Do you put everyone else first?
Is it time to stop putting everyone else first? The kids, your partner, the needs of your ageing parents, your boss, your team, the business you work for… even the dog! Or perhaps I should ask… when was the last time you put your own needs at the top of the priority list?
Perhaps like me you were raised to be caring, considerate and helpful, to do as we are asked and to work hard. These qualities work really well in many areas of our life but at work they can leave us over worked and undervalued.
Consistently putting the needs of others before our own is rarely a conscious choice.
It creeps up on us and one day we look around to find that we are prioritizing and supporting the careers of others.
We give to others. We take care of others. We work late into the evening finishing work others have deemed most important. We put our own priorities and needs to one side while we support the priorities of others.
Many of us fall into this trap.
And it’s often at the determent of our career progression, our health, our lifestyle and our relationships.
You accept a heavier workload. You say yes to unreasonable requests. You expend time and energy on projects that fall outside your job role. All which leaves you no time for you. As a result, you may feel overwhelmed, overworked, and unappreciated… often leading to frustration and burnout.
In my work as a women’s leadership coach I see many smart professional women who are frustrated, unfulfilled and burnt out. They have fallen into this trap of taking care of the needs of others at the expense of their own needs, desires and aspirations.
Wondering if this is you???
Here are 4 signs it’s time to make your goals and aspiration a priority
1. Your career has stalled.
Where once you were being offered promotions and interesting opportunities every couple of years… now you seem to be going no where fast. Ask yourself whether in part it’s because you have taken your eye off the ball and failed to stay focused on what’s most important to you and your career development.
Doing low impact work that does not demonstrate your greatest strengths will not get you seen, recognised or valued. A dynamic career that continues to inspire and challenge takes networking, strategic positioning and demonstrating your best work. And you can’t do much of any of that if you are busy taking care of someone else’s priorities.
2. You’re constantly exhausted.
Are you skipping your planned exercise, working late into the night, or experiencing stress and anxiety related to the volume of work you have said yes to. If you are… it’s little wonder you are constantly tired.
Taking care of others while neglecting your own needs is exhausting. Every time you say yes to take on another project or responsibility, you know it means extending your workload. But at what expense?
3. You’re bored and unfulfilled.
You are smart and highly capable so why are you stuck doing uninspiring, menial work that does not light your fire? While you are busy being busy, taking care of everyone else, it’s hard to find the time or energy to build your career.
4. You experience resentment. This is a tricky one for us to admit. It’s not who we are and it’s not an emotion we are comfortable with.
But have you noticed a nagging feeling that takes over when you put the needs of others first. You know that it’s holding you back from what you really want but you’ve fallen into the pattern and your not sure how to get out of it.
Striving to make everyone else happy all of the time is not sustainable.
It might be possible in the short term, but ultimately, the only person you have complete control over is you.
It’s time to draw a line in the sand and make yourself your first priority.
You’ll be happier in your work and a better professional for it. Let’s make your needs a priority and to focus on building a career that’s meaningful, fuels your soul and truly gives you a sense of achievement. It’s time to take action.
To help you get all the support, clarity and direction you need to flourish and feel fully alive again in your work I have created a brand new program called The Leadership Connection.
No more waiting. No more going it alone. No more putting everyone else first.