“In case of an emergency an oxygen mask will drop from a panel above your head. Please ensure you put on your own mask before attending to anyone else.“

I remember the first time I heard this as a parent, it didn’t sit right with me. My instinct would have been to attend to my child first. Fast forward to today and I see great wisdom behind this message.

In my life and practice I encounter many people who put their own lives on hold by putting others first.  Do you recognise any of these survival characteristics?

  • the idealist who suppresses their true feelings, doing the “right” thing or what they think they “shoulddo
  • the people pleaser who conforms to other’s needs and demands in the hope of receiving the love and support they need in return
  • the rescuer who survives by gaining self worth through running around trying to “fix” and make others happy at the expense of their own happiness

Can you identify with any of these?  Maybe you feel frustrated, exhausted and unfulfilled.

We are all born into this world as a pure bundle of energy .   .   .  a blank canvas. By the age of seven we’ve absorbed the beliefs and values of our parents and teachers. We’ve learned the difference between good and bad and what is and what’s not acceptable in society. We begin to divide our self. We adopt a persona and survival mechanism to help us fit in.

As a young girl I learned that expressing anger was dangerous. It caused pain, separation and rejection, so I became a “people pleaser”. In school I was eager to learn and ask questions, but I was bullied and so dimmed my light and became a shadow of my former self.

This strategy – my Loyal Soldier – kept me safe as a child. It’s done a good job, I survived, however as an adult it kept me small.

“The relationship with your Self sets the tone for every other relationship you have” – Jane Travis. To be heard, respected and loved, we need to listen to, respect and love our self fully. Self-love is asking your self what you need – everyday – and then making sure you receive it. Self-care is not selfish, it is the foundation for serving all others.

I know from personal experience that moving beyond the survival mechanism of always putting others first and doing the “right” thing a whole new world of possibilities opens up.

To quote Susan Weiss Berry “With every act of self care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration ”I am on my side.”

To find out how I can support you on your journey to a happier, healthier fulfilling life, call me for a no obligation chat on 07901 576846 or message me here.

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