When is the last time you did something for yourself? For your own personal and professional growth? Did you tell yourself it can be done later? Do you have no urgency, because it lacks a deadline and nobody is holding you accountable? Is taking care of others always a higher priority? Growth and self-care are one of the first things to be placed on the back burner. How do you value yourself? Do you commit to your growth and self-care on a consistent basis with all the other competing demands?
The most important way to commit to your growth and self-care is to make them a priority by realizing their value. Taking care of yourself does not mean you are not taking care of others. In fact, it is the exact opposite. You need to grow and take care of yourself to continue to give your best to others. One of my favorite children’s books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The valuable lesson I found by reading this book is that if you give everything you have, don’t take care of yourself or allow time to grow, you will not have anything left to give.
Once you realize the value of committing to your growth and self-care, identify what or who has held you back in the past. Do you need to delegate or let go of low-priority tasks? Are you holding yourself back by your self-limiting beliefs? Do you have a strong “why” to keep you motivated? I once worked with a client who was not taking breaks at work, and was reluctant to commit to taking one 5-minute break for one day. This may sound extreme, but the client truly believed s/he could not take a break. After asking the client several questions, such as what is the consequence if you do take a break or has your supervisor stated you cannot take a break, s/he realized the true answer. The client was making this choice and could choose to change and commit to her/his self-care.
The final step to committing to your growth and self-care is to get started. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to take that first step. What will everyone think if I spend more time on myself? Will I be passed over for a promotion if I begin taking breaks at work? Start by identifying one area you want to focus on for yourself. What is one thing you will commit to doing this week? Be specific. For example, I will bring my lunch and not eat out two times this week to save money to contribute toward paying holiday gift bills. I will get 7-8 hours of sleep two times this week so I am refreshed and can add more value to my family and at work.
Appreciating the value of taking care of yourself allows you to remove the guilt of taking time for your growth and self-care. Identifying the barriers to your growth provides you the opportunity to move forward and contribute more to others. Taking care of yourself will also model to those around you that committing to yourself and your growth is important and valuable.
What has been your biggest obstacle to taking care of yourself? What is one specific action you will take to commit to your growth and self-care this week? Share your thoughts and experiences, join the conversation below.
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