Three remarKable ways to reclaim your time and power
Do you find yourself feeling that you don't own your life anymore? Do you feel like a machine working so hard to accomplish so many things, just so you can get more tasks to do? Just like many women, you may feel that you don't own your time. Doesn't it feel as if your life isn't yours? But, don't worry. You can reclaim your time and regain your sense of power back.
They didn't teach us to put ourselves first
How did we wind up in this mess? A big part of the issue lays in the ways our parents raised us. With the best intentions, they thought us to be good girls and to be of service to others. This kind of upbringing helped us accomplish many things and be sensible human beings. We've learned some great skills in life.
If we also learned how to pay attention to our own needs, everything would be better. But somehow, we wind up prioritizing everyone else. Finding a balance and learning how to be happy wasn't something that our parents taught us.
Thus, you wind up feeling guilty when you need to say No to people and to avoid that feeling you spread yourself too thin. Part of the desire to be accepted is that you want to excel in everything, career, motherhood, as a partner, and so on.
Do you feel like you sacrifice everything and they don't appreciate you?
Trying to accomplish everything and meet all the expectations has a price. Your physical and mental health may suffer, and you may wind up struggling with stress, anxiety, emptiness, and exhaustion. You may even start wondering what the point of everything is. On top of this, you may feel guilty for feeling disheartened.
You start resenting your family and partner, and you wind up arguing with them. You sacrifice everything for them just to hear them say something like, "I didn't ask you to do this for me." You may feel they are ungrateful when they just want you to stress less and feel more at ease.
At work, you wonder if they even consider what you already have on your plate when they are adding more responsibilities. They keep piling up more and more. There are days when you are afraid to read your emails in the morning.
Doesn't life feel like a rotten deal at times? You worked hard throughout your childhood and youth to get an education that will enable you to have a career you desire. You also worked hard to create a family that you want. Now when you have it all or most things that you want, you feel like you lost yourself.
Do you need to become a ruthless bitch to get some respect and feel worthy?
The way you feel is not unusual. Many women feel overwhelmed and have a hard time finding a balance in their lives. Don't worry. You don't need to abandon your family or your job to find this balance or become a bitch to reclaim your time.
It's entirely possible to maintain your identity of a beautiful accommodating and cooperative person while staying true to yourself. If you learn how to manage seemingly conflicting feelings, the need to be kind to others and desire to maintain your sanity, you can reclaim your time and feel empowered and joyful again.
How you perceive the concept of time can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and life in general. Instead of feeling clubbed by the time or sucked into it through a downward spiral, you can learn how to enjoy your life and feel as if you own your time. Keep reading to learn how to reclaim your time and feel empowered.
How will you feel about your life if everything stays the same?
What if you continue like this? Imagine your life in five years without you changing anything, Imagine if everything stays the same. If you don't change anything, this will not only remain the same, but it's likely that they may become worse for you.
As you go through the motions, you will feel more and more alienated from who you truly are. How can you be aligned with your career and life goals when you are caught up in completing day to day tasks and unable to check in with yourself.
When you operate like this, your time goes by without you realizing it. One day merges into another and a year has passed by without you even realizing.
How will it feel when a younger colleague with less experience gets a promotion that you hoped would be yours? This kind of feeling sucks. You went out of your way, and you feel as if they take you for granted. This happens often. If you don't show that you appreciate your time, others won't either.
What about your relationships?
Similarly, at home, your partner and children may think that you do all of these extra things because you enjoy doing them while you hope that they will be compassionate and just take some work off your plate. It's inevitable that you will wind up resenting them.
Although your kids and partner love you and appreciate that you take care of everything, they may not feel inclined to reciprocate by giving back to you. They may even not know what your needs are and what would make you happy.
How could they know you, when you probably don't understand yourself? After decades of catering to others' needs, you wind up running on empty and struggling to be in touch with your emotions. Expressing your true emotions wasn't encouraged when you were growing up.
