Have you ever tried to implement a new morning routine that lasted all of 3 days?
Have you ever made a serious and strong commitment to attend that yoga class, or eat healthier food, or go to bed early only to let yourself down? Again? And again? And again?
I see a lot of people try to change their choices without first examining the deeper reasons for those choices. This is like trying to treat the fever without addressing that nasty infection on the leg.
There are lots of infectious things that keep us from taking care of ourselves. I just want to call out the most chronically reoccurring reasons we neglect our own wellness.
#1 You Believe There’s Not Enough Time.
Each and every time I hear a girlfriend or a client say they just don’t have the time I call them on it. It’s the biggest excuse that keeps us powerless, and ineffective in our lives. And it really IS just an excuse. Here’s how I know this:
Our life is made up of time (and energy). We have a lifetime of it. It’s simply how we use it that is holding us back.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. And we ALL have busy lives. You are NOT the one anomaly in this world that has exponentially more on their To Do list than anyone else, even when it feels like it. So if we all have the same amount of time and we all have ridiculously busy lives, why are some people capable of doing so much while the rest of us are left feeling overwhelmed and under-cared for?
Two words: Unordered priorities.
Think of this: If there was an emergency would you “not have enough time” for it? Of course not. Anyone who has ever had a death in the family can attest to the miraculous ability of the world to keep spinning and the work to somehow get done and the inconsequential to incredibly feel completely inconsequential while mourning a loss and planning a funeral and handling estates.
This was my experience when my father passed away. My priorities suddenly became crystal clear and I found that what needed to get done got done and what didn’t need to get done didn’t even seem to exist.
We make time for the things that matter. Period. And when we remember what matters and in what order they all thrive the world around us either falls into order with us or falls into line to support us.
And when you start making your own wellness a priority, this really amazing thing happens: You find you suddenly have the energy to do more in less time. You work smarter (not harder), you’re more productive and effective with your time, and you get to feel good while you’re doing it.
So the real question is, why aren’t you making your own well-being a priority?
(That’s what #2 and #3 will hopefully answer.)
#2 You Think It’s Selfish.
We have this ridiculous idea that it’s better to give than to receive. (Did I just trigger a few of you by calling that ridiculous?) Here’s why it’s ridiculous: In order for you to give, someone has to receive. Does this make you better than them? If you believe it’s selfish to receive, you’re essentially criticizing the very people you so deeply want to give to. You’re making yourself out to be the better person. And I know that’s not your intention.
Receiving is just as much an unselfish act as giving.
Receiving does two things:
- It allows another person the joy and experience of giving. If you refuse to receive you’re robbing them of their experience by robbing yourself of yours. They WANT to see you receive with grace and gratitude. They want to see your face lit up. They want to see the positive effect they have had on you. They want to feel purposeful and see the value they offer the world. They experience this when you authentically and wholeheartedly receive what they offer.
- Receiving enables you to give. You can’t give what you don’t have. Which means you can’t give unless you first allow yourself to receive something that enables you to give. You limit your potential and the value you are able to give to the world by refusing to meet your own physical, emotional, mental or spiritual needs. My world changed when I recognized that giving without receiving doesn’t make me a hero in anyone’s eyes. It’s makes me ineffective, hypocritical and egotistical. You don’t have to receive from someone else if you’re not ready for that. You can allow yourself to receive from yourself. But for goodness sakes, set an example.
#3 You Act Like You Don’t Deserve It.
A large part of my coaching centers around the fears and blocks getting in the way of Who You Are. And the most prevalent belief women have is the one that says our value or worth is less than someone else’s. This is the “I’m-not-good-enough”, the “I-deserve-to-be-punished”, the “They-are-better-than-me”, the “I’m-unimportant” and the “Everything-else-comes-first” ideas that have us continuously undervalue our gifts, our talents, our voice, our purpose, our strength, our importance and our ability.
These ideas – even when they sound ludicrous to us – run deep. And they play themselves out again and again before we ever have the opportunity to DIG IN to them and address them. They think faster than we do and they have us reacting and recreating the same patterns in our life to reaffirm themselves. Even when we know they aren’t true!
Sometimes these are ideas we learned by watching the way others in our life valued themselves. Sometimes we learned it by how they valued us.
Always they are something to examine, peel back the layers on and clear from our lives completely.
Let’s Put an End to This, Shall We?
All talk and no practice changes nothing. If these three reasons above (or even just one or two of them) resonate with you, I’d like to invite you to do something about it.
If you have a copy of Digging Deep, you can take your struggle through the whole process. Otherwise, grab a pen and a piece of paper and answer these questions (it doesn’t count if you do it in your head):
- Looking at all the experiences in my life, what lessons did I learn about self-care?
- Who taught me how to value myself? What did they get right? What did they get wrong?
- What would I be able to do better if I felt grounded, energetic, well-rested, patient and nurtured by myself?
- Am I ready to take one step in the right direction?
You get to decide what that next step looks like and how and when you’ll take it.
But I’d love to hear what it is in the comments below.