You put yourself last. You are always there to help your loved ones, but you rarely ask for anything in return. You treat other people’s feelings and needs as more important than your own. You take responsibility for their pain. Or, you minimize and invalidate your own pain by comparing it to the very real and atrocious suffering that exists globally - and conclude that your own distress doesn’t matter. You play “suffering olympics” - and you lose every time. When you do try to prioritize your own needs and feelings you feel guilty. Self-care often feels selfish.
When you really think about it, your huge efforts to help others, or contribute meaningfully to society, are motivated by your tireless effort to justify your existence. You believe that if you can only find a way to be more useful, you will feel more worthy.
We all have an inner critic - but yours is so mean! You have probably been told you are hard on yourself. Your expectations for yourself are sky-high! You rarely feel “good enough.” Too often, you feel inadequate, an imposter - despite your tireless efforts to perform well and care for others. This breeds anxiety, shame, and self-doubt.
You have a hard time reaching out to others; the worse you feel, the harder it is to express your feelings to others. You tend to smile and say you’re fine when you’re not - even with people who you suspect may actually want to know. Deep down, you are afraid that the other person will judge you, dismiss you, or make you feel worse. When you do reach out, you tell yourself you are "weak" or "needy."
Let's Do Something About This!
The good news is that these issues can be worked through! I can help you feel more entitled to your feelings and treat yourself more compassionately. This leads to improvements in self-worth, relationships, and overall well-being. Reach out to book a no-cost consult and find out more.