Driving through a long-term construction project recently, I remembered how people slowed down so much when it first started. Traffic backups were a regular occurrence. Now, as people have had a chance to adjust to the temporary chaos, the traffic flows more consistently. Sure, there are still occasional backups, but not nearly the way it was at first.
It seems like our life could be compared to a construction zone. As we move toward healthy practices, we start out slowly, asking for what we need, saying no when we mean no and gradually accepting ourselves as we are. Eventually we can see that it is OK to express our true needs and to accept that we are good enough right now.
Coming from the perspective of a recovering “people pleaser”, this can be difficult.
At work, when my workload is over flowing, I have begun to say no, to ask for help and to seek guidance on how to de-prioritize existing work when new work gets added. At home, I ask my husband for help with grocery shopping and appreciate that he already does most of the cooking. Grateful. Confident. Sure of myself.
Why would something that sounds so simple to some people be so hard for many others? For me, it was always about putting the needs of everyone else before my own needs and not realizing that I couldn’t do it all.
If you struggle with expressing your true needs, try looking for small ways to begin.
At work, communicate more openly with your manager about how overwhelmed you are. A good leader will help you find ways to make your work life more manageable.
At home, consider your to-do list and only focus on those items that are really a priority. Identify ways other members of your family can help you and then ask for the help you need.
And, realize that as you begin to put pavement on your new, more truthful way of living, it may be a bit slow going at first, but soon you will find the right flow.
Love and Peace,