When I ask women I work with, what they do just for themselves every day, they rarely can name anything. Any act of self-care they possibly have is on auto-pilot. It is neither recognized or acknowledged. And even if they have the moment for themselves, they think about plans or worries instead.
From a very young age, we were taught to always focus on other people. The external world is a big part of our life, but sometimes it seems it is the ONLY thing that matters.
Focus on others comes in different shapes and forms, whether you overwork yourself trying to take care of everyone around, or you devote yourself completely to your family or loved ones.
The biggest challenge for most women is we're not aware we do that.
One of my clients, Clara came to me because she felt like her self-esteem was dropping exponentially. It started some time ago and she felt extremely down. She felt like nothing she was doing was good enough, like her efforts didn't matter.
The first thing we needed to do is to figure out what triggered it, as triggers contain a lot of information about the situation.
At first, Clara couldn't identify the trigger, but as we talked and I asked her questions she remembered this.
She and her colleague, Diana, had the same positions at work. One of them was about to get promoted, they both worked hard and deserved it. The only difference was, while Diana usually spent her time at her desk, Clara was running around chatting with colleges, helping them solve their professional and personal problems. She told me: "I am always there for everyone and honestly... often I feel pretty drained at the end of the day." Diana, on the other hand, left earlier and said "no" to a lot of different requests. It felt like Clara did much more for the company, managed not just her and the team's tasks, but their personal problems. But Diana was the one who got a promotion.
How did it make Clara feel? She felt like her effort didn't matter.
Clara needed to have a really honest and raw look at the situation. To do that, first, we eliminated the resentment she felt with a meditation and energy practices.
It can seem that she is the victim here, but, imagine this.
Two people have approximately the same source of energy. One person similar to Diana directs it to one, two things. The other similar to Clara addresses one hundred things.
The more energy we spend on something the bigger the reward. How big will it be for Diana? Will she notice it? Will she feel satisfaction?
What about Clara? Although she might spend much more energy in total, she throws it in so many baskets that reward from each of them is small and sometimes hardly noticeable.
Clara focused on so many things, so many people, that she couldn't really stand out at her job, be more creative. She simply didn't have enough energy for what she really wanted, because she was spending it solving her co-workers' problems, giving them advises and sharing her compassion with everyone, but herself.
It doesn't have to come to the context of a promotion. Clara's story is an example. The same way you feel when you're always there for your friend, you never missed a call or a request no matter how tired or busy you're. But when you need some small favor, she can't make it.
My question is how does it make you feel? Resentful. hurt, not worthy.
From my own experience and years of observation, I noticed that a big reason for a low self-esteem is lack of energy. Wheather it is emotional energy, physical, lack of inspiration or clarity. When we keep spending energy to thing that doesn't bring us any reward, we create a hole of disappointment, resentment, and self-doubt.
So many women make the same mistake. Think about it.... this moment when you're really tired, but you agree to babysit your friend's child. You probably say to yourself: "Well... it's not so hard to look after the kid... isn't it relaxing...?"
Women (and many men) restore energy when we spend time inside. When you focus on yourself. We lie to ourselves that we rest spending time with others... but rest is not the word. We get inspiration, support. We enjoy, We feel excited, loved, motivated. But all these aren't the same as rest.
To restore your energy and rest, focus 100% of your attention on yourself. Allow yourself to spend as much time as you need inward.
I recently saw this amazing commercial from a makeup company. On a billboard, they put giant word Self-
doubt, crossed DOUBT and wrote WORK in a bright color on top. Self-Work instead of self-doubt, how amazing is that?!
This is my message to you today. What if instead of questioning yourself, when others don't value you, you ask yourself: "What does it teach me?" Maybe it says you need to love yourself more. Don't stop being as amazingly kind, giving, open-hearted as you're. These are your talents. What I am saying is take care of yourself. Be kind, be giving... to yourself first.
Allow yourself to direct your energy to yourself, your well being FIRST. Spend time inward.
I can't explain how empowered I felt when I realized that and took action. Even a very small action, like respectfully saying no to a simple request when I was busy or needed rest made me feel like: "Ooooh my GOD!". It feels great. It empowers you.
You're the most important person in your life and you're allowed to live for yourself, while also taking care of others, being amazing professional, mom, friend. This two not only co-exist but strengthen each other.
Wheather it might be not the solution to all self-worth problems, it is a big step to feeling more empowered, more appreciated, worth.
Today, give yourself permission to focus your energy on yourself.
I encourage you to have an honest look at the way you allocate your energy. Do you focus your power on your dreams or others' dreams? Do you center your energy on yourself, on your heart and soul...? Do you give love to yourself, to your beautiful body and your incredible inner world?
You might not see it about yourself, but the fact that you're here tells me what a beautiful heart you have. And a beautiful heart is everything. Even if you don't acknowledge it, it shines in your eyes, it vibrated when you move, when you talk. And there nothing more pretty, sexier, more astonishing than that.
Lots of Love,
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