I got a massage this weekend and it has easily been 3 or 4 years since the last time I took care of myself in this manner. Some of you reading this may be like “What?! I get a massage every month, what’s your problem?” Well, the truth is that in my mind, there was always something that was more important. I had been experiencing some tension in my body for months and thought about getting a massage constantly but just never made it a priority.
As I lay there on the table with the warm towels covering me and the expert fingers kneading all the knots and tension out of my head, neck and shoulders, two thoughts crossed my mind. The first one was “whatever I am paying for this, it’s worth it!” and the 2nd one was “why in the world did I wait so long to do this?”
As I thought about the answer, I had to shake my head mentally because the simple fact of the matter is that I just had not ever prioritized my self-care in this area. I am sure that there are some of you who can relate to this because after all, with two growing children with never-ending needs, a growing business, a home, bills and other commitments, there just always seemed to be something that was more pressing or urgent.
I also realized that more than anything else, it was my belief system that kept me from making this a priority. It doesn’t matter what we tell ourselves in our heads, what we really believe and value is what shows up in our actions and somewhere along the line, I had come to believe that massages were an indulgence and that despite the fact that my body was telling me it was needed, my belief system was telling me that it was NOT essential to my well-being and I could continue to put it off.
It was while reading a book called Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols that I started to see what I was doing. Ms. Nichols is a world-renowned life and business coach and she shared in her book that for many years she struggled with the same thing, even as a successful coach. She explained that it stemmed from the way she grew up and those subliminal messages that we pick up in the world about money and prioritizing ourselves, etc.
She explained the that there is a difference between self-care and indulgence – one being the necessary prioritization of care that you need for your body, soul and spirit so that you can be your best self NOW as you serve others and the other being putting your future in jeopardy to satisfy your wants NOW. Wow! What a revelation!
She went on to explain how energy passes through our body, especially for those in service industries where we are constantly giving out and how necessary it is to have a release. That really resonated with me because as a coach, I talk to several people a day and there is a huge amount of energy being exchanged; because of this, I need a release in order to be my best self.
As a coach, I see my clients struggle with the same issues. I have personally talked to many people who hate their jobs and don’t really know how to transition out of it. They have become accustomed to the standard of living that the money brings or the comfort associated with their strong base of knowledge in the field and so they keep putting it off because they feel guilty because they not only have a job – but a job that compensates them well.
They keep hearing how “good they have it” and they feel guilty and don’t want to appear ungrateful but the fact of the matter is that we cannot compare ourselves to anybody – not people who have better jobs or people who have no jobs – no one’s situation is the same.
We were created to give the world something unique and when we are working in that space, we will be deeply satisfied and able to bless and help the world. Conversely when we are not in that space, we are going to be miserable and dissatisfied and in a lot of cases that translates into making other people around you miserable because misery loves company.
So don’t get self-care confused with self-indulgence. Get the massage, hire the coach, do whatever you have to do to ensure that you working in at your highest level and then you will know that when you are giving out of your giftings, you are giving your best.
About Me: I am a career strategy and confidence coach and I help highly skilled, seasoned professionals get into work that they define as meaningful/fulfilling by getting crystal clear on what satisfying work looks like to them, challenging and supporting them as they break through mental limitations and confidence blockers that have held them back, and by together, crafting a strategic plan sets them on a path to securing meaningful work without a decrease in quality of life.
Are you ready take your career in your hands and make the leap from “just a job” to work that YOU define as meaningful?
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