Are You Getting the Best of You?

When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” — Paulo Coehlo

 
Who’s getting the best of you?
 
Is it your customers? Is it your kids? Is it your partner?
 
If you answered yes to any of those, you’re wrong. If you’re not getting the best of you, no one is.
 
Let’s imagine that your energy and resources are like a well. Continually giving everyone else your best and not giving yourself the best of you is like dipping into that well constantly without letting it refill. At a certain point, you’ll be scraping the bottom.
 
And when your well is dry, you can’t give water to anyone.
 
But there’s no time!, you object. (Yes, I heard you.)
 
I know it seems that way, but underneath the appearance of a time vacuum is an amalgam of priorities, intentions, and actions out of alignment. We all have the same 24 hours available to us, and it’s true that you’re juggling being a mom, an entrepreneur, a partner, the star PTA member, the head of neighborhood watch, and …
 
Slow down, Superwoman. Yes, you are a superhero, but even superheroes need a break.
 
Trying to be all things to all people is as bad for us on the personal side as it is for our businesses. One of the easiest ways to find time to give yourself the best is to get real about the things you really want to excel in and all the things you don’t need to.
 
For instance, you could decide that Mrs. Jones next door – who will inevitably ratchet up the Super Mom war no matter what you do – can head the neighborhood watch, thus freeing up that time, energy, and attention for you to build your business or spend more time being with your kids instead of just running them everywhere.
 
Or maybe Glee and Grey’s Anatomy aren’t providing the same value to you as they used to and you could instead take a bath while you listen to spa music on Pandora. (Pandora Spa Radio + bath = bliss, I promise.) And, even if Glee and Grey’s Anatomy are nourishing you, you could do some task layering and watch them on your laptop while you’re cooking or folding laundry.
 
Perhaps waking up 30 minutes earlier – which is easier than you think if you take the transition slower – would give you 30 minutes of quiet time for you before the kids wake up and you jump headlong into the fray of juggling all the different roles you need to be for everyone else.
 
These are just a few weekday changes you could make. There are also many ways to make your weekends more spacious and you-supportive, too.
 
You are your single best asset, so don’t wait for other people to take care of you.
 
Yes, I am dogged about this. I work with moms and wives almost every day, and I’m married to an awesome woman who has strong over-achiever tendencies.
 
I’ve experienced the difference between these superwomen giving and living from the inside out rather than depleting themselves in the steadfast effort to take care of everything and everybody else.
 
You deserve the best of you. And everyone around you benefits when you get it.
 
 

How are you going to make time to give yourself the best part of you today? What specific change are you going to make?

 
 

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Charlie Gilkey

Charlie Gilkey helps creative people thrive in life and business at Productive Flourishing. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook to get bit-sized slices of mojo, inspiration, and biz advice.
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36 Comments

  1. Katie Benedetto

    I’m going to work on my love-project every single day, make at least some small improvement every single day – a habit I’ve wanted to start for months but have denied myself, often thinking other things are more important that day. 🙂

    PS, thanks for asking – writing somehow makes it real, like I’ve promised you and therefore must! 🙂

    Reply
  2. ALifeinBalance (@ALifeinBalance_) (@ALifeinBalance_)

    Are you putting on your own oxygen mask first? @HeathALL – http://t.co/icWKl9OR

    Reply
  3. tisha

    In my grown up job I talk to people about this all the time. It’s especially true for my small business this weekend. I have a big show that I have been working on projects for. I’m stressed and want to make sure everything is done on time and looks great. Throwing in 30 minutes for myself is only going to help me, give me energy, and make my concentration better.

    Fingers crossed I remember this on Saturday morning.

    Reply
  4. Melanie Oster (@Dream2theMax) (@Dream2theMax)

    Are You Getting the Best of You? http://t.co/3aRGE53Y

    Reply
  5. Meg (@Bloom_OnlineNZ) (@Bloom_OnlineNZ)

    Are You Getting the Best of You? | The Mogul Mom http://t.co/c7BGOusB

    Reply
  6. Melody

    Beautifully written! And I love the tip on watching something from your laptop while you fold laundry. 😀

    Thanks Charlie & Heather.

    Reply
  7. Jessica @Early Endeavors

    Love this! I use this in my presentations to child care providers all the time (ahem, but hardly rememember to heed the advice myself). If your well runs dry you won’t have anything to give to anyone!

