Are You Putting Yourself Last? 3 Indicators of Self-Ignoring BehaviorJul 14, 2023
Close your eyes for a moment and let me paint a vivid picture for you. You find yourself in the middle of a bustling scene, surrounded by a flurry of activity. It is a scene that plays out every single day – the constant juggling act of work, family, and countless responsibilities. From the crack of dawn until the late hours of the night, you are in motion, dedicating yourself to everyone and everything around you. Your days blur together between meetings, deadlines, and chores.
Does this all feel too familiar?
Let’s take a moment to reflect on our daily routine. The endless hustle and bustle, the whirlwind of obligations and responsibilities that consume our every waking hour. In the midst of all of this chaos, have you ever hit the pause button? Have you ever carved out precious time to simply listen to yourself?
It's a question that often gets lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. We become so entangled in the demands of work, family, and social obligations that we forget to turn inward and tune into our own needs, desires, and dreams. We prioritize the needs of others, putting ourselves on the back burner without even realizing it. But deep down, in the quiet moments when the noise subsides, a small voice whispers:
"What about me? When will I take care of myself?"
If you've been hearing that inner voice calling out to you, urging you to take control of your life, then it's time to take action. It all starts with reclaiming your time and creating space to truly hear yourself. That's where my transformative Breathing Course comes in - a gateway to mindfulness, a powerful tool that can help you cultivate self-awareness, reduce stress, and foster a deep connection with your inner being.
Do We Ignore Ourselves Intentionally?
Self-ignoring behavior is, unfortunately, something that many of us fall into. It’s the practice of disregarding our own needs, feelings, or well-being, often in the pursuit of taking care of others or meeting societal expectations. It might show up as neglecting physical health, not setting boundaries, or constantly prioritizing others above oneself. The key to breaking this cycle is awareness. Recognizing self-ignoring behavior when it happens is the first step towards reclaiming our self-worth and starting to treat ourselves with the same care and respect that we give to others.
The question of whether we intentionally ignore ourselves is a complex one that varies from person to person. In some cases, we may indeed make a conscious decision to put ourselves last due to societal expectations, cultural norms, or deeply ingrained beliefs about self-sacrifice and caretaking. We may feel compelled to prioritize the needs and well-being of others above our own, believing that this is the noble and virtuous path to follow, especially for us women. Putting others first before our own comes out naturally, and I get it.
However, it is important to recognize that self-ignoring behavior is often not a deliberate or calculated choice that we make. It can be a result of external pressures, overwhelming responsibilities, and a lack of awareness or understanding of our own needs. Sometimes, it is a habit we develop over time as we navigate the demands of work, family, and personal life. The fast pace of modern life and the constant stream of obligations can easily lead us to overlook our self-care and neglect our desires. This is a prevalent scenario, especially for all working mothers who have to juggle multiple responsibilities every single day.
If you're seeking a guide to break free from the cycle of self-ignoring behavior, my book, Brave Boundaries can help you. Through insightful stories, practical exercises, and empowering strategies, my book will help you navigate the art of setting healthy boundaries in all areas of your life.
Societal and cultural influences also play a significant role in shaping our attitudes toward self-care. Messages of selflessness, putting others first, and sacrificing our well-being for the greater good are what society simply taught us to be. These societal expectations can contribute to a mindset where self-ignoring behavior becomes the norm rather than the exception. It's worth noting that there may also be underlying psychological factors at play. Some women may struggle with feelings of low self-worth, guilt, or an excessive need for external validation, which can contribute to self-ignoring behavior. These internal dynamics can create barriers to prioritizing ourselves and make it difficult to recognize our own needs and desires.
While there are instances where self-ignoring behavior may be intentional, more often than not, it is a complex interplay of all these factors. But on the bright side, we can break free from this mindset, we can do something to rectify this.
Watch my latest YouTube video as I dive deep into the secrets of freeing yourself from overcommitment and focusing on what truly aligns with your needs and values. It's time to create more space for yourself and eliminate those unnecessary obligations that takes up your time.
