Do you ever find yourself giving, giving and giving some more, trying your best to please people and keep the peace?
Cassandra is planning a celebration for her father’s birthday. She was trying to make bookings and solidify plans, but she ended up changing the date a million times because her sister kept pushing back, creating even more work for her.
Anna sacrifices her sleep to pick up for colleagues who miss deadlines and don’t respond to requests for feedback, only to expect revisions to be done after business hours, overnight.
Christine found herself stuck in a pattern of lending money to her adult son, unsure of how to get out of it because she felt obligated to help even though it left her in a lurch, and ultimately isn’t helping him get on his feet.
Over-giving comes up in all sorts of different ways. Maybe you can relate.
Here are 3 steps you can take today to stop the habit of over-giving so you don’t feel so drained and depleted.
- Notice how crappy it feels to over-give. Your mind might try to convince you that over-giving makes you virtuous, but your body knows better. The icky feeling you’re getting is because you’re over-giving – not because you need to suck it up or be a nicer person. Your body is trying to teach you about your limits. Consider listening more closely to your body’s cues like tension and low energy.
- Count your needs as equal to others’. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, unless you’re sacrificing yourself, you’re being selfish. But that’s BS, and I’m pretty sure you know that deep down. It can be hard to drop the programming of thinking you should put yourself last, because it’s something we’ve been taught for so long. Including your needs in the equation doesn’t mean that you matter more than others. It means that you matter equally. And that’s the truth.
- Suggest alternatives that feel better. Anna could communicate reasonable timelines and let her colleague know that revisions will be done by noon the next business day. Cassandra might give 2 options, allowing her sister the opportunity to change her schedule instead of expecting the plan (that works for everyone else) to be changed again and again. Christine might let her son know it’s the last time she’ll be lending him money. It’s worth suggesting alternatives that meet your needs to find a happy medium.
Notice when you’re at (or beyond) capacity.
Know that you matter.
Let people know what works for you.
Self-sacrifice is a cultural imperative that’s been written on the bones of women for generations. And it’s time for a new normal.
Imagine giving from a place of enoughness rather than from obligation. Imagine untangling yourself from the need to be the one to keep the peace. Imagine the peace you’d feel on the inside.
It’s time to set boundaries that honour your wellbeing.
Ready to learn how to stop the habit of overgiving? Book your free Boundary Tune-Up call with me here.