When you open your mouth, who is talking?
Have you ever said:
“I can’t afford…”
“I don’t deserve…”
“I don’t have the time to…”, particularly when it comes to your self-care?
Do you find yourself spending money on your children, your company, or your cause FIRST, thus sacrificing your needs or at best, making do with what’s left?
The leftovers are usually exhaustion, stress, no appreciation or recognition for your “sacrifices,” lack of fulfillment, and no money-strapped for cash.
If any of this sounds achingly familiar, you may want to consider that you don’t value you.
If you valued you the way you value your child’s education, you would put you first. You know what you have done – research school districts, jockey for college prep classes or foreign language courses, or get them into the school/college that will get them the connections and credibility for a lifetime.)
Let me explain.
People pay for and spend time on what they value. Period. No one has to twist his or her arm to get it done.
If you are not putting money and time into you, you don’t value you.
I can hear the outcry: “But Dr. Venus, my kids NEED me! My business NEEDS me! My church, charity or black-sheep family member NEEDS my help! It is MY responsibility! If I don’t step up and handle it, who will? ”
Who will indeed?
A dear colleague’s daughter had two extreme run-ins at her middle school. She and her husband sold their house and moved to another part of town that had better schools.
Quite frankly, I was impressed with her—as a parent.
When I asked her how her exercise regimen was going, she had not been in the gym because she was SO busy.
How about taking that course that would teach her how to delegate? Her response: too expensive, with the move and all.
What about going to yoga or to the spa for a treat? She said that is too frivolous.
Well, I guess she told me.
She asked me, “Why do I keep putting myself off?”
I told her, “Because you are rewarded for it.”
Black women are rewarded for self-sacrifice with social recognition, approval (i.e., good parent, dedicated work, loyal friend, etc.) and by internal drivers that keep our identity in place.
An internal driver could be, “I’m not going to be like my dad.” Your whole life then becomes the playground where you act out how much you are NOT like your dad. (i.e., how you run your business, how you raise your children, etc.)
Except the more things change, the more things stay the same.
And you inevitably end up acting just like your dad – doing the things you despised or conversely not being able to react when it really is necessary.
So you are a prisoner.
You’ve become a slave to outward recognition or inward domination. What’s running the show is your history with your parents instead of a created relationship with yourself.
This dance puts a lid on how much money you can make, how much money you will ask for, and how much money you can tolerate.