Pay attention to yourself.
Because when you don’t – you are actually choosing to be selfish.
This is not what you were expecting me to tell you, right?
As women, we have been lead to believe that when deny something for ourselves or hold back on our self-care, it is a “self-less” gesture. We tell ourselves all of these things… The family needs us. Our friends need us. Work needs us. There isn’t enough time. There isn’t enough money. Everyone else comes first. This is just the way life works.
So we tell ourselves that we can go “without” and “make do” and we eventually stop paying attention to ourselves.
In our effort to please, serve, care-take, be responsible, accommodate others – whatever we want to call it – we inadvertently create a cycle of self-sabotage and selfishness.
I talk to women every day who find themselves in this cycle and here is what they tell me that they feel like in their lives. They are successful, accomplished, smart women and this is their daily experience.
- I get quiet.
- I stopped asking for what I want.
- I am disconnected from what was important to me.
- I complain all the time.
- I spend money on things I do not need.
- I stopped dreaming.
- I have too much stuff and can’t stay organized.
- I eat too much.
- I am so angry.
- I drink too much.
- I feel detached.
- I have no idea what makes me happy.
- I gossip.
- I just want to escape.
- I am so resentful.
- I have spent so much money trying to fix myself.
- I think something is wrong with me.
This self-sabotage cycle leaves so many of my clients frustrated, disheartened, discouraged and feeling sorry for themselves. They are trying so hard to do the right thing by their families and friends, and yet have become consumed with their own pain and unhappiness. It’s all they think about it. It’s all they talk about it. They obsess about it and complain about it. They have created a pattern of selfish living – the exact thing they were trying to avoid when they decided to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own.
So, how do you break this cycle? How do you show up in your life for yourself and everyone that you care about, while not trading off your happiness for everyone else?
Here is how I teach my clients to start paying attention to themselves.
Express yourself and be willing to let everyone disagree
Dream big for yourself
Carve out quality time for yourself every day
Talk about yourself with kindness and respect
Conserve your energy / time / money for what you really love
Clear the clutter
Be your own best friend
Notice your thoughts without judgment
Feed your hunger instead of your feelings
Use your imagination
Ask yourself interesting questions
Choose your words carefully
Honor your priorities
Find out what brings you joy
Refrain from gossip
Speak your truth
Be willing to say no
Believe that happiness is created by your thoughts, not stuff
Know your worth
Believe you are amazing and so is everyone else
Treat your needs as if they are as important as everyone else’s
And finally, pay attention to yourself from a place of love. It is impossible to be in a state of love and to be selfish at the same time. Self-love promotes quality self-care, allowing us to show up for others with greater compassion, presence and connection – the most selfless state of being.