Wake UP! Trying to catch the life you want hidden inside your dreams will never come to fruition if your attempts are when you’re sleep. Living the life you want and having work-life balance doesn’t have to be a dream. In fact, it’s closer than you realize if you are REALLY ready to put yourself first!
There are a million reasons why you haven’t been able to put yourself on your list. For starters, you’ve been making yourself available to everyone around you at any given time, no matter the cost. Your career is also a one-sided association. Sure, you receive a check for your work but the compensation for your efforts and office politics you are inherently required to navigate thru far exceed your earnings.
Let’s stop talking about creating the life you want, one filled with balance, time, fulfillment and joy. How about you start making a conscientious effort to move towards it, without the reasons that quickly turn into our ritualistic excuses… I’ve decided to pull out a few key questions that I ask the bold women and a few brave men that I work with inside our coaching circles and share them with you here. Are you ready?
I advise you to pull out pen and paper for this next section.
The Gentle 8 (a few easy questions)
- On an average week, how many hours do you work?
- Do you work more than one job? If so, how many (including Part-time and Per-diem positions)?
- It’s clear that money matters. Do you make enough money to cover your basic necessities comfortably?
- If yes, are you worried that you can’t live the life you want unless you work the amount of hours you currently do? If no, have you had a transition in your life over the last 24 months that has impacted your ability to pay your basic bills?
- How does money make you feel? When you are not working to pay for basic living needs, what are you working for? In other words, when you are working overtime that is not required by your employer, how often is the effort solely for something you want?
- Do you have an emergency fund beyond your retirement savings?
- What are your current hobbies? What are your current passions in life?
- When was the last time you took more than 2 hours to enjoy time with yourself, alone? Do you have a hard time sitting still or being alone? If so, why do you think that is?
You have a nurturing spirit and everyone close to you knows it. At some point the position of go-to was bestowed unto you by those around you and, over time, the burden has worn you down. The reality is you haven’t done a great job at helping them to understand your limits. To this point, you’ve been a seemingly bottomless source of love, energy, resources, and knowledge.
Many of the people who continuously take from you are called Energy Zappers. They come to you consistently for help and guidance; and, albeit unintentionally, they’ve left you exhausted. Often times Energy Zappers are repeat offenders. Sometimes, it can be those closest to you. You may be confused as to why you feel immensely lethargic in the presence of a best friend or a sudden fit of anger when a certain family member calls you asking for help or a favor. The crucial characteristic in a relationship with Zappers is you’re faithfully there for them but they’re never around when you need them. The feeling you have, around specific people, which I’m sure you can envision right now – that’s called being zapped.
Right now you’re asking yourself, “How do I keep allowing myself to get zapped?”
The Honest 7 (It’s time to take a deep dive in and get honest with yourself)
- Over the last two to five years, how many people have you had to cut out of your life?
- Did you cut these people out of your life because of an incident or because of exhaustion?
- Were you able to have a conversation with the person(s) about why you needed to distance yourself from them?
- Did you choose not to have the conversation?
- Whether you had the conversation or not, what were you concerned about?
- Do you have people in your life that you currently need to disconnect from but you’re having a difficult time doing so?
- Do you avoid ending relationships out of fear of being alone, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, hoping that time will heal the relationship, etc.?
Willing to go deeper?
The 9 Dive (Let’s Pull the curtain back and expose the black mold underneath)
- Where do you feel most vulnerable, in your relationships, at work, in life?
- How do you feel when you have to say ‘No’ to someone you work with?
- How do you feel when you have to say ‘No’ to someone you work for?
- How do you feel when you have to say ‘No’ to someone you love?
- How do you feel when you have to say ‘No’ to someone you are friends with?
- How does it feel when others say ‘No’ to you?
- Do you think saying ‘No’ limits your ability to receive abundance of any kind?
- Will there be a consequence for saying ‘No” from those who are accustomed to you saying yes?
- Are you prepared to handle the backlash, tantrums or begging that may come from those you take a stand with by voicing what may be the 1st ‘No’ they’ve ever heard from you?
Staying guarded is feasible if you’re willing and it doesn’t require you to get into a fighter’s stance each time someone approaches you for a favor – though, you may want to, at times.
3 Things to Remember to Keep Your Guard Strong.
- You have every right to say ‘No’. But you have to learn to accept that saying ‘No’ is okay before anyone else will be willing to accept the same.
- Before making a serious commitment (of any kind) take an account of where you are at that time, how you are feeling and how that obligation will fit into your life in addition to what it will do for that person (or company).
- Remember, if the airplane experiences extreme turbulence and the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, you cannot help anyone else if you do not put on your oxygen mask first. I know this may be an overused metaphor but the meaning is apropos. There’s nothing immoral about putting you first.
“Out of all the important things you must fix, the most important is you.” – Naketa R. Thigpen, LCSW, Your Balance & Relationship Advisor
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