If I made money every time a client asked me why no one teaches this stuff, I’d be a wealthy woman! This stuff includes things like trusting yourself, prioritizing yourself and asking for what you need. Sure, you learned how to read and write and lots of other important things in school. I’m sure your parents taught you about life the best they could. Most of us hit a point as adults where there are more lessons to learn and a shortage of places to learn them. Books are great and I’m a big fan; but some lessons call for a teacher.
Seems like an odd concept, right? Like it should be inherent. Turns out it’s not – it’s rarely something that we think about; and when we do think about it we usually haven’t learned that skill. We’re raised to listen to our teachers and our parents and then eventually our bosses; yet we’re expected to be independent thinkers and have ideas. But how do you do that if you don’t trust yourself? If I asked you what cultivates trust in another person, you would probably list things like “they show up, they keep their word, they’re considerate of my feelings, etc.” That’s the starting point – look for ways you do those things for yourself to begin to consciously trust yourself.
This is self-kindness 101, in my book. Those of us who derive a sense of value or worthiness or accomplishment from doing for others struggle with this one. That struggle has a cost. I’ll never, ever recommend that you stop doing things for others. What I will recommend is that you put yourself at the top of your list. If for no other reason than it’s not sustainable to give and give and give until your cup is empty…but mostly because you’re worthy of the exact same care and attention you give to others.
Asking for what you need.
For most people this falls squarely into the “don’t be selfish” category. So, we don’t do it. Then we build resentments and no good comes from those. Imagine if you were able to clearly communicate your needs to those closest to you. Even something as simple as asking your partner for support instead of advice. This simple (but not easy) action up front saves so much strife; but we’re not taught to do it. Instead we’re taught not to be selfish. No one ever looks into the difference between asking for what you need and selfishness. Trust me – there are miles of distance between those 2 things.
What other lessons should be taught? What have you learned for yourself the hard way?