Are you a list maker? Do you think about your day, week, or month listing all the things you have to get accomplished? Where are you on that list? It’s so easy to get swept up in helping everyone else, making sure they have what they need only to forget yourself in the process. As with everything, you may have to be intentional. How many times do you say “I really need to start taking better care of myself”....”I really need some ME time”. What prevents you from acting on it?
We hear it all the time, it’s about time you start focusing on yourself. Your wants, needs, and desires. But to someone who is trying to juggle it all, that just sounds like white noise, an unattainable utopia. Maybe it’s for people who already have it all together. Maybe it’s after you take care of everything and everyone. Maybe it’s for the elite, the privileged. Nope, it’s for you and it’s for right now. You just have to create a healthy balance and make yourself a priority.
Maybe guilt prevents you from shifting the focus. Do you feel guilty when you spend, energy, and resources that make you happy? Do you feel selfish for even the idea of putting yourself first?
Six years ago I started to explore this whole idea of putting myself first. Until this point, I put my work first, closely followed by family responsibilities, and trying to control everything and everyone else. I literally felt like I had a million plates spinning and each of them as important as the next. I know many of you feel this way and had I been able to see it then or listened to someone pointing it out, I would have been able to make some changes. So much of life unfolds through revelations after trials and tribulations. I’m hoping that we can shed some light on life’s little challenges and you can find alternative solutions sooner rather than later. But, some things just have to be experienced.
I felt like I couldn’t put anything down or everything would fail. See I thought I had the power to control these situations and as a result, felt the responsibility. But you see, I didn’t. I could have dropped those plates and my life would have been the same, better in fact. Less stress, less anxiety, less heartbreak. Their lives would have been better, more accountability, more responsibility, more life lessons, and more growth. Remember I said, life unfolds through revelations after trials and tribulations. If I try and control, fix, and solve - who’s learning what?
So I started letting go and creating more time and space to focus on what I could control ME. Turns out I had a lot of really good ideas and I totally got myself, no learning curve there or issues with communication, I just wasn’t listening before.
I started out rediscovering who I was and what I liked, cherished, and valued. If you have spent your time living for other people chances are you’ve lost touch with those attributes, what makes you, you.
Now that you have the “why”, what about the how? Well, it isn’t a switch you can flip tonight as you head to bed. They call it a journey for a reason. Somedays you will be slow to move, almost crawling and other days you will catch a head-wind and make up ground. The fun is in learning who you are and discovering what makes you unique. Still, you might find making yourself and your new-found self-discovery mission a priority, a struggle. Life gets in the way. Remember those spinning plates? At different seasons they can pick up speed and content.
Be intentional. Schedule yourself in the mix and give YOU the same weight or more as you do everyone else. Ready to shift focus?
Challenge: Life keeps moving at the same pace whether you are running ahead or running trying to catch up. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Create a daily ritual where you cross something important to YOU off your priority list. One a day will quickly add up and this will be one habit you cherish.
I Know YOU Can Do It!