For many, prioritizing others is our natural instinct. To shift focus onto ourselves requires some inner reprogramming, but can be profoundly important
When you’re drowning in all the things you do for everyone else, it’s time to hit pause and consider these three truths:
1. The majority of our daily behavior is coming from an unconscious place
That is to say, it happens automatically. We respond to stressors in our businesses, perceived messages from others, and even cues from our own bodies and emotions without much consideration. Our minds run these ‘automatic programs’ in an attempt to save us time and energy. And it does. But often, it results in self-sabotaging behaviors as well.
Even when you ‘try harder’ to respond in a more enlightened way, you are pushing against internal programs that make it very difficult to sustain change. And c’mon, if you could change this pattern, you would have by now because you aren’t afraid of hard work.
There is a better, albeit not yet a mainstream, way to make changes which involves working with a hypnotherapist, coach and/or other similar practitioners to assist you in making changes at the unconscious level.
2. You have a big heart and you love deeply… and that won’t go away
You care deeply for others and when you love, you go deep. These are amazing attributes, but we can get easily confused on where the boundaries lie when it comes to ‘caring’ vs. overextending ourselves. Add to that the unexplainable guilt many of us feel for our success or wellbeing…
Guilt can hop on the back of our good intentions and drive us to go overboard taking care of others — individuals, causes and companies — at the expense of ourselves.
As a result, you struggle with drawing boundaries, being assertive, and giving too much of yourself away. You find that you’re living outside of yourself most of the time which exhausts you physically, mentally and emotionally. If this sounds familiar, you need guidance finding a new path that honors your deep care and desire to make the world better while protecting your internal resources.
3. When you feel scattered in your thoughts, it’s difficult to form a strategy
You may have noticed your patterns: the never-ending list making, the anxiousness, the pattern of giving too much of yourself to too many. You have started to resent those close to you for always taking more of yourself. Subsequently, you end up feeling lonely, hopeless at times, and flabbergasted as to why you can’t figure this out.
Trying to write a map when you are lost is already extremely hard. You’ve had success in other areas, and you can’t figure out why this uncertainty remains, despite your best intentions. If this pattern is familiar, you could benefit from guidance, support, and a partner in your reflection. Working with a coach, who can be your mirror as you process the right solution for you, can be incredibly helpful.
Sustainable growth can be easier than you think. As a business coach, I meet my clients where they are today, with the premise of our work together being that you are not broken, thus don’t need to be fixed. At your core, I believe you are enough. Those stories that trip you up are just in need of editing — they are not who you are at your core.
I work with clients to help them find career fulfillment, not just success.
One such client is Pam, a successful business broker. She launched her business 12 years ago and has never looked back. Part of her signature sauce is her ability to connect people with opportunities, as well as her commitment to being available almost immediately to her clients. However, after multiple years of moving at that pace, she is just about burnt out, and recently shared that she’s “almost out of give.” She was wondering how much more her home and family life could take before the toll it was taking was irreversible. She didn’t realize the personal price she would pay for her success. She wants to figure out a path to carve out time and energy for herself, but doesn’t know how given her personal work ethic, and the structure she’s built in her company. And just when she finally sits down, she can’t seem to turn off the endless list-making, and the anxiousness inside.
After Pam pushed the pause button and found a place to rethink her priorities and direction, she realized there were values important to her that she hadn’t been able to focus on because of her never-ending commitments. By investing in herself and getting help from an expert to ‘rewire’ her automatic choices, she changed the story that drove her, and got clarity on changes she could make without compromising her business. “I feel like a weight’s been lifted from my back!” she told me. “Now I can prioritize myself without guilt.”
You may also enjoy reading Inviting Your Demons to Tea: A Dance Between Self-Improvement & Self-Acceptance by Adreanna Limbach