This pattern may further cause problems in your relationships. Your partner may feel frustrated because they don't know how to make you happy. So, they may stop trying.
You wind up feeling unworthy of any happiness and naturally struggle with anxiety, stress, depression, emptiness, etc.
You can reclaim your time and live your life fully
You've been living this life on autopilot for too long. It's evident that it doesn't lead to a fulfilling life. Although you've been in this place for some time, you have a potential to reclaim your time and enjoy your life while still prospering in your career and maintaining good relationships with your family.
When you learn how to be in touch with yourself and your values, you will be able to keep healthy boundaries with your time. Again, you don't need to change your personality to reclaim your time.
You can make a few changes in the ways you think and the ways you position yourself. You will see how this makes a difference in your life. Instead of giving your time to others on autopilot, you can start giving your time out of generosity. This generosity will help you feel powerful instead of being taken for granted.
Making some shifts in how you perceive yourself and your time, will help you rebuild reciprocal relationships and inspire people to appreciate you and your time more. When you make these changes, you may see positive changes at work and home. Wouldn't you like to feel valued, cherished, and respected?
Shift your thinking in these three ways to reclaim your time and regain a sense of power
When you overfunction for decades, you may worry that everything will fall apart if you decide to make changes. The fact is that the Earth will continue its yearly trip around the Sun, and you can reclaim your time and feel comfortable giving up some responsibilities.
Reclaiming your time isn't as difficult as you think. Knowing that these changes will ultimately make your family happier too will motivate you to start this process. Take a look at these three ways in which you can reclaim your time and feel more satisfied and less scattered.
1. Consider changing how you conceptualize time
Before you change the ways you think about time, you need to figure out how you currently see yourself in relation to time.
Examine your underlying beliefs about your time and its value
Getting some insights into your beliefs about time will help you understand how you feel about your self-worth in general. Usually, when we have difficulty with our self-worth, we may struggle with setting adequate boundaries with our time.
You may have an underlying belief that you need to prove yourself worthy to everyone. Or, you may believe that you are not worthy of enjoying free time and adequate compensation for your work and skills. There are so many variations of these beliefs that may hinder us from being able to have a balanced life and owning your time.
I help many clients examine their underlying assumptions by asking explorative questions and reflecting on their statements. This process helps them become aware of their potential unhealthy beliefs and underlying thoughts and feelings. You can do a similar process.
Questions that will help you understand yourself
What did they teach us about our worth?
Did I need to earn affection or was it given to me?
What do society and media show us about how women are valued?
What expectations does society place on women?
How does my company treat me?
Do they recognize my unique skills and provide me with everything I need to grow, or do they treat me just like another person to do the job, a ton of it?
When you examine your belief system, you will see that your self-worth is tied to how you value your time. You may not even be aware of how the social system influences us to feel about our worth and worth of our time.
Somehow we learn messages such as, "You are lucky to work for that company. They gave you this job." Or, when it comes to family, we feel that we need to earn love by doing things for others.
You are probably looking at the concept of your time from others' perspective. You think about "What's in it for them. " And then you put yourself into a position to ensure that they get what they need. Thus, you forget to see the things from your perspective. You put yourself in place to prove your worth to others by giving your time without limitation.
Let's see the time from your perspective, the way it should be
When you examine your beliefs about time, you will realize that it's somewhat enslaving. You position yourself as someone whose time is there to serve others. It's almost like saying that you are at their disposal. How to change the outlook, so you can feel as if you are in charge of your time?
The way I see time is that it's the most precious possession that we own. God, nature, or life gave you time on this planet. It's yours. It's up to you to determine how you want to spend your it.Owning your time is somewhat overwhelming because there is the responsibility for making choices how you prioritize your time.
Right now you keep repeating the mantra "I don't have time." Saying this will lead you to feel that your time belongs to someone else, your boss, your company, your family. This kind of thinking leads to powerlessness.
