Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Learn the missing ingredient that must come first.
I have always been a passionate woman with big ideas and a desire to reach for them. I had lots of energy to throw at them too. On the other hand, I was aware that whenever my husband and kids were around, I couldn’t get much done. I had to be alone to be productive. Why?
As an Emotional Caretaker™ I was forever taking detours.
They were, in fact, compromises but I couldn’t see that because I didn’t think I was giving anything up or giving anything away. I was just pausing to “help” before getting back to my stuff. If only it worked out that way.
Imagine you are taking a road trip from San Francisco to New York. You estimate arriving at your destination in 6 days, having added time for legitimate pit stops for gas, food and sleep. In our analogy the destination (New York) is your vision, what you are passionate about, what you want to contribute to the world.
You hit somewhere around Nevada when the first call comes in. “Hey, will you stop off in Arizona and pick something up for me?” Arizona is south, it’s the opposite direction of your destination. But hey, it’s not too far and you quickly adjust your schedule, add a day and make the detour.
Errand completed, you are heading north when the second call comes in. This time the request is for a favor that will take you to New Mexico. Hey, that’s just a little east of where you are, not really that much out of your way so again, you adjust your time and off you go to New Mexico. You are passing through Denver when the third call comes in asking you to make a stop in Oklahoma City … southeast of where you are.
You’re an Emotional Caretaker so of course you make the third detour, but the adjustments are getting harder to make. More calls come, more detours until days later you find yourself in New Orleans. By now you are totally discouraged and New York is feeling like an impossibility. You tell yourself that you simply dreamed too big and turn your car around and head back to San Francisco. In other words, you go back to being who you were before you started dreaming. Sound familiar?
Giving, which started out OK, turns to pain as you find yourself farther and farther away from your vision. Emotional Caretaking is giving that hurts.
It’s when you become entangled in another person’s emotions or business even when it comes at the cost of your own well-being or life. Since the early detours didn’t feel so bad, it’s easy to understand why it can be so hard to know where the line is. When did the giving start to hurt? Where did things go wrong?
Giving and doing for others can be very fulfilling when it is done freely and from a place of being at choice. As soon as we are not at choice, giving starts to hurt. In our example above, the “problem” was created with the very first detour. How? By saying an automatic “yes” to the request that was made of you. Put yourself there now. You’re in the car; your favorite music is playing and the wind is in your face. You’re SO happy! The call comes in and from your state of happiness you immediately say “yes.” Right here, right now you are not at choice. This is your first detour and you are not at choice.
To be at choice you must stop and realign with your purpose in that moment, which is getting to New York. That is what is yours to do, this is your business.
When a call comes in and someone requests that you handle his or her business for them, your decision should not be based on feeling happy or feeling like you “have to” say yes. Instead, stop and ask yourself, “What impact will it have on my purpose if I make this detour?”
To be at choice you must make a clear and informed decision that aligns with your values and purpose. The fact that you can do a favor for this person does not mean that you should do the favor. Eventually all the detours catch up with you and weigh you down. You find yourself giving up and heading home.
We all want to feel fulfilled in life, that is a given. It is how we attempt to have our fulfillment that is key. I have always had trouble creating visions that are destinations off into the future. My experience was that the vision was either too hard to reach or if I did reach it, it never brought the fulfillment or satisfaction I thought it would. Sometimes it felt easier to simply not dream.
So, what’s the answer? It begins with understanding that fulfillment is an inside job.
It means taking the time to establish fulfillment before you create a vision. Lasting fulfillment comes from knowing your core heart values and living in alignment with them each moment of the day. When you live in alignment with your values you won’t always be comfortable but you will be fulfilled.
To begin, learn everything you can about Emotional Caretaking (which is actually a state of stress in the body). Next, identify your values and learn how to align with them. This will allow you to stop taking detours and slowly, over time, plug the leak emotional caretaking creates.
Reducing Emotional Caretaking and living in alignment with your values will build an authentic feeling of fulfillment within you. Each moment you will be living from, and out of, fulfillment that is an actual experience in your body of well-being and contentment. Now you’re ready to ask, “What is mine to do? What is my vision, my purpose or my calling?”
When you generate fulfillment first and then create a vision, you live in service to the vision.
When you create a vision first you hope it will create fulfillment for you. Here the vision is in service to you. It never works this way.
It’s the difference between living out of fulfillment each day in service to something important in the world vs. living out of “need” trying to achieve a vision you hope will make you feel important. Which one do you want?
If you are like me, you want to live each moment out of a state of fulfillment that you generate from within. To have this – and you can have it, you must learn how to get coherent and access the power and intelligence of your heart. (Learn how to get coherent here.)
You’re asking big questions: Who am I? How do I want to show up in the world in each moment? How do I want to treat people? In essence you’re asking, “Who am I being?”
When you focus on these questions and build fulfillment from within, you bring a different person into the world. This “new” woman (you!) will uniquely and positively impact the people around her.
Since you’re focused on “who you are being” as your source of fulfillment you will always bring the best version possible of yourself everywhere you go. The people around you will offer you possibilities and opportunities not available the other way, the way of the Emotional Caretaker.
Now, from a place of living out of fulfillment, from a focus on who you are being vs. what you are achieving, your vision becomes something alive and vibrant. It is not some static, fixed image in the future. It’s right here, right now being co-created between you and the world.
Are you are ready to stop taking detours and to start living out of fulfillment? Join my four week group, Fulfillment First. This group is intimate and personal with only six participants, providing you with tangible tools so you can start saying “yes” to you.
Click here for details and to learn about this one time only 50% off offer.