Dear Soulseekers,

Check all that apply to you:

*Doing things for others that they can do for themselves

*Absorbing other people’s feelings

*people-pleasing to avoid disappointing others

*difficulty saying no and setting boundaries

*assuming more responsibility than is your share

*giving advice whether the person asks for it or not

*fretting about others

*feeling responsible for others, or knowing what is best for them

*talking more than listening

*having goals for others that they don’t have for themselves

*codependence, or imbalanced relationships. whereby you enable someone else’s immaturity or irresponsibility through caretaking or fixing

*behaving like a martyr, taking care of everyone else, giving without receiving, and then occasionally feeling like you were taken advantage of

*overworking and over-scheduling yourself

I don’t know about you, but I have a few check marks on this list. Nothing that I am too concerned about. Did you have a lot of check marks? Maybe even all of them? If so my friend, I suspect you are completely exhausted. Burned out even. That’s what happens to lots of people who are over-functioning. You are taking on too much and trying to be the hero in too many lives. And if you ‘ve gone to the doctor for this, you were probably prescribed an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill. Maybe you need it. Possibly you do not.

The key to breaking out of this cycle is awareness. This will be tough to do if you are already completely worn out, but it’s NOT impossible. First of all, assume responsibility only for what belongs to YOU. It’s about awareness, accepting what you can’t control and then taking intentional action. Allow others to figure out for themselves what they are capable of. Take a step back and observe. And as hard as it is, let go of that need to be right. Ugh, I struggle with this one because I’m always right. 🙂

Decide how you want to behave. Consider what is your ideal functional behavior in your relationships? Then be ready to be uncomfortable. Sitting back and allowing others to make mistakes is good for them, hard for you us. We have to trust the people in our lives and show them we trust them.

Practice saying “No”. Ooohh, this is a hard one. Take a week and say no to every request. You read that right. Say no…. to everything. Forewarn your family, co-workers, etc that this is what you are doing, so they aren’t surprised. Then sit with your No for a day or two and make sure when you make a final decision, you make a decision based on your head, not your heart. Not out of guilt, or control, or shame or coming to the rescue. (that’s your heart talking!)

Also carve out some down time for yourself- with nothing scheduled. This isn’t lazy, unproductive time. You are practicing self care and letting go. And ask yourself, Am I functioning from a place of trust and curiosity? Or fear, heroism, blame and victimhood? We definitely do not want to play the victim card.

This can be a tough one, but so, so important for you and the people in your life. We all deserve the time and opportunity to figure out what we are capable of, how to make good decisions for ourselves and learn from our mistakes. If someone always swoops in to the rescue, how will we/they ever learn? And don’t you want to lighten some of that burden on your back? Do it. Say no. Take some time, and see if you can start to feel better, have less burn out, and enjoy life again.

Until next time friends,

Posted by

I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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