Instead of thinking "I don't have time," you can think something like, "I have time. It's mine. I can choose how to spend it." This kind of thinking is more empowering and will lead to you to make better decisions about how you prioritize your time. And, of course, you will have to do some things that you don't enjoy, but you will feel that you are the one who is deciding to sacrifice.
2. Create and remember the narrative that will help you keep things in perspective
Once you examine your beliefs and establish the new beliefs, it's important to remember the narrative that will help you avoid slipping into old patterns of thinking that will lead you to spread yourself too thin. Now you can create your own story of how your life is and how you spend your time. Technically, your life is your time and your time is your life.
Thus, when you give your time to somebody, you give a part of yourself or a part of your life to them. You own it, and you are graciously giving it to them. You remember that what you are giving them is the most precious gift, yourself, your life, your time.
Give your time generously and feel good about it
When you conceptualize your time like this, you will feel generous when you do something for others instead of resenting them. How you feel will resonate with them. In other words, they sense your feelings, generosity or resentment.
When you give your time from the heart, you will feel empowered, and they will appreciate your generosity. When you give your time because you think you don't have a choice, you feel like a slave, and they will feel your resentment, which will make them resent you back.
So, regarding your job, ass your company may feel proud of being job creators and helping the economy, you can keep your sense of gratitude. What I suggest is adding a sense of worth or value that you bring to the table.
The fact is that you went to years of school and had fantastic experience under your belt. You give your skills, time, and sacrifice a part of your life to contribute to your company's growth.
If you keep this in mind, it will help you feel your worth and give your time from a place of power as someone who owns their time instead of someone who is at their disposal.
3. Be choosey of where you give your precious time
Be aware of your values
Once you put everything into perspective and see how your time is valuable, you will have to discriminate which causes are worthy of your time. How to make sure that you prioritize your time or in the way that goes along with your values and how you want to spend your life? When you are caught in the whirlwind of daily activities, it's hard to remember your values.
Of course, you are obliged to do certain things that you may not enjoy, but you can utilize this process for situations that are not clear-cut. For instance, when an acquaintance asks you for a favor, and you don't feel like you want to do it, somehow you feel obliged because you see yourself as a helpful person. Resolving this internal conflict will help you prioritize your time in the way that will be satisfying to you.
What helps me when I'm in a situation like this is pausing and thinking how important this person or activity will be when I have a couple of days to live. In other words, will I be happy how I spent my time? Remembering that my time is limited helps me determine if the person matters much to me, if the activity is enjoyable, or if the cause is worthy of my sacrifice. Doing so puts it in perspective.
How to deal with emotions that come up when you try to break old patterns
Now that you know of a mindset that will help you reclaim your time, it's important to remember that it's not going to be easy to avoid old patterns of behaviors. Difficult feelings will emerge.
Remembering that you don't have to give your responses to people right away will help you defuse anxiety. You can say something like, "Let me look into my calendar and see how it works for me." You can regulate your emotions and feel calmer this way.
Reminding that you are in the process of learning new ways of prioritizing your time, and that's Ok if you make mistakes will calm down your internal self-critic, which often causes us to feel anxious.
Your next steps
You may not be able to change your behaviors right away, but just being aware of your beliefs and changing your narrative is a good start. Remember, this is a process and not one time switch on and off.
Be compassionate towards yourself as you are making shifts in the ways you think, feel, and act. When you change your worldview, you will reclaim your time, power, and self-worth.
There will be challenges as you've been practicing the particular ways of thinking for a long time. Working with me in therapy can help you gain new perspectives and deal with painful feelings that inevitably come up when you try to make changes.
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Think of joy and empowerment that you can feel when you reclaim your time. My clients also experience improved relationships with partners, children, and themselves.
Currently, I offer convenient, secure video sessions.
What an excellent article! I truly appreciate your recommendation of creating a life based on your values. Many women neglect what is important to them in order to be well liked. This was an eye opening post.
Thank you so much for kind remarks Naz