I’ve always prided on myself for the fact that I give an endless supply of energy towards other people. Even in my most exhausting moments I still found myself in a place where I’d find myself eager to assist others and their needs. It never got old to me. But then it got to the point where I found myself becoming bitter that people were coming to me so frequently that I didn’t even have time for myself. That’s when I realized, even the most kind-hearted, supportive, selfless and loving people can burn out.
The problem with being such devoted people is that we don’t even realize how much we mean to other people and how big of a support system we are for them. It’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s lives even to have a moment to think what they think of us.
We like to help people, we love doing it and are flattered that someone would think so highly of us that they feel comfortable to tell us what’s up. Plus, we enjoy that it gives us a purpose in the moments we are feeling weak. On the flip side, we also feel horrible for denying someone help, even though we have every reason to say no for once. So we never say “not tonight,” or “no.”
By caving into them and letting our guilt eat us alive for wanting a moment of peace or alone time to recharge, we continue to burn ourselves. We do it unconditionally. Then it gets to the point where helping someone else can become one of our other stresses.
We already worry about work, school, our love lives, finances, becoming an adult, our family and friends, and other life challenges, then we throw someone else’s stresses on top of our pile and worry ourselves more. We drown in worry and ultimately worsen ourselves. Why? Because we are people pleasers.
Apparently, the people relying on us don’t realize that they may be taking up all of our spare time, it’s understandable, especially in the middle of an emotional moment. But once they become aware you will slightly see them back off and give you more space. Sometimes it makes the world of a difference.
One of the hardest realities to realize is that when we finally get to our breaking point, which we all do eventually, we have no one there for us. It’s as if we are suddenly alone and that only causes more harm.
Where did our “friends” go? They probably feel because you are always so strong for them that you don’t have moments of weakness like they do. They see you as confident, strong and resilient. They have no idea just how upset this could make you. So don’t be afraid if you need to come clean to them. If they’re a real friend, they will accept you with open arms.
Take time to learn about yourself, invest in your own growth and stop worrying about the affirmation of others. Part of learning is reflecting on the progress we’ve made, not the process. Focus on your blessings and what helps you become one with yourself and implement those reminders into your day to day lives to help stop you from burning out.
So yes, we love projects. But even those who love the most entertaining puzzles need to take a break to help figure it out too sometimes. Focus on yourself because you are the biggest project and piece of work you will ever work on.
Feature image via Isabel May