As the week begins, I have found myself thinking a lot about self-respect and the way it impacts our self care. The more we understand and make room for our own boundaries, needs, wants, desires and goals, the more we are able to handle the world around us.
Challenging yourself is a good thing. A workout that is “too easy” or given up on the first round isn’t going to do much for you. Staying in your comfort zone or seeing yourself as a victim (defeatist) and not bothering to try something will only re-victimize. But there is a difference between energy output and strategic, healthy and helpful movement.
That’s what I want to talk about today.
So often, I see people “pushing” themselves in ways that aren’t necessarily productive such as making themselves stay up later than their body wants to, taking on more than feels comfortably emotionally or denying their basic human right to protect themselves from being saturated by someone else’s negativity or drama. They engage thoughts that aren’t helpful and bow down to fears instead of standing tall and facing them with the confidence they have earned the right to have.
There’s no honour in this. In fact, it often creates a domino effect. The late night leads to an exhausted morning, a missed class, a bad mood, an inability to do your best work… you see where this is going.
As we learn to care for ourselves, the way we engage with and navigate through the world changes. People respond to us differently, we are more selective how we spent our time (and with whom). We are more aware of what is real and what is fear. We begin to feel more in-control of our mind and body which makes us feel more secure in our moments. Others see us as dependable and even inspiring.
Today, I want to really encourage you to pay close attention to the ways you push. Is it productive or simply exhausting? Do you go to bed feeling a sense of accomplishment of simply collapse and dread the morning?
If it’s the latter, perhaps it’s time to make a real and lasting change.