Women tend to sacrifice themselves for the good of those around them. But how much good does it really do?
There is a long history that has existed in our society of women taking on the burdens of those around them in order to be the ideal - ideal wife, ideal mother, and - more recently - the ideal businesswoman.
We, as women, tend to hold ourselves to unattainable standards that have us taking care of everyone’s needs above our own and which leave us burned out, overwhelmed, and guilt-ridden because our daily reality doesn’t look like our Pinterest page.
The truth of the matter that we frequently forget is, what we see on social media is only part of the story. It is a collage of everyone else’s best moments, and we cannot judge ourselves based on the values and perspectives of others.
The trend of selflessness as the ideal lifestyle comes from a few lies we tell ourselves.
Other people’s needs are greater than mine.
It is my job to make sure everyone else is okay
Others can’t take care of things as well as I can, so I have to do them.
If I were really a great mom/wife/businessperson/woman, I could handle all of this.
I need to maintain the “perfect” life in order for my loved ones to feel happy, taken care of, and loved.
“When we’re so burned out and driven to take care of others without taking care of ourselves, we struggle to be present.” - Blake Schofield. (7:45)
In fact, America’s life expectancy has now fallen behind that of several major, developed countries, and the decline is due to despair - discouragement about the world and our ability to create the life we want to live.
When you live your life deprioritizing yourself in favor of others, you begin to develop a pattern of feeling out-of-control, and subsequently, falling into despair. This downward spiral doesn’t only affect us. The patterns we live by will show up in our children. As our kids grow up in a disconnected, out-of-touch society, they become prone to depression, anxiety, and even suicidal mindsets.
Contrary to popular belief, spending more time with your kids does not automatically make you a good parent or strengthen your relationship with them. The most effective way to foster healthy relationships with your children, and help them grow into strong, independent humans is to prioritize the things that matter and be fully present with your children while you are doing those things.
You might be physically spending time with your kids, but are you mentally engaged with them? Are you processing what they’re telling you? When we are stressed, burnt out, and struggling without a way to replenish ourselves, it can be nearly impossible to be fully present.
It’s time to shift the ideals we reach for.
We’re stressed. We’re burnt out. We’re trying to grow a family and a career from a place of perfection, hustling and doing it all. Enough is enough. It’s time for a wakeup call.
You’ve all heard the safety announcements made on airplanes. You know, the one where you’re told to put your own mask on first and help those around you after. The same concept applies to our lives, our families, and even our careers. If we’re not taking time to care for ourselves, we’re not going to have enough oxygen to care for anyone else.
“Where are some places in my life that I can allow my loved ones to show up and take responsibility, so I can show up and engage with my family and my work?” - Blake Schofield. (14:57)
We’ve seen the problem, how do we fix it?
The first step is to examine your schedule and make some necessary shifts. Think strategically to create a schedule that gives you some ability to prioritize your time appropriately by blocking time each day to work on the most important tasks so that no matter what comes your way, you can ensure you have prioritized what really mattered.
Build in some time just for you one to two times a week, and go do something you love. Read a book, get a manicure, or go out to lunch with some girlfriends, whatever helps you feel relaxed and “filled up”.
Look at the patterns in your life and the list of harmful beliefs we covered. Are those beliefs dictating your day-to-day? If they are, challenge yourself to examine whether they are really true.
Finally, find ways for your loved ones to help you in finding time to care for yourself. It is okay to ask for help and support, and they will reap the rewards of even simple things done to help you.
No one is meant to live their life just trying to keep up with the demands of everyday life. Especially not you! Take some time this week to assess your life. Are you making time for you? Are you letting yourself be held back by limiting beliefs, and resignation to living life from a place of empty? Most importantly, do you feel fulfilled? If not, it’s time to take back your life!
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