    Thank you for the reminder. Charlie seems to hit the nail on the head every. single. time.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Doesn’t he, Jessica? I’m not sure how he does it. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Ali Davies

    I do the getting up early thing and it works a treat. Amazing how much can actually be achieved at that time of day just because there are no distractions. There is also a special feeling about that time of day linked to the peace and quiet that makes it very relaxing even when powering through the to do list.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      It’s true, Ali – enjoy your peace. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Hillary

    Wow, this was such a great post. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to just choose to take care of yourself, because everyone’s needs are multi-layered, but keeping this awareness and dedication to your own well being as a priority can certainly help. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    • Charlie Gilkey

      Ah, if only the simple things were easy! 🙂

      Like anything else, it’s a practice, and one that’s especially hard since it has decades of inertia working against it. It’s so worth it, though!

      Reply
      • Heather Allard

        Just as in “What About Bob?”, it’s all about babysteps. Doing even ONE small thing to nurture yourself – daily, weekly, monthly (or whatever you can manage) – sends a message to your spirit, to your being that you MATTER.

        Believe me, Hillary, I know how tough it can be – but there are ways to make yourself more of a priority. Babysteps… 🙂

        Reply
  10. Sarah

    I don’t think this post was supposed to make us cry but it did. In a good, open the flood gates kind of way.

    The best of me has been lost for a while but I’m literally adding her (me) into my daily calendar (which now only houses things I’m doing for others). Thank you for this post!

    Bravo!

    Reply
    • Charlie Gilkey

      Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Sarah. An open floodgate lets built-up pressure move downstream. 🙂

      And please do yourself on the calendar. You’ve been doing some amazing work – I can only imagine what you’ll do when you’re making room for yourself.

      Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Bravo, indeed Sarah!

      Charlie has a way of writing posts that stay with me forever and change me for the better – I think he’s now had that effect on you. 🙂

      Reply
  11. LaTersa Blakely

    Charlie,

    this is a very great article and one that i can definitely relate to. I had to learn the hard way that if i’m not giving myself those needed things that help me to be my best, then i’m no good to anyone else.

    Now, i take time for me on a daily basis, whether it’s just to soak in the bath tub, or take a jog. On weekends, when my husband’s home with the kids, I take one full day and just do me, like getting a pedicure, eyebrows waxed and window shopping. I love taking time for me and now I don’t have to fill guilty about doing it.

    I love it,
    LaTersa

    Reply
    • Charlie Gilkey

      I love taking time for me and now I don’t have to fill guilty about doing it.

      Mom-guilt runs rampant this way. Of course we want others to have some “time for them” – and we know it’s good for them – but when it’s our time, we layer it up with guilt. This just highlights the difference between knowing something is good for us and truly understanding that it’s good for us – and that we count in the whole “us” equation.

      Reply
  12. Bhavna (@jewelry_diva)

    Are You Getting the Best of You? | The Mogul Mom http://t.co/Vl2oDSFL

    Reply
  13. Lisa Wood

    Awesome and very timely post (well, when *isn’t* a self-care reminder timely?)

    And I had no idea that Pandora has a spa channel – off to check that now!

    Reply
  14. Heather Allard

    Charlie,

    For the first time in 11 years, I am home alone for 3 hours each weekday. I hadn’t realized how much I needed that alone time – until now.

    I feel SO much better in every way now that I have – and USE – this time to do things I haven’t done in so long – walking, doing yoga, cooking, reading, cleaning, meditating, doctor visits, just sitting sometimes. All things that nurture ME. 🙂

    Speaking of doctor visits, my primary care physician asked if I’d seen a dermatologist (melanoma runs in the family) and I said, “Not in a long time”. She said, “Why not?” and I said, “I guess with a business and three kids, I always put myself last on the list”. She answered, “Well guess what? You’re going to start climbing back up to the top of that list.”

    She’s totally right. It’s time I got the best of me…there’s more to share with others that way. 🙂

    Thanks for another out-of-the-park post.
    Heather

    Reply
    • Charlie Gilkey

      Thanks for giving these ideas a good home, Heather!

      I hadn’t realized how much I needed that alone time – until now.

      This is often how it is – we overload and neglect ourselves so much that it becomes our normal. But it doesn’t mean that our normal is nourishing.

      And, for what it’s worth, it’s been great watching you climb to the top of that list. Yes, I’ve noticed. 🙂

      Reply
      • Heather Allard

        🙂

        YOU have been a huge part of me climbing to the top of the list, Charlie – every single post you write sticks in my head, stays in my heart and changes me for the better. Thank you, my friend.

        Reply

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