If you are like me, you are available night and day to all of the people in your network of business associates, friends and family.
Only going on my own experience here, I think it started way back when, as a need to be needed. Ouch. There, I said it. But, then, over time, it became a habit and an ingrained part of my personal brand. I don’t think I would go so far as to say it became a personality trait – because I don’t need to be needed anymore.
And just because I don’t feel this need anymore, doesn’t mean that those in my life feel the same way. They have a picture of me, I belong to a set of principles that they can tap into, they are used to me needing to feel needed. And they want that back!
So, how do I help them adjust, balance their needs with mine?
Do you run across these same issues? How do you handle them?
I have a few suggestions that I have tried, that work, or am trying and I will give you results later.
I have set firm boundaries.
When my kids left home, I took back the time that I had given them(of course, it was A LOT!). Initially, I felt guilty and very self-centered. Initially, they thought I was very self-centered and complained of feeling abandoned. Took a few years, but, they are over it and so am I.
When I resigned as a working partner in my husband’s business, I turned my attention to creating/operating my own business. Firmly, on a daily basis, I assure him that we are still life partners, but, I am no longer available 24/7 for his business. We are still working on it – because he doesn’t want this to change. If I hit the magic answer I will share it with you.
Managing the daily needs of my business is a bit tougher, as I am the chief cook and bottle washer. I created blocks of time in my day. I do this at this time, that at that time. I meet people face to face only on this day, I take phone appointments only on that day. For the most part it works. And I try not to allow too many special circumstances to intervene.
Personal time has gotten easier. I realized that in order to be able to get up every day, I had to have something fun to look forward to – something that belonged only to me. For quite some time, belly dancing satisfied that need. Then last year I added obstacle racing. Then, the obstacle racing accident interrupted all of my routines for awhile. At that time, it was all about me… and my recovery.
Thank goodness that time is past. But, the silver lining in that experience is this:
You have to take care of you and your needs in order to take care of anyone else. You can not really give, or serve others well, until you give and serve to yourself. Really. It’s not selfish, self centered, wrong or anything else negative that you might want to call it. It is a fact.
So, how are you doing this? Share with your thoughts with us so we can all learn from each other