You are probably the pillar of your community – you are the person to whom people come to ask for help, advice or support. You are the one organizing what needs to be organized and opening your heart to those who need you. Helping others gives you enormous satisfaction, you feel good about the fact they come to you for help. The problem starts when your obligations start to mount and you begin to run out of both energy, and the hours in the day. In the end, you may find yourself inevitably disappointing someone – if not the person seeking your help, then your family or friends, who barely have any time to spend with you, or who can only spend it with you only when you are already exhausted from all your projects or constantly thinking about them.
You probably know you cannot do everything for everyone. But how can you say no to someone who comes to you to ask for help? Wouldn’t that hurt them, make them feel rejected? Wouldn’t that make you the bad person, the unhelpful one? You may fear saying no, or feel guilty about it when you have to do it.
If you identify with some or all of the above, you are probably a caring, sensitive and loving person, but you have problems in setting the limits of what you can and what you cannot do. So you end up overstretching and exhausting yourself, because you do not want to disappoint others.
I can help you take an honest look at the way you function now and figure out where your true, actual limits are, how much time you can commit to certain projects, help you prioritize and choose where to put your energy. I can also help you cope with any anxiety and guilt you might feel about setting those limits and help you learn to do so it a way which is not rejecting or aggressive.
You may wonder at this point if it’s OK to set such limits, if it’s not egocentric. But how can you help others effectively, if you don’t nourish and look after yourself? There is a reason why all airlines tell parents to put oxygen masks on themselves first, then on their children, in case of emergency. If you drain and burn yourself out, how is that going to be helpful to anybody around you? Setting the limits and keeping your boundaries will help you put your energy where it will matter most.