I think that we spend a fortune of our time trying to please people and trying to fit in.
Trying to fit into what?
An imaginary guide line for how you should behave in order for people to accept you or like you or appreciate you. All just in order to gain people’s respect.
What you don’t realise is that often when you work so hard to fit into other’s expectations of you, they don’t respect you. They are more likely to use you or abuse you and then move onto the next sucker.
Yes sucker! You may as well have a tattoo on your forehead telling people that it is easy to use you.
Because the more you give, the more people will take.
So now I’m sure that I’ve just insulted a whole lot of people who believe that giving is more important than receiving.
Yes giving is important, but at what stage do you start giving to yourself? At what stage do you realise that you have to value yourself first?
When you burnout and have nothing left to give?
It is a fine balance – how much should we be giving to ourselves, and how much should we be giving to others?
Let me use a story to illustrate my point. A totally made up story because the day I go hiking… Enough about that. Anyway, let’s pretend that we are going hiking and I am your leader (yeah right!). Off we go hitting the bush trail and suddenly somebody comes to up me and tells me that they left their water at home and could they please have some of mine. Well, I’m a nice person and I don’t want to upset them so I say yes, help yourself and I feel really great when they heap praise on me about how kind and caring I am. We carry on walking and a little while later, somebody else comes up to me and they are thirsty too so I give them some of my water and so it goes. Until I am thirsty and I reach into my bag to get my water bottle and surprise, surprise, it is empty! And if I can be really dramatic (as I love to be) I collapse with dehydration and exhaustion and we are all stuck in the bush!
Do you get the point?
You can give so much that you put yourself in a position of exhaustion and then you are not going to help anyone and you are certainly not going to help yourself.
And on the point of giving. We mistakenly think that it is only worth giving if we can give something big. We want to be like Oprah and say things like “you get a car and you get a car, and you get a car!” Don’t forget the value of simplicity – just giving a smile, just lending a helping hand to a stranger, and most importantly giving a skill that can empower somebody rather than make them dependent on you.
Learn to look after yourself, learn to respect yourself, learn to see your self as important.
And definitely learn to be unique and embrace your individuality.
You are so special, you have so much to offer and you are so, so worth it.