Are you the person who always wants to help and support everyone around you?
Do you keep on giving and giving to others? Even to the point you compromise your own agenda and well-being?
If you answered ‘YES’ to those questions, I have good news: You are a caring, kind and loving person! The desire to help others is perfectly natural and is a fantastic attribute.
I also have bad news: If you ever get to the point where you are physically tired and mentally drained because you are sacrificing yourself… this is not a good way to live your life. In fact you might even be digging yourself an early grave.
What is needed is greater balance in your life.
Here are three strategies that will help:
Understand Your Needs.
Spend time to reflect on what you need personally to feel good and energised. Be clear and specific, write these elements down and ensure you make them a part of your life everyday.
Think of this list like the safety advice you get before take-off on a plane. They always tell you that if the air masks are released, to put yours on first before helping others, this is because you are in a better position to help others when you are not suffocating!
This principle works in life too… The best, most capable version of you is more able to help others effectively, than a run down, tired and stressed out version of you.
Work out where you really add value
Spending your time trying to do everything for everyone isn’t productive or helpful. Spend some time to figure out where you can make the biggest difference and focus your attention on that, imagine how much value you will add to those around you if you only make big differences!
“If it doesn’t add value, It’s waste.”
You will find that 20% of the actions you take create 80% of the output you want. So if you have a list of 10 things to-do… 2 of these things will deliver 80% of the productivity and helpfulness you want to give.
Target the important 20% and you will consistently add massive value AND you will have more spare time!
If someone asks you to help them and it doesn’t allow you to reach your personal needs OR it doesn’t fit into the important 20% of actions that will add massive value, then say ‘no’.
You have permission to say ‘no’.
Saying ‘yes’ to everything and everyone means you don’t value yourself and you don’t value what you can give to others. Say ‘no’ more often means you will add more value and it can also save you from burning out!
Putting it all together
Serving those around you is an inspiring and wonderful way to live.
Just remember that to significantly help others, you have to be at your best. This means ensuring your wellbeing is a big priority.
Also, it is important to know where you can add the most value and then place your focus there. You can add real tangible value, if you focus on the important stuff! Don’t waste time on being busy, that is a game you can’t win.
Finally, learn to say ‘no’… It will free your time, allow you to be at you best and allow you to help others at an advanced level.