The Competition

By Sarah DeMaison

Am I the only one who thinks “THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY”? It is almost like running a race. Who are we racing with? Who are we competing with? Maybe consider stopping and looking around to see who the “competition” is and only to find there is not any “competition” at all … except for ourselves. I am sure someone reading this can relate to the thought of having to do everything for everyone or maybe it is not even a thought. Maybe someone reading this actually DOES do everything for everyone and never says “no.” Why is it so difficult to say such a simple, one syllable word? Why do we put ourselves last? Whether it is our last dollar or even a meal or even our time.

Here are the following demands of life: jobs, spouses, partners, children, traffic, family (whether one family member or 50 family members), events and occasions, birthday parties, every holiday you could possibly imagine, even “National Flip Flop Day”. There is also laundry, the NEVER ENDING PILE OF LAUNDRY which you would swear on your life multiples overnight. If you drive your kids to their 7 different weekly activities; the rush to get them here, there, and over…where? I forgot because I don’t have the time to think either! Don’t let me forget there is also some “free time” (yeah, right, that has to be a joke), eating, sleeping, exercising…and suddenly my heart is having palpitations because there is just way more to list but I am running out of time! As you read this, is your heart starting to beat faster? It is overwhelming to read, right? It should be. I bet your mind is moving forward with even more demands to add to this seemingly never ending list. If so, it is absolutely supposed to be.

Did you notice how “free time” (again, HA HA HA to that notion, right?!), eating, sleeping and exercising are last on the list? Do you know who those demands pertain to?

YOU.

When we begin to neglect ourselves we begin a pattern which is imperative to break. It is so very important we break this pattern. It is so important we figure out how to get past the fear of saying the dreaded word…the one syllable, 2 letter word which many people dread to say…

NO.

Try it. Right now. You can do it. You got this!

NO.

NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the worst possible thing that could happen? Oh, wait, I know!

ABOSLUTLEY NOTHING.

It is all in our minds. It is the messages we tell ourselves over and over again. It is the messages some have been told over and over their whole lives; to never say no to anyone or anything. What many people fail to realize is the power of the word no. As a child, some people may not have been able to say no at all. Perhaps from saying no and continually being ignored. Perhaps it is from the desire to be liked or the fear of hurting someone if you said no. Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Our brains are complicated and amazing to the extent of stubbing our toe and somehow our brain takes us to the place of “my toe will fall off, and then my leg, and suddenly I have died and I’m at my own funeral and this is what I’m wearing and who will be there and what they will say.” I have a secret. Whether people admit this or not (and most people won’t admit this) but I would swear to you…

EVERYONE STRUGGLES WITH THIS.

I want you to know, you are not alone, and neither are you over there in the corner laughing (and I’m talking directly to you because I see you shaking your head and smiling and it is because you can relate!).

I want you to consider the importance of putting yourself first. Consider this because…if you care for others (friends, spouses, partners, children…NO I am not going further because the anxiety will begin again!) how can you possibly effectively do this if you are unable to care for yourself?! The analogy of being on a plane and the plane is going down. Oxygen masks drop and you are to PUT IT ON YOURSELF FIRST before helping the person next to you because how can you possibly help the person next to you if you are not breathing? Just think about it.

To contact Sarah directly with questions, please email her at sarahdemaison@changewithinme.com.

blog, sexual abuse, counseling, advice, LCSW, competition, life demands, rat race,

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