It seems that people with the most giving of hearts are also the same people who find it easier to care for others than to care for themselves. If this describes you, focusing compassion inwards does not come naturally which, in turn, can put you at a very high risk for burn-out.
It is not just your inborn desire to nurture that makes you prone to this. Those who are strongly driven to succeed, to please, or to rank as high achievers also fall prey to burnout.
It is the same mechanism at play: the inability to apply the brake in one’s own life. Others can slow down, but you must continue full-speed ahead!
The hidden motto is: “It’s okay for them, but not for me.”
Burn-out can take many forms: basically, anything that prolonged stress can create from chronic migraines, to gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety, depression, skin issues, lowered immunity and many more mind and body disturbances.
For those who can relate, it is important to contemplate these two questions:
Why are my own struggles or suffering any less worthy than anyone else’s?
How can I bring the same softness and understanding to myself around my own struggles or suffering that I bring to others?
With the increasing popularity of goal-setting and self-improvement, you first need to make certain that you have a foundation that supports growth.
Some of the most critical components of a good foundation are self-worth, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness. These are deeply personal and sensitive subjects, but subjects worth getting honest about if you are truly looking at making positive changes in your life.
•helps you continue to see your value even when you are not yet where you want to be
• helps validate you taking the time and energy towards getting to where you want to be
•will help you cope with being messy, imperfect, vulnerable and flawed, AS WE ALL ARE!
• helps you accept when you slip up or fall short of your expectations
What helps develop these new habits, it to apply the gentler, more giving lens you offer to others. For example, when you are inclined to berate yourself, ask:
How would I talk to my friend if it were their error and not mine?
Another example would be at a moment when you are wanting to criticize something in which you fell short of your own expectations. Again, picture the conversation you would have with your friend if they had fallen short in this same area.
In the area of self-worth and self-value, it is often shocking to see the discrepancy between what we feel is okay for others to have but cannot justify giving ourselves in terms of time, space, and other needs. Look back to last week’s blog, The Day That Matters Most, for a more in-depth review of this particular facet of self-care.