“It’s not selfish to give TO yourself as much as you give OF yourself”- Suze Orman
Do you know the easiest way to avoid burn out and exhaustion in life? Well, I have the answer for you-stop pouring from an empty cup. Your cup is empty…..but you keep pouring! I know you, you are so selfless, and you can go extra mile for people. You are someone who gives of yourself EVERY DAY. You give and give and you enjoy it, but you’re on the verge of burnout. Being in a ‘selflessness mode’ gives an assumption that you have already taken good care of yourself, if not, then it is not selflessness. That is self-abuse or self-foolishness, or probably self-foolhardiness. There is a thin line between being caring and being careless, don’t cross it.
Are you a teacher, a parent, a coach, a friend, a wife, a husband, or a leader? It is only when you are full that you can overflow to others. When you take time to replenish yourself, it allows you to serve others. Stop short-circuiting yourself to grow others.
King Solomon shared an ancient piece of wisdom and caution long time ago when he said, “They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I neglected”. In which area of your life are you neglecting yourself? Are you a pastor that impact the congregation but have neglected your own family? Are you a teacher that inspires your students, but you seldom take time to impact your own children? Are you a leader that can sacrifice anything for your company, but your family is begging for attention? Are you a doctor that always arrive on time for emergencies, but your family life is in a coma? Are you a caregiver that cares for others, but you are careless with your own health? Are you the go-to-person that everybody comes to visit to help them fix their problems, but your own life is in dilapidated ruin?
Until you become the most important person in your own life, you will be useless to every other person. Are you the most important person in your life? How often do you make time for yourself? If you are burned out, stressed out or overloaded, what’s left to give to others?
Raymond Hull once said, “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” How do you ensure that you still give your best in the midst of the insatiable demand of the people around you?
LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’ SOMETIMES: Stop saying ‘YES’ to everybody while you constantly say ‘NO’ to yourself. Except you are a Superman, Spiderman or Wonder Woman, you need to understand that you cannot always be there every time for everybody! Learning how to say ‘NO’ sometimes is a sign of maturity. Maturity is learning how to say ‘NO’ without feeling guilty about it. Simply saying “No” will free up some of your time, and the person who asked you will find someone else to help them. Don’t push aside your needs for the needs of others. Don’t be the yes man. If you’re constantly saying yes to things, it means you’re saying no to you. So don’t be afraid to say no when you know you want to. Don’t feel obligated to give an immediate response. It’s okay to say you’ll get back with them. Taking on more responsibilities when you know you need time to yourself is not good. If the people in your life ask you to do something, you can say “no.” And when you do, don’t feel guilty. They may get upset and question you, but they will get over it.
BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR LIMITS: We all have limits, but the problem in life is exceeding our limits in an unhealthy way. Science has taught us that when rubber exceed its elastic limit, it go on into an unredeemable point called ‘breaking point’! You may need to stretch yourself sometimes, but never stretch to a breaking point. It’s okay to have boundaries. It’s actually really healthy. Believe it or not, healthy boundaries produce healthy relationships, and lack of boundaries is an open invitation to abuse. Don’t overwork yourself, overshare yourself with others, or exhaust yourself trying to make everyone happy. It’s not worth it.
LEARN HOW TO ASK FOR HELP: Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”Learning to ask for help is strength and not weakness. There is no shame in needing the assistance of others once in a while – and you’ll be surprised how ready people are to give it. There is joy in helping others, and there can be joy in receiving that help as well.
INVEST IN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: You can only help others to grow to the same level that you’ve attained. I have often said that the greatest hindrance to personal development is personal neglect. Create some non-negotiable rituals to develop yourself. Rituals help us to stay grounded, balanced, and calm in an ever-changing and busy world.
TAKE TIME TO REST: You can’t excite others while you are exhausted. Don’t ever violate your time to rest in order to take care of others. Your mind, body, soul, and spirit need rest. Learn how to give yourself a break from the drama in the world. If you continually discharge to bless others then you surely need time to recharge. Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
MAKE “ME TIME” A PRIORITY: There are times you need to ‘customize’ for yourself. If your work or relationship is all-encompassing to the point where you have no time to take care of yourself, it’s time to move on. I remember a job that I got after graduating from school. After years of sacrificing my happiness, and even health, for the tasks in front of me, I could safely say that things were not ideal. I should have moved on, but I was afraid to. I was afraid because I was not sure what the future would bring. Now I know better that you are always better off with anything that takes away your happiness and your time for loved ones, yourself, and God.
CUT OFF FROM UNGRATEFUL PEOPLE: Stop giving more of yourself to people that don’t value and appreciate it. No matter what you do for someone that is ungrateful, they will never appreciate it. Trying to satisfy an ungrateful person is like continuously pouring water into a basket! Where your absence is not felt, then your presence is irrelevant.
SIMPLIFY! SIMPLIFY!! SIMPLIFY: There is always a simpler and better way of doing what you are presently doing. Stop taking the hard ways to accomplish things for other people, or you will always get exhausted. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
CUT OFF FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE: Stay away from negative people! Tom Ziglar said, “Negative people don’t want solutions. Solutions mean they have to work to find something else to be negative about.” Negative people suck serenity, optimism, tranquility, and energy out of others.
SPEAK POSITIVELY TO YOURSELF: Your self-talk is incredibly important. When you wake up early in the morning, before having any conversation with others, speak empowering words into your own life. You start your day full when you start it with positive vibes.
PRIORITIZE YOUR ACTIVITIES: You will run yourself to the ground if you try to do everything all at once. Prioritize the things that are of most importance. Do as much as you can with the time you have, and be okay with not being able to do everything. There is always a tomorrow. So breathe, relax and make a to-do list.
Have you ever heard of the age-long maxim that you can’t give what you don’t have? Remember to take care of yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
“Sometimes you don’t realize you are actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor”-Anonymous
Originally published on LinkedIn
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