Growing up I was a “performer.” Whether it was on the ice as a figure skater or the stage as a dancer, or the backyard with my baton… I performed. I realize now that unconsciously I was searching for someone to pay attention to me; to care about me; to “see” me in the way I wanted to be seen.
That need to get others to help me feel special or important continued as I went through a string of unsuccessful relationships, did stupid things to “fit in”, always people pleasing, etc. For as long as I can remember I’ve bent over backward to please others and get that pat on the back – that ounce of recognition.
In one way it’s served the “achiever” in me to get things done, because if I got things done and made people happy that empty part inside would get a temporary “fix.” I’ve never been addicted to mind-altering substances but I can understand the need for that fix – that moment of “atta girl” that would hopefully make me feel better and whole.
The question that seems to be a theme in all of my searching was “what about me?”
Didn’t I matter? Wasn’t I good enough? Was I not lovable? Would someone please see me? Is what I say or do important to anyone? WHAT ABOUT ME? These and many other questions rattled my brain incessantly… nudging me to try harder, do more, perform better, say yes when I wanted to say no, put others needs ahead of my own, etc.
It’s exhausting. And thankfully I’ve found a way to the other side…
What I’ve discovered is a version of this question that has EMPOWERED me to live a different life. So I want to share it with you…
If you noticed the energy of my question “What about me?” you can feel that question being directed at the outside world…. at other people. While I never asked people that question out loud (at least that I can remember) I lived and breathed that question to other people all the time.
Not too long ago I had one of those thump-on-the-head moments when I saw the exact reverse of this question as the MOST important question I could ever ask. And that was to ask it of MYSELF – not anybody else.
This shift in asking myself, “what about me?” has been the cause for some of the most empowering decisions I’ve made in my life. (I continue to be stretched in this area.)
It’s amazing how the Universe shows up to support you with exactly what you need at the time you need it. For me, I recently had someone who I love and I know loves me deeply tell me that they couldn’t attend my Breakthrough event next week.
He knew for a while that it wasn’t the right time for him to be there, but planned on attending anyway to support me. Finally, with great difficulty, he sent me an email that said he was apologized but needed to do what’s right for him and wouldn’t be coming to Breakthrough. I got how difficult of a decision this was for him to honor what was right for him.
At first I was disappointed because I’d been excited to see him, but then I “got” the gift! He loved me enough to model for me what it looked like when he asked HIMSELF, “What about me?” He needs to do what’s right for him, I totally get it and I support him 100% in that. And when we talked last week I thanked him for being a teacher and example of making the very difficult decision to do what was right for him, rather what he wanted to do to please me. And that’s only one miracle the Universe has conspired for me to get this more than I ever have before.
Saying “no” has always been a challenge for me. I genuinely love people, want to help, serve and say “yes” to them. It’s still difficult to ask myself “what about me?”– though it’s getting easier.
But here’s the thing. As I practiced saying no about a dozen times last week I could feel tons of ENERGY returning to my body. I felt waves of enthusiasm and excitement increasing for those things I say “yes” to like my Breakthrough event and MasterHeart program. By being more generous with my “no’s” it’s making the “yes’s” so much more powerful, energizing and exciting; and THAT is the place from which I can make the biggest difference.
So, how about you? Have you ever asked someone (verbally or non-verbally) “What about me?” If so, I invite you to turn that question around on yourself and ask YOU “what about you?” This simple act will empower you to take better care of yourself, make the difficult decisions, say “no” when you want to say “no” and “yes” when you want to say “yes”, do less… and BE more!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. It’s been such an empowering experience to turn this question on myself. I hope it offers the same for you. Let me know what you think by commenting below. Thank you!