Saying "Yes" To Yourself
March 30, 2016
One of the most common excuses I hear from people about their failure to live an extraordinary life is the "lack of time." There isn't enough time to get to the gym, to eat healthy, to meditate, to write, to read, or whatever else they need to do to further their self-development.
Yet, we always seem to find time to feel like crap, don't we?
I'm here to tell you that your issue is not about a "time crunch." It's about the inability to say no.
"But Dan, you have previously written that the ultimate fulfillment comes from contribution and giving to others. Now you want me to say no when people ask me to do things for them?"
Here is the answer. You can absolutely say "yes" to others, but only after you have first said "yes" to yourself.
This is not about being selfish. In fact, it's the complete opposite. Self-love is the gateway to loving and serving others.
It's only when you are able to fully give to yourself that you will feel energized and capable of giving more to those around you. You will show up in the world fully present, bringing passion, focus, and vitality to every relationship.
People who put everyone else's needs before their own are typically acting less from a place of love and more from a place of neediness. They are looking for external validation and will always pay a price. The love and attention that they get for their selflessness will end up feeling inauthentic because they realize they aren't being loved for who they are. They are being loved for who their friends want them to be.
So how do you know if you are putting others needs before your own?
The answer lies in your energy level. Are you depleted or are you energized? If your service to others is simply about being a people pleaser, you will find yourself feeling tired and depressed. You may very well even find yourself feeling resentful about the time you are investing. This is what happens when you live other people's vision for your life instead of your own.
However, when you take care of yourself, you will find that your "love tank" is overflowing and that energy can't help but to spill over to those around you. It is then that you are truly coming from a place of service. As a result, you will feel excited and passionate about whatever it is that you are giving.
So how do we better say "yes" to ourselves?
As you schedule out your week (and as I'm learning, it's vital to keep a weekly schedule), you must include non-negotiable time for the things that fill your spirit. This includes scheduling a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night, scheduling your daily exercise time, your meditation time, your self-development time, and your creative time (in whatever form that means to you).
Now if you are spending 9 hours in the office every day, allotting at least 7 hours for sleep, another 3 hours total between the other activities on top of family commitments, that doesn't leave much time to watch the Real Housewives, filter your Instagram pics, and listen to your friends complain about their life for hours.
And that's exactly the point.
Will saying yes to yourself cost you a few friendships? It might. But friends who will resent you for living authentically and pursuing your dreams aren't really friends after all.
Besides, if you have everyone else in your life except yourself, then you don't really have anything.
So as you plan out your schedule this week and have to make tough choices, ask yourself if saying yes to others is truly honoring yourself. Ask if you feel resentful about saying yes. Ask if saying yes to a request will require you to say no to your own needs.
Show up for yourself this week and you will notice how much better you feel.
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