I had no idea that I was abandoning myself and so concerned with upsetting someone else; suppressing my own needs and thoughts out of fear. It wasn’t until I was out of a sticky situation and learned more about myself that I realized how much of my life was lived this way.
Hindsight is 20/20 but going forward I am now able to speak up, be heard and honor myself.
What does your relationship with yourself look like? Do you abandon your own feelings and strive to please others? Are you constantly swallowing words that need to be spoken for fear of upsetting someone else? How do you talk to yourself? Saying ‘you can’t do this’ vs ‘this will be difficult, but I’ll try my hardest’ goes a long way in showing how you treat yourself on an emotional level. These all dictate your performance in life, honoring yourself, getting your needs met, and living up to your own standards.
Often, when you’re in the thick of an unhealthy relationship, work environment, or simply have unresolved trauma, you don’t realize how much of your ‘self’ you are ignoring. It’s like a fog surrounds you, you keep your head down and push through.
Fear is at the core.
It’s difficult for someone who views themselves as small to set boundaries. To stick up for what they need or believe in and charge through the barriers in their way. To put that fear on the back burner and not care to please someone else in favor of their own needs, change their mindset to one of growth and not feel restricted, and to truly believe in themselves.
Changing your mindset and having a healthy relationship with yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, support, and confidence. One that can and will be built the longer you stay on track and persevere.
A simple way to get started is to write down how you view yourself. Use words that describe your character and don’t stop to overthink it. Just write and write. The good and the ugly. Seeing it all laid out in front of you will give you a good idea of the dialogue that goes on in your head.
The next step is to write out what happens to you in social/work/relationship situations.
An example is: a co-worker asks you to do their work. How do you react? Do you abide for fear of upsetting them or do you put your foot down? What feelings go through your body (resentment, anger, fear, guilt, etc). Another example: your partner comments that the house is a disgrace and ‘what have you been doing all day’ after you’ve been home with a sick child. Where does your mind go? Do you chastise yourself for not keeping on top of the house work while tending to your child? Does anger brew inside you yet words go unspoken? Or do you voice your displeasure and set them straight?
Again, your answers will direct you in what kind of relationship you have with yourself. If you tend to shy away from conflict, you’re not honoring yourself and your needs are getting deprioritized. It’s up to you to learn how to set boundaries, speak your voice, and unload the mental struggles going on.
Having said this, there are situations when you do speak your voice. You do set boundaries yet the other person has zero respect for your needs and blows right through them. These are situations I can help you with on a 1:1 level.
Each situation is unique.
I had no idea how to set boundaries and enforce them. Didn’t even know what they were up until a few years ago. I had to hire a coach to teach me and it was well worth it for the way I live my life now.
When you change your mindset, build confidence, and learn that you are #1 when it comes to living your best life, you realize just how vital it is to continue. I can guarantee you that each time you put your foot down, you’ll feel stronger, more confident and willing to do it again and again.