We’re coming into holiday time which can, quite frankly, be pretty stressful.
For some, expectations run high and are easily disappointed. For others, it’s time spent with family not often seen (and we’re reminded of why). And yet others, it’s a time where the joy of giving is overpowered by the misery of financial stress.
When we’re in these situations we often do things that take us away from our core values and the things that are important to us. We go along to get along, we spend more money than is comfortable for us. And we may even allow people to treat us in ways we’re not happy with – because it’s easier.
All of those things may seem small in isolation – not really something to worry about. But each of those little things is an act of abandonment. An abandonment of ourselves.
Every time we do something that goes against our values, or don’t do something to keep our boundaries, we abandon ourselves. We essentially say that we’re not worth standing up for or being true to.
Over time this can lead us to feel like less like ourselves and more like a stranger: “I just don’t feel like myself anymore”.
We may wind up feeling disappointed in ourselves: “I wish I hadn’t let Uncle George make fun of me in front of everyone. It was so humiliating”.
Or we may end up angry at ourselves: “I’m going to have take on extra shifts now. I wish I hadn’t spent so much”.
Regardless of the outcome, the antidote is very simple. Listen to yourself. Know what is good for you. Know the things you believe in. Know your values. Know your boundaries.
And then always choose short term discomfort (asking Uncle George to treat you with more respect, settle for that not quite perfect gift for your sister’s kids) over abandoning yourself.
Your self-esteem will be protected and you will know that you are always there to rely on. It makes the world feel a whole lot better.