Watch What You Say YES to… it can negatively impact your health!
It’s day 15 of my 40 day self-love practice of Taking Care of ME first, and I have to laugh. I often call myself a recovering achievement junkie because I am still recovering. Case in point is that not only I am on this 40 day practice, but I added another 28-day practice to it, LOL! I rationalize this by saying that I’m not doing the practices to achieve anything, but to actually make myself happier…. so that means that it’s not junkie behavior right??
So to get to the point and the AHA that I am just dying to share with you! So my second practice has been to embody the quality of IMPECCABILITY. Which to me takes the quality of meeting your commitments, doing what you said you would do, basically having integrity at a whole new level. There is just something about the word impeccable that doesn’t leave any room for wiggle. If you say it will be there by noon, by noon it is. If you say within 24 hours, within 24 hours. No wiggle.
And while that may sound restricting and like it adds way more pressure than one would want to put on themselves, especially during a 40-day take care of myself practice, I have to tell you it’s actually been liberating and really eye opening. So much so that…
I think I’ve found yet another key to why we as women often end up last on the list and find it so hard to take care of ME.
- We like to say YES! And we don’t like to say no. You get an invitation to dinner. A girlfriend invites you to a drink. Your mother asks you to go shopping. Your boss asks you to take on a new project. A colleague asks for an hour of your time for brainstorming. Most of the time you say YES, right? Unless you are totally stressed out, and then you decline, but only after you’ve completely explained how overbooked you are. We are givers and that is a great thing, however, most of us give more than we have to give. We give and give until we have nothing left. We say YES when if we were really taking care of ME, the answer would be, “Thank you but no.” Whether we are afraid we won’t be liked, we don’t want to let the person down, or we feel like we ‘should’ be able to do it all… our inability to say no costs us a lot on the taking care of ME scale.
- We overpromise and then push ourselves to deliver. I had a male boss once, Joe, a white-haired man 20 years my senior. And Joe had three rules, which he shared with our team via a power point presentation when he became our leader (seriously). I’ll save you the entire presentation, but I will share this one rule with you that he lived by … “Always underpromise and overdeliver.” Viola’… because they you will always give them more than they want with less effort from you. And he did it, all the time. Me? When someone asks me when I will get back to them, or when I am giving someone the timeframe in which I can complete something, I fail Joes’ advice more often than not. The overpromises fly out of my mouth while my body and intuition are saying, “NO! Make that date later in the week… make that turnaround time 2 days later,” my ego mind overrides them and like the achiever it is, picks a date that will make me work harder than anyone but me expects me to.
We have the power to take care of ourselves, we’re just not using it!
The interesting thing about these two AHA’s is that I’ve known all of it for many years. But I never ever connected them to my ability, or non ability to put taking care of me first, to make taking care of me easier.
But by doing these two practices together, I really got that I have the power to make taking care of me easier or harder by what I commit to. And much of the pressure I put on myself, is just that, pressure I put on myself. When I am making promises to do a favor or complete a task… or am agreeing to a deadline… or making plans with a friend… they don’t have crazy expectations of me in most cases, they just want to know what I can feasibly do. And whatever I tell them, they will react to and assume to be true. If they need something more they will ask.
It’s not my job to figure out what they need and the overcompensate and overstretch myself to provide it. It is my job to take care of me, and taking care of me means showing up as the person that I want to be in this world and making sure that she is taken care of.
Impeccable and Taking Care of ME, the How to…
I am committed to both, and I invite you to try both too, so that you can feel good about yourself, and feel good inside of yourself.
1. Like being impeccable. Live by the energy of impeccability and let yourself feel how great it is to be able to do exactly what you say you will do. How good it makes you feel to give to others what they need when they need it… but this time, you are going to do it because you’ve made a promise to yourself to be impeccable, your actions come from a place of integrity and honoring of yourself. They don’t come from the place in you that wants to please someone else, or are afraid of making them mad or having them not like you, or because you think you should be able to accomplish the task.
2. Check in with yourself before you say YES. If you’ve made a promise of impeccability you want to set yourself up to be successful and that means taking the time to decide what you really want to commit to — without fear that what you are asking for is too much. You ask for what you need and let people come back to you. This is about checking in with your intuition before you say Yes to anything. Trying to schedule a meeting or respond to an invitation to a party? Stop. Check in with your intuition. When you force it what is the answer? When you act from the truth which feels easier and more spacious, what is the answer? This is a skill you’re going to have to develop over time. The goal is to find the spacious feeling inside your body and act from there. It’s funny, but true, that your body always knows, you just need to learn to listen to it.
3. Make your sustainability a priority. When committing to something really check in to see how this would affect your energy levels. What do YOU need right now and what will you need then? I declined a dinner invitation to a friends birthday party not because I didnt want to see her but because I needed to recharge me that night, and although I wanted to appear like I could do it all, I needed this time for me. So instead, I went to her house for 3 hours in the afternoon for a more intimate gathering, more relaxed and still got to give her love. I made my sustainability a priority, and guess what, she’s still my friend!
Make this the year you take care of YOU!
so that you can reach your dreams, make a difference, be there for those you love and not exhaust yourself in the process.
There are thousands of women taking this challenge this year, and you can join us!
Come to http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Thank you — this is exactly what I needed to read today!
Thanks Christine – I really appreciate your sharing. I feel very supported by your insights.