Sometimes simply doing something for yourself is considered inconsiderate or even selfish. The idea of helping others is sometimes pushed so far that people expect you to do it at the expense of yourself.
And of course there are those that are willing to give the shirts off their own back but it should be a choice, not something you’ve been guilted into.
People might call you inconsiderate for choosing to prioritise yourself over them and it might hurt your feelings. It might hurt so much that you decide to keep putting other people first. But the other option is to accept that persons opinion and continue doing what is best for you because you matter too.
If something happens and your feelings get hurt or you don’t like the way that someone has treated you, it’s important to do something about it.
It’s easy to get into the habit of sheepishly speaking up then cowering and retreating when the other person shuts you down.
When this happens, the other person learns that they can easily over step your boundary and essentially disrespect you.
And so it continues on and on until you change the way you respond.
You have to back yourself, speak up for the things you’re not okay with and make it clear that you aren’t willing to accept certain things.
It may sound simple for some but for others the idea that they don’t have to just accept being treated poorly is kinda revolutionary.
In a podcast episode from a while back the host answered a question about what to do if your customer, the people you’re selling to, aren’t allowing you to make enough money. The answer was something along the lines of ‘change your customer’.
If you know how much you want to make a month as a minimum and you know how many clients you can comfortably take on at once, it’ll give you an indication of how much to charge. It’ll also offer a good idea of who your customer is and who your customer isn’t.
So, often people get caught up in keeping prices low to try and attract more people. Or the tell themselves that helping others requires them to sacrifice their own wants and needs. In this case it means providing affordable services but barely scraping by financially. The reality is that low prices means you need to make a lot more sales.
Instead it is worth thinking about who you can provide services to so that you won’t need 101 sales each month or 101 clients. That might mean increasing your prices and changing your customer. Helping people shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to Many people want to help others but that shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to find a way to do it in a way that works for you.
That could mean providing services to a select few customers/clients that enable you to make enough money to live comfortably. Then use your spare time to provide something for free that will he helpful for those that can’t afford to pay for what you offer.
When someone you care about comes to you with a problem even if they don’t ask you for advice you’re instinct is to help them and to make the problem go away. You tell them what you think they should do or what you think will fix the problem because you feel like it’s the right thing to do.
But, in doing so we fail to consider the other persons needs. Perhaps they simply wanted to vent but now you’ve bombarded them with all your thoughts and opinions.
Maybe, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s fine to give advice that wasn’t asked for because you have good intentions. You’re just trying to help, you know how to fix things or you feel like your personal experience gives you authority on the matter.
But you have to put yourself aside and consider that maybe the best thing that you can do is ask the other person what they need, then support them as best as you can.
If you don’t like the way things are or the way that other people tell you that things should be, you don’t have to accept it.
So often we find ourselves frustrated and feeling hopeless as if there is no other way. But we forget that we have other options available to us. You always have the option to do things on your own terms.
Do things in the way that makes you feel happy, brings you joy or simply just makes you feel good. Other people might not get it, they might even question it but it’s not something that you ever have to justify or explain.
Something really interesting happens when you start spending time alone.
You learn a lot about yourself. You learn what you like to do, how you like to spend your time, what brings you joy, what fulfills you and so much more outside of your relationships with other people.
So often we learn about ourselves in conjunction with other people. ‘My sister and I like to do this, when I’m with my friends I like to do that or my partner and I often do this together’. And it’s not that you don’t enjoy those things or that it’s not the real you but I think it’s important to explore yourself by yourself.
You might discover that there are a whole heap of things that you enjoy doing alone that you never previously had time for because you always prioritised spending time with other people. Or, you might find that you appreciate making time for yourself to spend doing small and simple things like bake, take a walk or read outside in a park.
I think a key part of being creative is doing it as part of a community.
Community is really important. You don’t need to be working on a joint project you can simply work on your individual projects together. Being part of a community can help keep you motivated and accountable, give you people to bounce ideas off and act as a sounding board. Plus, you have people to share your progress and growth with. All those things you can gain are also the things you’re able to give.
There are the kind of communities that you pay for with a monthly membership fee. There is usually some sort of leader or overseer even if they don’t interact with the members directly.
But there is also community formed when a few people (sometimes total strangers) decide to come together. In this case, there is no leader or hierarchy. This is what I’m currently in search of.
I’ve been sharing my work online for close to a decade and it has always been a solitary pursuit. However, lately the idea of community has really appealed to me, both online and offline.
For many people, how they value themselves comes from other people.
This can be great when people are treating you well but when not so much when you’re treated poorly. You go from feeling good about yourself to not feeling good enough and because you’ve become reliant on other people to determine your value.
It may even get to the point where you almost feel lost and are unable to truly establish how you feel about yourself without it coming from other people. And so, you feel down and worthless whilst also blaming other people for how you feel.
I think that stage of blaming others continues until you’re able to realise that nobody else should be in control of how you feel about yourself. That’s not a solid foundation.
Some of the most valuable conversations to have are the ones that are most difficult but that shouldn’t be a reason not to have them.
Even though it might be difficult, challenging or uncomfortable it allows room for learning, growth and understanding that may have not taken place otherwise.
Of course, there is a chance the conversation won’t end well and perhaps you’ll walk away feeling frustrated.
But if the conversation really matters then perhaps it is still worth a try.
Sometimes we make plans that involve others without speaking to them first.
You get so excited and carried away that it doesn’t even occur to you to let the other person know.
Instead you just assume that of course they will share your excitement.
And it’s not that your plans are bad but when you don’t ask the other person but expect them to be involved you might end up disappointed.