3 Ways to Identify that You Are Ignoring Yourself
As women, we are natural caregivers, nurturers, and multitaskers. You name it. We excel at putting the needs of others before our own, often sacrificing our well-being in the process. We prioritize the happiness of our families and everyone around us, but what about ourselves? It is a question that lingers in the back of our minds, quietly whispering for attention. Are we truly taking care of ourselves, or are we inadvertently putting ourselves last?
In the journey of motherhood and the pursuit of a successful career, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of self-ignoring behavior. We become so consumed by our responsibilities that we lose sight of our own needs and desires. We neglect the warning signs that indicate we're neglecting ourselves, dismissing them as fleeting moments of exhaustion or stress. But deep down, we know there's something more significant at play, something that warrants our attention.
If you've ever found yourself wondering whether you're putting yourself last, questioning if you've inadvertently slipped into the shadows, it is important to acknowledge that you are not alone in this struggle. Many women, regardless of their roles or professions, grapple with the same challenges. I, too, feel this.
We live in a world that often emphasizes selflessness as a virtue, but we must remember that caring for ourselves is equally important. It is not an act of neglecting others but rather an act of self-preservation, enabling us to show up fully and authentically in every aspect of our lives. Here are the 3 ways that we can use to identify if we are ignoring ourselves:
Ignoring Your Physical Health
As women, we are natural nurturers, always putting the needs of our loved ones, our careers, and our homes before our well-being. We convince ourselves that there's no time for exercise, healthy meals, or even regular check-ups. But here's the harsh truth: neglecting our physical health can have severe consequences in the long run. Think about it.
Self-care goes hand in hand with physical health. It’s not only about bubble baths or spa days, although they can certainly be part of it. Real self-care is about listening to your body and honoring its needs, whether that’s rest, nourishment, movement, or something else entirely. It’s about tuning into what you need in any given moment and allowing yourself to meet that need without guilt or judgment. Regular self-care can do wonders for your overall well-being, and it is a necessary component of maintaining good physical health.
How can we continue to pour from an empty cup?
How can we care for others if we neglect our bodies and minds?
It's like trying to drive a car with an empty fuel tank – eventually, it will come to a halt. We must recognize that prioritizing self-care is not a luxury or a selfish act, but rather a fundamental necessity that we have to give ourselves.
Sister, let's rewrite the narrative. Let's make ourselves a priority. It starts with small steps, carving out time in our busy schedules for exercise, nourishing our bodies with wholesome meals, and seeking medical care when needed. Taking care of ourselves isn't just about looking good or fitting into societal ideals. It is about ensuring we have the strength, vitality, and resilience to show up fully in all areas of our lives.
By prioritizing our physical health, we send a powerful message – to ourselves and those around us. We declare that our well-being matters, and that we are worth the investment of time and effort. And when we take care of ourselves, we become better equipped to care for others. It is not an either/or situation; it is a harmonious balance that allows us to thrive in every aspect of our lives.
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Disregarding Emotional and Mental Well-being
Another critical indicator of self-ignoring behavior: is the disregard for our emotional and mental well-being. As a fellow busy mom and physician, I understand the all-too-familiar struggle of finding time for self-reflection and emotional healing amidst the chaos of our daily lives. We often find ourselves putting our own emotions on the back burner, prioritizing the needs of our loved ones, patients, and colleagues above our own.
Recognizing the importance of mental health is a significant step in understanding self-ignoring behavior. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It refers to our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional wellbeing, and it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. When we disregard our mental health, we risk feeling burnt out, depressed, or anxious. By acknowledging and tending to our mental health, we can better manage stress, work productively, realize our full potential, and make meaningful contributions to our communities.
But here's the thing: emotions, just like physical health, require care and attention. When we suppress our feelings and continuously push them aside, it's like bottling up a volcano. Eventually, the pressure builds, and we may find ourselves facing increased stress, anxiety, and, in some cases, even burnout. The truth is, our emotions are valid. They deserve to be acknowledged, honored and expressed. It is not a sign of weakness to admit that we need support or that we are feeling overwhelmed. In fact, it takes immense strength and courage to confront our emotions head-on.
