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Taking Care of “The Self”

No matter what you are doing or participating in this summer, are you still feeling stressed and anxious? Are there projects or expectations placed on you of your own volition; things that are next to impossible to accomplish in the real world? Are you worrying about making the right impression on those that are in charge of the summer program you are attending? Are you really concerned about being liked by others?

So, what is it you really “need” for yourself to be “successful” at whatever you are doing this summer?

Sometimes acknowledging what we need—physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually—is more difficult than actually acquiring what we need. After all, fulfilling our own needs before the needs of others is often perceived as selfish. We feel compelled to make commitments, promises, and sacrifices for others, but rarely for ourselves because we somehow feel that by behaving in this manner, we will make others not appreciate our talent, not like us or accept us or allow us to be part of the whole.

My question to you is, is that really your goal? Is that really, once you are home or have completed your project, the end result you were looking for? Is that the reason you invested your 3 resources of time, energy and money into this project or program?

Here are a few ideas I’d like to share with you to help you grant yourself permission to fulfill your own needs. Contrary to what you might think, if you practice focusing more on your own needs, you will find that you are able to offer more support to others.

#1. More often than not we simply need to grant ourselves permission to take care of “The Self.” That means not pushing yourself far beyond your mental and physical limits. This only leads to possibly sacrificing the quality of what you are doing. It doesn’t impress or create admiration. It usually means you are the one to go to if someone else has a need and not enough time to make it happen. So, as I often say, “Take a Beat” so you can break that cycle and reward “The Self” by taking a nap or a walk outside or getting a coffee. This will renew your energy and allows you to tackle projects with improved productivity and new perspectives.

#2. Make it a priority to commit to “The Self.” Instead of spending so much time taking care of others, or with your smart phone or other technologies, why not schedule some “Self” time doing something you love, like reading a great mystery novel, or just sitting in the shade of a magnificent tree or perhaps doing something physical like yoga. Be sure to honor commitments to “The Self” the same way you would keep plans with a friend. When we respect our own time and our own needs, it allows us the capacity to do the same for others.

#3. If a friend, who was your accompanist, told you they had to cancel your already scheduled rehearsal she was doing as a favor, because she was overwhelmed with previous commitments made on her by the program or company, would you make her feel bad, or would you say, that you understood totally and not to worry. Sure you would. You have to allow “The Self” the same courtesy and understanding. Clear and concise communication is key to addressing your needs with others, and doing it respectfully, but directly. If someone asks you to commit to something that conflicts with your needs, explain honestly why you can’t and let it go at that.

So Take a Beat, whenever you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Give yourself permission to love and care for “The Self” like you would a good friend. Give yourself permission to follow your dream. What does “The Self” have in store for you?

Avanti until next time.


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