I used to compromise my time, energy and emotional wellbeing on anyone in my world who vocalized they were in need. I feel deeply. I want to understand others. And I believed I could be the answer, or at the very least provide the answer, for everyone who needed saving.

Thankfully I quit.

At first it felt selfish to not take on the burdens of others and self-preserve, but over time I’ve learned that for the benefit of myself and those I do life with, it’s essential to create a win-win or just step away from the game.

So if I start compromising, then I’m not playing.

A cross was the symbol of my fundamental upbringing, conditioning me to believe that the meaning of life was sacrifice. I took that to heart. If that man did it, so should I! To love people, I must give until I am utterly empty!

But then I’m empty…and tired. And sometimes I spin my wheels, and sometimes I’d get attached to the actions others choose and I’d feel anger or frustration or sadness. And then to be honest, I’d experience anything but love.

How do I have enough energy left for my kids? My husband? My dearest friends? Myself?

I’ve come to realize that if there is too much self-sacrifice, the ability to sustain an energy that benefits ALL slowly fades.

And I want to be like the Duracell bunny. I want to keep going.

So if I start compromising, then I’m not playing.

I began to create a game I wanted to play: one in which everyone, myself included, always wins. That meant creating space for people to work out their “salvation” which left me with space to work out my own. It created space for more of what’s going well and how to find purpose in what wasn’t. It created more peace and contentment.

I found I could still feel the meaningful impact of working in a helping profession while not ending up needing help myself.

What does the new game look like?

  • Say no more often.
  • Let go of expectations of what I think other people should do.
  • Tell stories that feel good and are in my favor instead of believing the worst.
  • Stop trying to get approval from others. (I still do this at times, but awareness itself has lessened this drastically.)
  • Stop trying to be somebody important, special or significant and just be me. (I know that sounds fluffy, but I finally got this concept.)

Self-management works for the benefit of yourself…AND for those you do life with. You don’t have to play the game if you find yourself constantly compromising.

Reflect:

What area of life do you feel depleted?

What would creating a win-win look like for you?

INspired Leadership Team

Websitewww.inspiredleadershipwithin.com

Email: inspiredleadership@essdack.org

Facebook Communitywww.facebook/leadershipbeginswithin

Twitter: @TamaraKonrade @MikeSanders19 @RachelThalmann @tjfellers

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