As a woman, you learn how to sacrifice yourself for the benefit of other people at a very young age.
I work with ambitious and fierce women. I mean these women get things done. They raise families while pursuing degrees. My clients start businesses while being the first ones in their families ever to do so. They travel the world and put themselves “out there” in countless ways. The women I work with are and have been doctors, nurses, actresses, comedians, school teachers, professors, financial execs, etc. In short, these ladies are capable go-getters.
The flip side of being a goal-getting ambitious woman though, is that you often find yourself alone. Not necessarily in a physical sense, although this happens often enough. But more often, you find yourself without the emotional support you need because the people around you simply don’t understand what it takes to achieve all that you set out to.
Because people rely on you to get things done, you’re used to being there for everybody. And at the very least, you’re used to showing up for them. Even though you may be depressed, you will still get up and go to work. Though you feel a crushing sense of loneliness, you will still throw your best friend’s baby shower. You will not let your own bouts of frustration, loneliness, emotional emptiness, or disappointment get in the way of doing the things that must be done. Meanwhile your own needs go unmet and unacknowledged.
This is what it means to sacrifice yourself. You make sure the needs of others- your boss, your kids, you clients, your friends, your family- are met without seeing to your own needs. You put everyone before you.
But you are not a martyr. You’ve just been taught to act like one. And you need support just like everyone else.
You must set limits to what others can take from you. Because you are not simply on this earth to be in service to others. Helping others is definitely a big part of why we are here, but it is not all there is. If this is your sole reason for being, you will eventually feel resentful, bitter, and lonely.
If you already happen to be experiencing these emotions because you’ve made a habit of sacrificing yourself, I have 13 truths that might be helpful to remind yourself regularly.
The 13 Truths for the Self-Sacrificing Women
1. I am here to experience joy.
2. I am here to receive.
3. I am here to love.
4. I am here to learn and understand.
5. I am here to develop myself and reach my highest potential.
6. I am here to experience the full range of human emotion.
7. I am here to express the uniqueness that is you.
8. I am here to inspire and be inspired.
9. I am here to help others.
10. I am here to do my best.
11. I am here to be kind.
12. I am here to use, protect, care for, and enjoy my physical body.
13. I am here to respect all other human beings.
Repeat this list over and over to yourself daily. Helping others is but one item on a list of equally important truths.
You are not a martyr. And you don’t have to sacrifice yourself.