I have listened to my friends complain incessantly about how they are tired of people taking advantage of their kindness.
My reply to my friends was a quick and simple,
“Then why are you allowing it?”
As I replied and reflected on my own journey, I realized that there are many of us who suffer from this inability to “grow some balls.”
We often hear motivational words like, “All you need to do is give of yourself and everything falls into place,” or “It is in giving that more comes back to you.”
Many of us misinterpret the true meaning of these words and try to give and give and give until we become drained of energy and possibly shut down.
We are stuck in assuming the role of martyr, trying to make everyone around us happy.
Who are we kidding here?
In cases like these, we don’t realize that we are compensating for something we lack, whether it is self-love or self-esteem.
How can you genuinely care for others if you don’t know how to care for yourself?
In the airline industry, we are taught that to put on your oxygen mask before you put it on anyone else.
Why do you think that is the case?
Of course, I am not saying be totally selfish!
All I am saying is to really evaluate where your act of “selflessness” is coming from.
There is a difference between someone who gives because they do not know how to stand within their power and say “no” and someone who gives because they wholeheartedly want to.
If you are someone who suffers from the syndrome of not being able to say and mean “no,” you may be fearful that people will judge you if you stand up and speak your truth. You’re afraid others may think you are being mean and aggressive or afraid of hurting other people’s feelings.
You cannot please everyone and the minute you begin trying to do that, you will see yourself constantly changing your values to suit the needs of others.
This is never a healthy situation because that is when people will start to take advantage of you!
There are some who want to say “no,” but are torn because they “think” the right thing to do is to say “yes.”
This is when we confuse “authentic power” with “ego power.”
Ego power is when you operate from fear, whether it is fear of disapproval or fear of being disliked. This comes from a place of insecurity.
Authentic power is when you can “be light” and wherever you go, you shine that light brightly.
There is no façade but you are operating from the core of your being.
So how can you be the “light” itself?
You have to learn to love yourself and know that your insecurities should not run your life.
Remember, you are not your insecurities, nor do they define you.
You may observe where they come from—perhaps some past experiences—but that should be it. The past should remain in the past, with lessons to be incorporated for a better “now.”
Moreover, the fastest way to transform your fears is to face them. Yes, all of them!
So, if you are afraid that someone may disapprove of you speaking your mind, then this is the time to do the exact opposite and speak your truth with kindness.
Now, hear me people, the main word here is “kindness!”
You are not about to inflict hurtful words or insult anyone, but simply,
“I’m sorry, I cannot do this today. I understand that you need me but I need to take care of myself right now.”
Give yourself permission to speak your truth without apologizing, feelings of guilt, fear or resentment.
If you are harboring guilty feelings then tell yourself, “It is okay.” As long as you are operating from your core and not from a place of ego, you should be fine.
It is also important to understand that every time we do not live within our own truth, we dim that divine light within us.
So, you are doing yourself a grave injustice if you are not standing within your authentic power and speaking your truth.
Take responsibility for your life. No one else can control us, unless we give them permission to do so!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Neeta Maharaj
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Marcy Kellar/Flickr