I used to be a ‘YES’ person and I always put the needs of pretty much everyone else in front of my own.
I don’t know when it started, but when I became a mum it pretty much became second nature and I relegated myself to the bottom of the family pile. I had no boundaries in place and soon became the person who did just about everything because I couldn’t say ‘NO’.
But do you know what constantly being that kind and caring person who helps everyone else does to you if you are not careful? It makes you resentful and bitter and can leave you wondering why no-one else seems to put you first. You feel like you are being walked all over and to be honest you pretty much are being, but only because you have let it happen.
It’s a weird kind of logic and it can well and truly suck you in if you let it. Trust me, I know because that’s exactly where I was heading before I decided to put myself first and practice some real self-care.
So, how did I stop being a doormat and start to find my own inner strength?
Initially I had to get clear on how I wanted to feel and what was important to me. This process was made much simpler by The Desire Map and coming up with a list of my core desired feelings. Once I got clear on HOW I wanted to feel every day, it was easy to filter requests through those feelings and decide whether or not they were right for me.
At the beginning I simply said ‘NO’ a little more. If something felt like it wasn’t in my best interests or the request was just because it had always been easier to ask me to do something than to do it themselves (and don’t we all know people like that!), then I stopped and made a real effort to trust myself and my own feelings.
Surprisingly it changed the way I felt really quickly. By setting boundaries and treating myself the way that I wanted to be treated by others helped me regain my self-esteem. I knew that the things I actually said yes to were because I really wanted to and not because I was worried what other people thought of me.
The knock-on effect of all of this is that I am now inspiring others to review their own boundaries too! Just last week I received a friend request on Facebook from someone I had met in a group but not met in person. I sent a message kindly letting them know that I am happy to connect in groups and via my business page, but that my personal profile is for family and friends, and here’s the response I received:
“No problem at all, Holly. I totally admire and respect your boundaries! Thank you for letting me know. Plus you just helped me redefine some of mine thanks x”
My boundaries are set and I am happy to move and change them as circumstances and people change, but now that I follow my own intuition and filter everything through my core desired feelings and I am happier and healthier for it – and giving my children a much better example of self-care!
I hope this post encourages you to put yourself first and create your own boundaries too… Make your own KEEP CALM poster at: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/#create