When you prioritise your to do list for the day – who comes first? You or others? Or things to do? Now if you have the luxury of being a single foot loose and fancy-free lady and you don’t work – kudos to you! But if like most of us you have people around you that rely on you (kids, partner, boss, employees etc) I bet you feel the urge to put them all first and leave your needs to last?
Do you ever say things like ‘as long as they are happy, I’m happy’ or ‘If I can just do ___x___, ___y___, ___z__, first then I will get to my book/walk/time to self/moment of peace’ etc and it never actually happens?
Do you sometimes want to throw an adult tantrum and yell whilst foot stomping ‘what about me!!!! When is it my turn for some peace!’ – and nobody listens?
Well here is a newsflash – you created this by never ever putting yourself first.
You need to become self-centred.
For some of us ladies – and I know you will know this to be true – we feel bad or selfish when we prioritise ourselves before others.
Why do we feel so guilty if we take care of ourselves and prioritise our own self care?
Here’s a little personal story for you.
At the time of writing this email I’ve just booked myself a 2 day girls weekend away. During the booking process I asked my partner 7 times if it was ok to go.
During those 7 times I asked him I was looking for little hints of whether he would think I’m being selfish, whether he would be angry, whether he would think I’m being a bad mother or partner?
Now I reflect. It’s ridiculous that I couldn’t give myself the pat on the back and permission to go. That I had to test the waters to look for those answers in him.
My partner (and my bestie who was giving me sideways glances) both had to stop me and remind me –
My best friend – ‘Just hit the book button and let’s be on our way before you back out’
My husband - ‘Honey you have a special needs child who demands your attention and is hard work 95% of the day. You work full time. You cook, you clean, you walk the dogs. Your days are filled with taking care of everything. And I’m away working most of the time which means you do it mostly alone. So, I think it’s ok to go and relax for a few days and have some fun.’ I booked the accommodation in 2 seconds.
It got me thinking though. Why did I have to be reminded of all that I do?
Why do I feel bad?
Why don’t I give myself permission to have fun and take me time?
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my life and I don’t feel I am owed anything for what I do – but sometimes I do have the urge to throw a ‘what about me’ tantrum.
So in this short video today I’m going to share the real reason we all feel guilt for putting ourselves first and how to break this crappy little guilt pattern.
You see the more we engage in me time – the more effective we can be for others.
There Are 2 Reasons Why We Never Take Time To Put Ourselves First
1. Self time is seen as being selfish, self centred or self focused. And we perceive all of these as ‘bad’.
E.g. I always think that Grant will think I am being selfish if I have my me time. This was until I explained to him just how much meaning it holds. Then when he sees me come back smiling and I’m a nicer mother and partner – who is downright happy for me to take my back pack, journal, yoga mat and my tarot cards away for a night here and there. Basically he knows that getting my ‘hippy on’ helps me a better person all round.
New belief for change – Self Centring is not being selfish. It means I am centred with my SELF. So what is the self?
It is focusing on your own needs and refilling on an internal level that outsiders or things cannot do. It is centring and finding your SELF amongst the list of to do’s and the needs of others.
2. We Are Getting Small Pay Offs For Being The ‘Girl Who Does It All’ – Enter The Matyr
Somewhere deep inside you there is a little part that likes the small thanks you’s (if you get them – and lets be real as a parent you rarely do) and sense of accomplishment you get from putting others first.
It’s what I call a negative payoff.
You might get a little happy hormone kick out of the small gratifications of service you give – even if your own health and happiness is going down the toilet.
So it’s a pay off. But not necessarily a positive one if in the long run the result is a negative balance of your energy and happiness.
I am totally guilty of this. I used to definitely like that people would tell me I was ‘amazing for all that I can do in a day’ until I realised that all I was doing in a day was a one way street to my own internal unhappiness and RESENTMENT of others and ANGER towards myself.
So I developed a new belief for change around this:
I only give the amount of energy that I feel in my body I have to give everyday. I make sure I do one thing a day small or large to refill that energy and one large thing often to really top up the balance.
It’s basic resentment prevention.
I treat that one thing like I do any other thing on my check list.
I tick it off like a job.
Here is what I would like you to do today to become Self Centred:
Think Of Your Self Care Like A Bank Account
Let’s imagine that your needs – one by one – to stay happy and healthy are like dollars in the bank. If you keep giving them way (e.g. you replace your me time with extra work or doing something for others) you will go bankrupt.
I’d really like to hear how you feel about becoming self centred. I’d love to hear ways you try to deal with your guilt about taking time for yourself and your self enquiries or findings as to why we do this as women? The more we chat about this as women the more we will find and share.
So here is what I would like to hear from you today…..
Leave a quick comment below (even if you are the first) sharing your comments and findings.
If you know someone who is also struggling with taking time out for themselves you can also tag or share this with them.
Love Heidi x
P.S if you are ready to prioritise your self care and integrate my self care and love rituals into everyday life, click here to joing my 7 day challenge - Balance & Beyond.