How’d you get on last week with identifying your self-care needs and putting them into practice?
If you did it, awesome! Keep it up. If you didn’t, no worries. Today’s email is for you.
As much as we may want – or love – to nurture our self-care needs, we often feel RESISTANCE which keeps us from moving ahead. Today, let’s sort out what’s really going on.
First, it helps to know what’s up with resistance. When you feel stuck, and can’t seem to move forward with something, it can mean one of two things: either what you’re engaged in (or want to be engaged in) isn’t truly meeting your needs or you’re involved in something that does meet your needs, but clashes with your internal beliefs or self-concepts.
Think of something you’re resisting regarding self-care, and ask yourself: Would this truly meet my needs? If no, move on to something that would. If yes, keep reading . . .
The next consideration is to discover what is causing your resistance. Again, there are two possibilities: your blocks may come from outside of you or from within you.
Outside resistance includes the practical, legitimate, concrete reasons that you cannot move forward. If you’re facing this type of resistance, chances are that you already know the work-around and are simply waiting for certain pieces to ‘fall into place’ before you can get on with it. Or maybe you don’t know the specific ‘how tos’ to accomplish what you want, but you do know that you can reach out to someone who can help you strategize your way forward. As per Pareto’s 80/20 Principle, this may be the cause of your resistance about 20% of the time.
The other 80% of the time, you’re likely facing resistance from within yourself. This is the trickier of the two to navigate, because you’re often not even aware that you are the source of the obstacle – that your mindset is the true block. Which of these inner resistance thoughts can you relate to, as inspired by Hannah Braime’s book “From Coping to Thriving”?
Top 7 Reasons for Inner Self-Care Resistance
1) “I don’t have the time.” Yes, we all have a million things to do. Which of those things matter most to you? And how would you be better able to tend to the other things if you were energized, motivated and full up from self-care? Prioritizing what you value most can be tricky to master, but once you have there’s no going back. Also, on your journey to clearing more space for yourself in your day, remember that some of the most effective practices take only moments, like breathing, looking at a beautiful view and envisioning a happy memory.
2) “I can’t afford it.” If money barriers are lurking, this is surely a mindset issue, as we all rationally know that self-care doesn’t have to cost a dime. Since many people equate their financial worth with their personal worth, it follows that such people may only invest in their self-care, financially or otherwise, when they feel worthy. If this sounds like you, I want to tell you that you are worthy and you do deserve self-care.
3) “Self-care wasn’t a thing for me growing up.” As with many of our unconscious beliefs, we may have received overt or underlying messages about self-care from our parents and authority figures in our formative years. However well-intentioned your guardians were or were not, and whether they deemed self-care acceptable or unacceptable, you may still carry their outdated self-care beliefs which need refreshing as they are no longer serving you.
4) “Society frowns upon it.” Additionally, we’re taught so much by our community, culture, religion, media and society, and not all of what we learn through this societal conditioning serves our highest good. For example, many women have internalized that we must be caregivers and put others needs before our own, or that we must not express our ‘negative’ emotions. We fear rejection if we don’t follow through with these ‘norms’. The truth is, as a human you are meant to love others without being a martyr and honour ALL of your emotional needs.
5) “It’s just another thing I ‘should’ be doing.” Thanks to social obligation as mentioned above, not meeting our ‘shoulds’, ‘need tos’ and ‘musts’ leads to resistance. The more obliged we feel about doing something – and the more accompanying self-judgement it brings – the more we will resist. If we are ashamed of some aspect of self-care, we will avoid it at all costs to also avoid experiencing the dreaded feelings of shame. The best way to suck all of the fun and value out of your self-care is to do it because you ‘should’, instead of because you ‘choose to’, ‘want to’ and ‘love’ to engage.
6) “I wish someone else would take care of me.” The more we yearn for someone to come and ‘save us’ by meeting our unmet needs, the longer we stay stuck. This also manifests as wanting to meet our needs without having to express, assert and negotiate how to meet them with others. If you can relate, I lovingly share that living your best life begins with taking responsibility for yourself, including meeting your own unmet needs.
7) “I don’t deserve it.” Self-care is a matter of health-care, not a question of whether or not we have earned it. You have the unconditional right and responsibility to take great care of yourself. The real question is how would you love to tend to your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical need? Understanding self-care as an essential priority in your life will help you ditch the guilt and see it as a necessary part of being alive.
Okay, now breathe.
That was a lot. You don’t have to get all entangled by the details of these barriers if they’re all too much. Simply pick one to explore, or if you prefer just take away the simple message that you deserve to take great care of you. And return to those fundamental questions:
What do I really need? What could I do today to get one step closer to meeting that need?
Yours in self-care,
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