You show up for your kids.
You show up for your clients or your job.
You show up for your partner or your spouse.
Sure, maybe you’re ten minutes late on occasion, and maybe you bailed on baking cupcakes for the school fundraiser that ONE time, but when it really counts?
People can count on you to show up.
You’re reliable. You’re present. You give and give. You’re so… there.
When it comes to other people, that is.
But why is it so hard to apply that same level of commitment and dedication when it comes to yourself? Your own goals, dreams, projects, even just basic self-care?
A colleague of mine did a survey, recently, where she asked several thousand people (mostly women) the following question:
Do you trust yourself? Meaning: when you make a commitment, and devote yourself to it, do you trust that you will actually do it?
The vast majority of people who responded said, “I trust myself when it comes to honoring commitments I’ve made to others. But not when it comes to commitments that I’ve made to myself.”
Yiiiiikes, ladies. Yikes.
If you flake on yourself on a regular basis — skipping the gym, bailing on a yoga class, not making the time to eat well, sleep well, work on your blog or your business, or get that pedicure you’ve really been looking forward to — then the message you are repeatedly hammering into your own mind is, “I am not worth it.” Along with: “Other people’s needs and dreams are more important than mine.”
That’s some pretty shitty mental conditioning.
(Not a great example to set for your kids, friends, spouse, or colleagues, either.)
I don’t know if there’s a quick fix for this.
This is one of those chronic patterns that often takes time to un-learn.
Even today, ten years after discovering the field of life coaching, I still occasionally slip back into this nasty old pattern.
With a business to run, clients to support, a husband, two teenagers, and a full social calendar, it can be tough to “put myself first” and attend to my own needs. It takes a ton of awareness and daily check-ins with myself to make sure I’m not slipping back into the everyone-else-matters-more-than-me autopilot mode.
Here is what I know for sure, though, and what I try to remember as often as possible:
The commitments you make to yourself are just as important, if not more so, than the commitments you make to everybody else.
I know it can be tough to say “no” when you’re under tremendous pressure to say, “absolutely, with pleasure!”
I know it is often easier to fall into the default-pattern of serving others rather than tackle something truly meaningful and scary (like, say, sending off that book proposal or taking steps to switch into a new career).
Oh, I know.
Don’t put yourself last on the to-do list.
Don’t disrespect the one person you’ll be navigating this world with, every single minute of your life: yourself.
Don’t set yourself up for regrets on your deathbed because you never managed to “find the time” for those passion projects, for those vacations you meant to take, for those books you meant to write, for that business you intended to launch, and all of those other beautiful goals.
This real life, sister — and “life” is a limited-time-only deal.
Don’t flake on your soul.
PS. If you’ve been stuck in a frustrating pattern of “putting yourself last” for years, even decades, then it’s going to take more than one blog post to snap you out of that cycle.
(I’ve been there. I know.)
What you need? Vision. Direction. Accountability. Sisterhood. A coach to dole out weekly action steps and marching orders… and then coach you off the ledge when you’re about to break an important commitment to yourself. Did I mention accountability?
Find all of that support — and so much more, including a delicious ladies-only weekend retreat at a historic mansion in my hometown of Savannah — inside my latest coaching program: MAKE A SCENE.
6 months. 10 women. One mission: Standing up. Speaking out. Taking brave, unapologetic action to create what we want.
The next round begins in August 2015. Scope out the details & make your “I’m IN!” deposit right here: http://shyatt.com/programs/make-a-scene/
It’s time to go after your dreams with the ferocity of a mama bear protecting her cubs and I cannot WAIT to help you do it. See you inside. The flakery ends now.