Delaying your good may be a deceiving way to hurt yourself….

I don’t have time to…..fill in the blank
I’ll do (something you really want to do or something you know is good for you) …but it has to wait till I’m done with X or Y

You are not giving yourself permission to be happy.
Yes you. Not your kids, your husband, your boss or the government. YOU are not giving yourself permission to receive your good.

As I sat in a session listening to my client tell me for what it seemed a hundredth time that she felt like she was chasing the clock I kept thinking how this is a disturbing tendency of most burnout prone people. What is that tendency?  Postponing rest, fun and self care.

This person said she wanted all of these things BUT first, she had to get “important things” done. Sounds familiar? It sure did to me. I did that for the 1st half of my life. I call it the good girl syndrome. I had to “prove” to myself (and in my head also prove to others) that I deserved my good. And in the process I added more things to my list so I could feel even more impressive. But what I was really doing was delaying the reward further more. I was making sure I never got there, like the cartoons with the horse chasing the carrot.

This may seem extreme to you, but with enough self study you can see it is true. We hold such a low view of ourselves that we devise this clever way to disguise punishment: We don’t get to enjoy life until we are “perfect”.

The amount of guilt, blame and industrial-efficiency mindset that comes from this way of thinking is devastating. I know it because it made me a workaholic and people pleaser. To date, I am always aware of my “super achiever” tendencies when they want to take over.

When we do this we forget that we need things other than efficiencies and productivity in our lives and in turn, all the things we do to deserve our good push our wellbeing even further. It is a vicious cycle. Do you have to finish your long and empty to do list before you deserve a break?
Do you have to dot all your “i” and cross your “t” to be able to deserve a wholesome meal, a healthy movement class, a pampering bath and even a loving gesture?

Why are you punishing yourself darling?
This question may take a very long time to answer and in my coaching we use action to change the mind instead of trying to think our way into a new way of doing. Why? Because it is easier to act your way into a way of thinking. The mind, I remind you, is very slippery. But the body, oh the body is fantastic! It is your biggest ally, your most transparent source of information and feedback.

Your mind doesn’t know what the body is telling you. It always tries to interpret and make stories around the clear message. And those stories are stained with past memories, limited believes and much more.

The body always knows first, it is noble and innocent. It just tells you like it is. It is a wonderful communicator.
Listen to the body and what it is telling you…
The mind will get tangled in explanations and delays to keep you in the habitual place.
Please stop it.
Give yourself permission to be happy.

Your worth doesn’t rest on the check marks on your to do list.
Perhaps you were told as a child that you had to finish your chores before playing. Well, you’re the adult now.
Perhaps the workplace is turning you into a machine. But you know well that you’re not one. Don’t you?

These stories about perfectionism, having to struggle, staying busy, etc. will untangle every time you act, instead of getting lost in them. My advise to this client was to follow her bliss. Instead of looking for the short lived accomplishment of a task she truly didn’t care about, I suggested she do something that would make her feel good everyday. This can be hard if you’ve never done it. Your mind is probably complicating things as we speak. But it is simple! Stretch for a few minutes, listen to music you like, call your best friend, take a bath, go outside. It is simple. Follow your bliss at least once a day and don’t make it dependent on what you have accomplished. Do it because it feels good. Choose to feel good

Things will get done. I promise you.
And compulsiveness around food, TV, your cell phone and other things will get better too, because those things do not make you happy either. They numb you and distract you and that is very different. The body will show you in ways of poor health, nervousness, bad sleep and mental fog that say “this is not feeling good”
You will be much clearer about what matters once you are whole. And wholeness comes from a sense of wellbeing that can be injected in your daily routine.  That to do list will have less things and those that remain will matter more because YOUR wellbeing will matter more.

To get there you must listen to the body. That is your first step. Listen to your need for replenishing and act on these without delay.
You don’t have to earn your wellbeing. That is your birthright
You just have to claim it for yourself.
Do it today.
The rest will flow from a place that all that “to do” you have going now cannot recognize. There’s an order that doesn’t rely on your compulsive doing but in your BEING.
Let it be.


Coach Maria Marcano

PS: Share this article with those that need to slow down and feel good today (and every day). Thank you for sharing and caring.

Do you need permission to be happy?

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