Would you say that it’s true that when self esteem is not as high as you’d like, one of the things we’re prone to do is to say ‘yes’, when really we’d like to be saying ‘no’?
I know for myself, that often I would put my schedule and any free time behind any requests from family or friends who asked me to support them. I definitely wanted to help them, but I am also aware now that often I was craving significance from these people in order to feel ‘noticed’, ‘indispensible’, ‘worthy’, almost a reason for being. If I said ‘no’ when asked for help, I’d feel guilty, as if I was letting them down. Does this resonate with you?
For me I was brought up to always put others first and to not to be ‘selfish’ so it came naturally to be a willing helper. However, since realising why I had been doing this and how it had become a negative pattern of behaviour (which was not serving me), I have become much more self aware.
It’s not wrong to be flexible and put yourself first, it’s not even selfish. What is wrong is putting yourself at the end of the queue of people to whom you give support, wouldn’t you agree? Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself after all, you’re fabulous! If you’ve flown on an aeroplane you’ll know in the safety instructions before you take off; the air stewards give a demonstration and say that passenger carrying small children or babies, must put the oxygen mask first. Help others happily whenever you want to, not because you feel you have no choice or because of a sense of duty.
If you recognise this pattern, and find it hard to say ‘no’ then acknowledge yourself for making this observation – that is fabulous, you are growing and raising your self esteem! One way to deal with this pattern is to think of some good answer to give when saying ‘no’ and keep practicing them until they roll off the tongue. Don’t feel guilty, this is your life – you own it, it is your time to choose how you spend it and for what purpose. Give youself a reward of some kind words, put on a feel good song or give yourself a treat and let it go, think about something good. Life is all about choices!
Wishing you oodles of self love
Ali Soleil – Feminine Self Esteem Mentor