For most of us there is an intrinsic connection between helping others and our own happiness. But also thrown in is the importance of spending time and energy to fulfill our own destiny and become everything we seek to become. It becomes lost if our focus is upon keeping everyone happy and comfortable around us, all the time.
As selfish as it sounds it needs to be about us before you can ever make it truly about others. Constantly doing for others leads to feelings of resentfulness or of being devalued and used.
It is our own fault. We make ourselves believe that we don’t matter. So what if we are tired, busy, have no time to care for ourselves properly, suck it up and go to the back of the line ~ willingly.
Whatever the underlying reason which among them are emotional needs fulfilled, we don’t want to be the bad person, we know we can do it better, faster and the list goes on, we make the choice to put ourselves last.
We need to see that it’s not a good choice and it is not just today but our future we are trading for it.
We have no time to work on us.
Creating a map to happiness is impossible if we are spending time accommodating the whims of others. Yes, it happens without realizing it we find ourselves not even hesitating before committing, making everyone’s time more valuable than yours.
Saying “no” is OK ~ not saying “yes” immediately will become mandatory. Think about the request (even if it comes from you overzealous need to help). Ask yourself is this something they can do for themselves?
Recovery is one step at a time and here is how change happens.
Step One ~ Admit that you have put yourself at the bottom of the list too often. Conceding that you have set the bar too low and need to now learn how to move it to a more comfortable spot ~ one where there is more balance while not completely disrupting everything you now have in place.
Remember that you are not responsible for the unhappiness of others who are used to getting their way and now will now not be accommodated as often.
Be ready to not be needed for everything and for some people to not like you ~ it’s ok because you will like you much better when you have some time to relax.
Step Two ~ Create a plan by picking one thing to work on. Maybe it is a parent who relies on you for things they could do on their own or a friend who consumes your time with problems but refuses to find solutions.
Work to find the sweet spot between bending to every whim of others and refusing to help at all.
Careful, don’t create the plan or any changes when you are angry or upset, delay it until you are in a good place mentally.
Something happens when we are upset – I liken it to doing a cannonball in the pool. One big annoying splash (they have seen this before and know it will pass) with everyone around you holding onto the side until the water finally settles and things go back to normal. Having a plan in place will keep you focused on your objectives and be ready to respond when you feel the need to give in again.
Step Three ~ Be honest with yourself about your payoff. We all get something from things we do or we wouldn’t be doing them. What are your motives, maybe for you it’s the need to be liked or the fear of being thought of as callous, it could be your way of showing others you love them, you may like being the victim ~ you are the nice one and you take the high road and they are not, just look what they are doing to you.
Once you know why you are allowing it then get some why’s you should not.
You should never allow yourself to do something because of what others will think of you, say about you or do to you. You should try do things because you want to ~ no strings and no emotional attachment or pay out.
Ask yourself is it really appreciated or is it expected? Are you hurting others by cheating them out of their independence or keeping them from learning lessons for themselves?
What is the cost to you; resentment, unhappiness, exhaustion, putting things that are important to your wellness aside and building genuine give and take relationships.
Step Four ~ Be mindful. I know you have heard it but if you don’t recognize the results of your efforts you will not be strong enough to keep it up. Allow the old payoff to be replaced by a new payoff by using the time wisely doing something that makes you happy and moves you forward in your life.
Step Five ~ Let down your guard and let people know what your needs are. We have this concept that if we do enough for others they will, at some point, spend time to figure out what our needs are and begin to fill them for us. This is most often never going to happen because we make no fuss about it, we handle and magically making it all happen. To others it seems effortless so they never see the cost.
So let’s wake up and move some mountains, this time for ourselves. Let’s let everyone take responsibility for their own lives while fulfilling our dreams and wishes and then from a place of wellness and empowerment everyone will be happier.