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Don’t Serve Others Without Serving Yourself
I find that it’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and neglect to set aside time for myself to recharge, recalibrate and refocus to make sure I’m getting what I need out of life. I’ve noticed that most leaders I know have essentially created a story in their minds that it’s their job to serve others above all else, as that’s their mission in life, and unfortunately, there’s just not enough time left for “me time.”
Honestly I’ve found myself in this position countless times and frankly, as I examine that “story” objectively, I think it’s gross. I’m not sure if I receive some type of reward for my internal “martyr-like” dialogue, or my ego needs to be fed from building a façade to gain social praise.
Regardless of whether I adopted that “story” due to perceived social pressure to be a certain way, or I needed it to bolster my self-esteem…For me the story is bullshit and completely inaccurate.
I believe we have many types of relationships in this world. We have relationships with our family members, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and with people we indirectly influence as we go throughout our day. We also have a relationship with nature, the world we live in, and the communities in which we interact. Unfortunately, there are far too many times we forget about our most important relationship. Our relationship with ourselves!
I’ve noticed that the times in my life where I’ve experienced the highest levels of stress and anxiety are those exact times where I’ve neglected to take the “me time” I needed. The more I felt the stress, and the longer I neglected to invest time in myself, the more I lost sight of who I am and what I want from life.
We all have a limited amount of capacity. Some people are capable of carrying heavier loads than others, but we all need time to decompress each day and find a way to come back to our center. If we don’t, this neglect will eventually manifest itself into physical ailments like back pain, illnesses or even complete mental breakdowns.
Think about that for a minute. If you’ve allowed yourself to fully adopt the belief that you’re a servant and that you’re not willing to make yourself a priority, you’re actually limiting the good you can do for others.
You take the time to service your car with oil changes at the right time. You replace the tires when they get worn down. You take it to get serviced when the car indicates it needs service. Yet when you’re body or mind are giving you clear signals that they’re on the verge of “breaking down,” you continue to deprioritize yourself and ignore the warning signs. Does that make any sense? It doesn’t make sense to me either, yet I still find myself falling into the trap from time to time. J
I’ll spend a considerable amount of time throughout this blog talking about my quest for a balanced life, and how I juggle the responsibility I feel to serve others, as well as how I invest the time for myself to ensure I have a strong personal foundation that’s not on the verge of collapse. One of the main themes of this balance is how I draw energy from the world around me, and more specifically nature, which is a natural energy source for me.
Have you found yourself in similar situations where from the outside, you’ve done an excellent job making others feel like you’ve got your shit together even though inside you’re not sure how much longer you can go without breaking? What have you done, if anything, to get yourself back to center and strong enough to serve effectively?
Until next time … Enjoy each moment!
This all rings so true, Pete. Thanks for sharing! I think we could all use a reminder to take care of ourselves first otherwise we can’t fully be of service to anyone else- family, employees, friends included.
I’m taking this as permission to book a massage!
Get to booking that massage Emily! 🙂