 mile event in July. That made me feel good. It was no bother and it meant a huge amount that he had some guilt free time and space to do something he really enjoys. He is then more motivated to help out with whatever needs doing during the day (good husband training)
So, my point is. Look out for others, be a good wife, friend, mum and daughter, but don’t forget yourself in the process, otherwise your ability to give graciously and with a willing heart won’t last long.