But, But, But… what about my family, my job, my parents, my dogs, and my ……?

Self-discovery and finding the things you are passionate about are not a selfish endeavors. I’ll say that again.  It is not selfish to take care of yourself and seek out the things that bring you purpose, satisfaction, and joy.

You don’t have to abandon your family, your responsibilities, or your current job to explore your passions or reinvent yourself. But reinvention does require you to give yourself the freedom to make time and space for yourself, to think about what you want, and to give that as much importance and significance as you give to others—and maybe even more significance at times!

It is not easy for some of us to acknowledge that you do NOT have to be everything to everyone.  That doing good things for yourself, recognizing or expanding your knowledge, skills, and talents is good for you and good for others. 

After all, a rising tide lifts all boats! Be the rising tide! 

Because when you invest in yourself, others will benefit as well, especially your family. When you pursue your own interests and talents, you will be more self-assured and content. People will see you shine and feel your energy.  Your disposition can uplift the whole house!

As you develop yourself, you show your partner, your children, and your friends that its valuable and possible to chase your dreams. You can really inspire others, and its great role modeling.

And when you make time for your own wellbeing by taking great care of your physical and mental health, putting time into your passion projects or hobbies, learning something interesting, or having a more fulfilling job, etc., you will have more energy and be more engaged and able to truly show up for others in a way that benefits both of you.

That said, you will probably find that not everyone will be happy with your decisions.  They may feel threatened or resistant to the changes they see in you. Maybe your spouse wants you to continue to make dinner every night like you always did, but you are now taking a class that interferes with that. Or your parents, children, or even friends have expectations that you will do certain things for and with them, and they are not happy when you are not available.  

How will you deal with that?  Of course, if it’s an emergency, you are on top of it!  Also, if someone you are truly responsible for is not well or has a real lack of ability to do certain things, you may need to help or take care of them yourself or find others to support those needs. We’ll talk about caregivers in this group a little bit later.

But if it’s optional, if it has become the habit of you and your family to do it all, it is time to stop and reconsider how this is impacting you. It could be time for some habit change.

It may also be good to consider that when you do things for other people, things that they can do for themselves, this can be over-functioning.  When you are over-functioning for others, they have a way of not taking care of their things, and even more falls onto you.  This is disempowering for them and really frustrating for you. So, consider allowing others to do the tasks that they are able to do for themselves. 

They may not like it when you start this, but they will probably get used to it and respect it. You can reassure them that you love and care for them, but you need to do these things for you. It is good to set some healthy boundaries around how you are going to spend your time and energy for others while you continue to pursue your own dreams.  Trust that, in time, they will feel the benefits that your transformation brings, and they might even start to blossom alongside you.

You are the rising tide!

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