So, how can we make a change? Let's carve out moments of self-reflection, creating sacred spaces where we can explore and process our feelings. This can be through meditation, journaling, or simply opening up to trusted friends or family members who can offer a listening ear and a compassionate heart. By seeking the support we need, we begin to untangle the knots that have been weighing us down.
Looking for that support that understands and feels your struggles? Join me and other amazing women as we come together in a growing community, called The Table. At The Table, we believe in the power of sisterhood and the strength that comes from supporting each other on our journeys. This is a place where like-minded women gather to create a safe and nurturing space, one where self-care is highly encouraged. (Plus you get a monthly CME webinar, daily teaching and videos and best part – discounts on all BE events and courses!)
Prioritizing our emotional well-being is an act of self-preservation. When we tend to our own emotional needs, we become more resilient and more equipped to handle the inevitable challenges and curveballs that life throws our way. It is an investment in our well-being and the well-being of those we care about.
Are you needing an emotional and mental reset? Are you ready to take control, prioritize self-care, and show up for yourself like never before? If so, I invite you to join me and a community of like-minded women at the Brave Enough 2023 Fall Retreat happening this November. Picture yourself surrounded by breathtaking landscapes that mirror the beauty within you. This retreat is a safe space where you can let go of the weight of the world and focus solely on nurturing yourself.
Neglecting Personal Interests and Hobbies
When was the last time you pursued a passion or engaged in an activity that brought you pure joy? For many women, this question hangs in the air, lost amidst the demands of work, family, and the endless to-do lists that consume our lives. We often get swept up in the daily grind, dedicating our time and energy to fulfilling the needs of others. In the process, we unknowingly let go of the very things that make us who we are – our interests, our creative outlets, and our hobbies. We may feel a sense of emptiness or a loss of identity as if a part of us has faded into the background.
Personal development is another crucial aspect often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of life. This involves activities that improve self-awareness, develop talents, build human capital, and facilitate employability. It also enhances the quality of life and contributes to the realization of dreams and aspirations. Pursuing hobbies and interests, learning a new skill, or even reading a book for self-enrichment are ways to foster personal development. Make time for these activities to break the pattern of self-ignoring behavior and continue to grow and evolve as an individual.
Imagine picking up that long-forgotten book that used to transport you to distant worlds or grabbing those paintbrushes that once allowed you to pour your heart onto a canvas. Those moments of pure bliss, of being in the flow, are invaluable. They remind us of our individuality and our uniqueness in a world that often expects us to fit predefined roles.
So, let's take a stand for ourselves. Let's carve out precious time for the activities that light up our souls – whether it's dancing, gardening, knitting, or even cooking up a storm in the kitchen. It doesn't matter what it is; what matters is that it fills your heart with happiness. And here's a beautiful side effect of nurturing your interests: you become a living, breathing example for your children and those around you. By showing them that self-care and pursuing passions are not indulgent luxuries, but essential for a fulfilled life, you teach them the value of honoring themselves.
Dear Self, I Hear You
In the chaos of everyday life, it's all too easy to neglect our needs and drown out our desires. But today, we will change that. You see, ignoring ourselves is not a sustainable path. It's like trying to hold back the waves of the ocean or silence the thundering storm. Our needs, our dreams, our yearnings—they demand to be acknowledged, to be embraced.
Are you tired of ignoring that little voice inside you? Do you yearn for the guidance and support of a community that understands your journey? I invite you to join me and a community of thriving women in the Brave Enough Women's CME Conference 2023, where a vibrant community of thriving women shares their transformative and empowering experience, particularly with this struggle.
So, sister, may this serve as your daily reminder every day to say this to yourself:
Dear self, I hear you, and I want you to know that you are deserving of love, care, and fulfillment. I promise to create space for you, to make room for your dreams and passions. I understand now that neglecting you means diminishing the very essence of who I am. I promise to carve out time for self-reflection and give you the attention you deserve.
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