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No time for yourself?

When I talk to prospective clients, one of the push backs I can always guarantee I’ll get is. “I don’t have the time.”

Even the most intense program I offer is once weekly coaching for 12 weeks, with some homework which usually consists of reflective practice or mindfulness.

Now I know there’s time in my prospective clients life and this is why!

The women I work with are often high achieving working women who pride themselves on having the highest standards and limitless capacity. If you need a favour, or something doing, these are the women you go to! They like to give the impression they have their shit together and can take on anything, they don’t like asking for help, saying no, or putting themselves first. These same women feel like they are spinning a million plates and are just waiting for them to come crashing down around them, so I know that when they tell me they don’t have time they believe that to be the case. They can’t add any more plates to the circus act of life.

However, when we unpack what it going on for them it appears to be twofold. Firstly the disordered eating has become their way of coping/escaping from the hectic life they are living. The brain needs time out which is why they find themselves halfway through a packet of biscuits before they have registered what’s happening. By focussing on the one thing they “enjoy” it’s taking their mind off the endless tasks and responsibilities they have. Although it is true that for the short time they do get that high, it is short lived and soon replaced with feelings of guilt, shame and powerlessness. In more extreme circumstances they don’t eat at all which leads to a more permanent shut down of the brain.

In short they know this is a problem but they cannot see how they can find the time to fix it and anyway their needs are not as important as those of the people they care about and care for. They are the strong one in their tribe so they can’t possibly admit vulnerability, let alone take time to address the issue.

Secondly….and this is a biggy…….they are scared! They are scared that if they lift the lid on this combustion chamber they may actually break into a million pieces, have to admit they are struggling, show weakness, ask for help and break down the polished veneer they have spent their whole life creating. But that’s not them, they don’t want to be that person, they want to be the person who can handle anything, they can’t bear the idea of people seeing what’s behind the front. People might like them less, respect them less, rely on them less. This is why they convince themselves you don’t have the time!

But guess what!? This is all a story that they have told themselves. There is no reliable foundation to this story. When I ask them to think about the people they admire, the chances are their idols are flawed too! We all are!

So next time you tell yourself you don’t have the time to invest in yourself, ask yourself on what basis you are making that statement. Ask yourself what advice you would give a friend in your position, ask yourself what the people you love would say to you if you told them how you were really feeling!

I think we all know the answer….it would be INVEST THE TIME!

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