Paying Attention.

Pay attention to yourself.
Because when you don’t – you are actually choosing to be selfish.

Wait. What?

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
Be present
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.

Best Friend.

katie pulsifer coaching

I think that most of us would think of ourselves as someone’s best friend. We might describe ourselves as loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, understanding and supportive. As a best friend, we show up, no questions asked, when we are needed. We laugh together, cry together and offer advice and give tough love when it is required.

Becoming a best friend to someone can take years of investing in the relationship. It takes consistency. It takes attention and focus. It means, giving unconditional love. It means, less judgement and more compassion. It means forgiveness and understanding. Being a best friend is about allowing space in the relationship to evolve and grow over time.

In my experience, this is what I believe it takes to be a best friend. It is a privilege. It is rewarding and fulfilling. And it feels amazing to have this type of relationship with someone that you care about.

Imagine for a moment, what it would be like to be this kind of best friend to yourself. To show up for YOU every day, like you would for your best friend. To love yourself unconditionally through any situation. Doesn’t that sound incredible?

For most of us, being our own best friend sounds incredible and feels absolutely impossible. Mostly because, it never occurs to us, to treat ourselves the way we would treat our best friend.

And why is that?
How is it that we have invested years of attention, time and growth into our best friend relationships and yet, we still haven’t figured out how to have an amazing best friend relationship with ourselves?

Simply put, I believe that we think, that it is someone else’s job to be our best friend. We believe that other people make us feel loved, trusted, cared for or supported. We think these best friend kind of feelings (and all other feelings) come from outside of us. We teach ourselves to rely on others to make us feel a certain way.

The truth is, that we create our own feelings 100% of the time – without exception. This is powerful information. And such good news because it means that we create what we feel all the time. If we want to feel supported, loved, trusted – we can treat ourselves that way, right now. We can choose to show up for ourselves the way that we would for our best friend. We can treat ourselves with kindness, compassion and love. We can release judgement, shame and guilt.

I talk about this concept of being your own best friend with my clients all the time, because I believe this to be the most powerful way to add more love in your life. I teach them to think about how they can choose to feel loyalty, by having loyalty to ourselves and our decisions. I teach them that they can feel and experience commitment by keeping our commitments and promises to ourselves. And that to experience more self-love and compassion, means having your own back, every time, no matter what.

Imagine how amazing your life would be if you decided to be your own best friend!
What can do to start treating yourself like you treat your best friend?
How would you make decisions, show up and act if you chose to love yourself unconditionally?
There is no downside to loving yourself more!
So why not go into this week, loving yourself like you love your best friend?
Offer yourself more kindness, compassion and love this week – with your words, your thoughts and actions. See how amazing it will make you feel!