In recent weeks, a theme has emerged among a number of folks in my practice and in my life: the theme of how we sacrifice ourselves for others.
Among my friends, clients, and colleagues, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time lately unpacking what we’re willing to do to meet the needs of others to the detriment of meeting our own– and the price we pay for doing so.
We’ve all had this experience to some degree. Maybe we fall head over heels for the high of early love, and neglect ourselves and all other relationships completely in the process. Or maybe we set out to care for our parents, our children, and our partners, and in the process fail to care for ourselves.
The place where I’m seeing it the most, however, is in women who are primary breadwinners for their families, who are uniformly making extraordinary sacrifices to meet the needs of others at work and at home.
And the consequences for this can be pretty dire. Your health, your relationships, your well-being and your mental stability can all be compromised when you put your own needs last.
So this week I’m offering a reminder that you may need:
Every once in a while, I like to sit back and consider whether there are any consistent challenges with which I’m being approached by new clients. There’s often a lot for me to learn from patterns in my practice over time.
This spring, without question, the number one issue faced by every new client in my coaching practice has been a deep sense of loneliness, alienation, and an absence of community.
If you think about it, that’s pretty extraordinary given the times we live in.
We are all on Facebook virtually non-stop, sharing our lives in images on Instagram, and updating our latest thoughts every few minutes on Twitter.
For most of us, there are very few aspects of our lives that aren’t shared with everyone we know, and many people we don’t, online.
And yet, many of us feel more lonely than ever before.
When I do a coaching intake on a client, one of the primary areas I ask about is the way in which my clients talk to themselves.
Not in a is-that-guy-on-bluetooth-or-just-crazy kind of way (smile), but rather how my clients talk to themselves inside their own heads.
“I’m 34 and I haven’t met the right person yet. There’s something wrong with me!”
“I’m in this job I hate, and it’s all my fault that I didn’t see this coming. I’m such a screw-up.”
“I’m such a lazy fat-ass for not getting to the gym.”
Witnessing this kind of thing is one of the most upsetting things about the work that I do, because make no mistake about it, these kind of statements are self-abuse.
No one is a mean to us as we can be to ourselves.
And yet, for some of us, we believe all our negative self-talk to be the God’s-honest truth.
And what happens as a result?
Here’s a hint:
The stories we tell ourselves predict the future. (click to tweet)
The last two weeks have been a doozy in my life.
Among other things, in that time period, I’ve completed my first online product launch, moved from a two to a three bedroom apartment with my family, and celebrated my daughter’s second birthday with a big party.
And that’s not counting all the daily activities that I still managed to accomplish on top of the big stuff.
Which brings me to the topic of today’s post: sometimes, you just need to rest.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it can be to find the time to rest when we need it most. And I’m just as guilty as most when it comes to pushing myself even when I’m tired.
That said, it’s very important to pay attention to warning signs that you really, really need to take time off.
Over the weekend, I found myself stretching for inspiration, and not finding it anywhere– a tell-tale sign of pressure that I always know means that I have not had enough downtime.
This is true for just about anyone:
When things that ordinarily come easy suddenly start to get hard, it’s usually time to rest, rejuvenate, and then return when you’re ready. Tweet this!
And so, in the past few days, I’ve given myself permission to engage in some much needed self-care.
Here’s what that looks like in my world. (more…)