Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Sadly, I hear it all the time.
“I would love to be able to take your program right now, but I can’t. I must put my child’s* needs first right now.” [insert partner, work, family, parents - whichever one feels true for you]
Each time I hear a statement like this, there’s a little tug at my heart.
Not because I want you to join my program right here and now, but because underneath that statement I can hear the longing and resignation of having to say no to yourself . . . yet again.
As someone who spent the majority of my life stuffing down my needs in favor of others, I know that on some level you get used to pushing your wants and needs away.
You tell yourself that this is how it’s supposed to be.
You pretend that it’s enough to put others first because it feels good.
You also lie and tell yourself that their needs are more important because. . .
That’s your role as a parent
They’re the primary wage earner
They’re more likely to succeed than you are anyway
Their victories are your victories
But after some time, even you don’t believe your own rationale for putting yourself last, yet you feel like you can’t really do anything about it.
The truth is that time is the enemy when it comes to overcoming beliefs, fears or patterns.
Have you noticed that the more time passes, it becomes harder to complete a task or accomplish a goal?
Even if it’s something you truly want, it becomes harder to achieve even just a part of your goal.
Time carefully partners with your fear and doubts and creates a seemingly impenetrable wall so that even if you wanted to put yourself first, it feels impossible.
So instead of looking for ways to knock down the wall, you look at your needs and wants and falsely promise . . . “someday it will be our turn.”
Now, if there’s any kernel of truth to what I’ve shared so far, I understand how hard this might be to hear.
After a lifetime of putting others first, the idea of putting myself first felt frightening - even wrong.
I literally couldn’t buy anything for myself without feeling resistance in my whole body. And while I could buy big ticket items for my husband like pick-up trucks, motorcycles and even a condo - when it came to spending money on myself I couldn’t even bring myself to see how I could make it possible.
Like you - I pulled out every reason I could think of just so I wouldn’t have to face my own resistance!
But here’s some good news - the wall of time and fear can be dismantled!
And like everything else I share, it begins when you are willing to tell yourself the truth.
Often the reason we feel we must put our own needs on the back burner is that - as humans - we’re good at telling ourselves a story with only one ending.
Maybe as a child you learned that you must put others needs ahead of yours, so it becomes impossible to see your needs as anything but selfish.
Maybe you’ve failed before, so you doubt your choices and decisions and put yourself behind others every time.
Maybe you’ve decided that you’ll never get to where you want by yourself, so you invest in the success of others instead.
It’s almost predictable, but your imagination never seeks out what is possible. It never paints a picture where you are the victor and get what you actually want out of life.
Your imagination almost never shows you the potential that’s possible when you prioritize yourself and your personal purpose.
It doesn’t tell you that when you put yourself first you’ll. . .
Gain the confidence you needFind greater financial freedom and independence
Open to door to solutions and possibilities you never imagined
Create a clear path to guide you out of a circumstance that no longer serves you.
No. It never does that.
So what do you do?
How do you get over the hurdles you’ve built so you can begin to embody your personal purpose and get beyond all the reasons you tell yourself you can’t?
You can begin by challenging your beliefs, doubts and thoughts.
Often the reason your purpose takes a back seat is that your fears have you believing that the “what-ifs” are actual facts.
But, in truth, your fears can’t tell you much about what will happen in the future - it can only tell you about what has happened in the past.
Your fears may look like facts, but in reality they are unresolved emotions from the past.
And while fear itself isn’t bad, when you take your fear as absolute truth - that’s when it becomes impossible to move forward.
So, if you hear yourself saying things like “I can’t” or “It’s impossible” or “Right now, isn’t the time”, I want to ask your fears: “Is that true?”
Look for what’s really true and challenge any of your circumstances by looking instead for what’s possible.
When you look for what’s possible, you’re able to shift your entire perspective, so that your wants and your needs get a voice at the table.
Instead of automatically shutting the door, you can realistically take the steps you need to achieve your purpose and find greater happiness.
That’s really how it was for me.
By learning how to give my purpose a real voice instead of always shooting down what I wanted at first glance, I learned to dismantle the fears and doubts that time had built up in my mind.
In the end I realized that - more often than not - what I want can actually be achieved if I put aside the falsehoods of my fears.
And that’s what can be possible for you too!
This week, begin by challenging your fears and your doubts. Ask yourself what it might be like to look at your life through the lens of possibility?
What might be different? How could you create more room to confidently embrace your own true purpose instead of continuously just waiting for someday?
Be willing to tell yourself the truth and simply notice what shifts for you!
P.S. Levin Life Coach Academy is for people who are ready to grab hold of bigger possibility and elevate their purpose. The doors are closing October 11th. If you’re looking for deeper personal transformation or a career that helps others, explore what is possible for you by scheduling an enrollment call today.
About Nancy Levin:
Nancy Levin is the bestselling author of Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth, Writing For My Life, and The New Relationship Blueprint.
She’s a Master Integrative Life Coach and the creator of the Destination ME Private Coaching Community, as well as many in-depth coaching programs, guiding clients to live life on their own terms.
Nancy was the Event Director at Hay House from 2002-2014, and now hosts her own weekly call-in radio show Jump Start Your Life on Hay House Radio.
Nancy received her Masters in Creative Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and she continues to live in the Rocky Mountains.