I am sure you know this, but I will tell you anyway: when you give your all to everybody else, there’s very little, if anything, left for you. But when you ‘take care’ of yourself first, you have more than enough for others.

But it’s not easy learning to do that. And if you’ve spent your life looking after others, I’m guessing you’re going to find it extremely difficult to give to yourself first.

All sorts of feelings will come up, especially guilt.

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Changing your mindset can change your world. It’s very simple, but it’s not that easy. Well, certainly in the very beginning it is, because if you’ve had your pattern of helping others for many years, it will be extremely difficult for you to keep looking after yourself.

Let me explain what I mean.

Firstly, there is the fundamental voice that will keep telling you that it is expected (whatever it is).

I mean you are aware of the voices, aren’t you? The one on one shoulder that says ‘Yes’, and the other shoulder that says ‘No’. You’ve probably been carrying them around with you forever, so I don’t need to elaborate on them.

Then, there will be people’s opinions, the people you currently care for will no doubt get aggrieved if you suddenly decide not to cook their supper, or make their beds, or iron their shirts, or run their errands or whatever it is you do for them. I’m not saying you should stop everything but just occasionally.

Saying ‘no’ can be the hardest thing when people have always heard you say ‘yes’.

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And at first it will be downright difficult. But I can tell you that it is a most amazing experience.

It will give you a sense of freedom. People will actually appreciate you more. And will not be taking you for granted.

And what’s more, you will enjoy when you actually do things for them because you will want to rather than feeling obliged to, so you’ll be doing it out of a place of love, from your heart.

And then we have the mind…

Let me explain about the mind, which has absolutely no sense of humour. whatsoever.

Whatever you tell it, it believes. So if you tell it you have to, then that’s what it will act upon.

Let’s take this one step further;

You know when you have a thermostat in a room? You set it for a certain temperature and the thermostat will do its job and keep the temperature constant.

If someone walks into that room and opens a window and it’s cold outside, the temperature in the room will cool, and the thermostat will work hard to get the temperature up to the correct one that you set it for.

If, when the window was open, it was warm or even hot outside, the temperature in the room will go up. The thermostat will again do its job and bring the temperature down to the correct temperature.

Okay. So we have something very like a thermostat in our heads, but its job is to keep you in your comfort zone!

The “Comfort Zone” is called that for the very reason that it is where you are most comfortable. It’s where all the ‘safe’ stuff is: those ideas, thoughts and beliefs that have been with you for most of your life.

So, what the thermostat does when you do something new or uncomfortable; it switches on and you feel unhappy and the more you go toward what you want to do, which is out of the ‘ordinary’ for you, the more the thermostat will work harder and harder to bring you back into the comfort zone.

Take for instance, you decide that you’re going to have some ‘you’ time. Instead of cooking every night of the week and being responsible for all the washing, you sit your family down and say, “Listen, I’ve decided I’m going to have Wednesday evening off in future”.

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“YOU, (pointing towards your husband/partner) can do your own washing, and the kids (pointing at them) can all get pizzas or some other take out”.

The thought of that conversation can fill you with dread. What will they say? How will they cope?

But they will, and that’s the point. Right now, because you’ve probably never done this before, it’s a very scary thought isn’t it?

Anytime you want to do something so ‘out of the ordinary’, so different to what is normal for you, your thermostat will kick in, because that is its job, to keep you safe and comfortable, even if that place is stressful.

And if you’re doing what you’ve always done, you will be safe. Tired, bored, unhappy, possibly unhealthy, but you will be safe.

So, what you need to be doing is changing those ideas, thoughts and beliefs.

You really can simply and efficiently sort this stuff out!

I share this with thousands of listeners every week (on a Thursday) on Radio W.O.R.K.S World. You can listen online and listen to me and loads of other speakers who will help you gain more ‘Me Time’ and a whole lot more…

Connect here with Expert Adrienne Marks.

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