Are you constantly putting your feelings aside to satisfy the needs of others?

— Philomena Clarke

Sometimes we can let others shape us, our decisions and thoughts on the world. It is very easy to lose sight of oneself when relying on others to form our feelings and beliefs. It takes confidence to believe in ourselves. How can we trust our decisions? How do we know it’s the right thing to say or do?

Moving from co-dependency to independence involves self-love. How can we accept ourselves and our decisions if we don’t know who we are? Because you’re too busy taking care of others you’ve lost sight of how you are and what fulfils you. Sound familiar?

Are you the go to person when someone has a problem? Are you constantly putting your feelings aside to satisfy the needs of others?

You simply can’t do everything for everyone! The truth is your enabling others to lean on you and despite your best intentions your preventing others from opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t get me wrong, the world needs your compassion, your empathy and kindness, however you also deserve to feel supported, cared for and loved. Who is holding you when your busy holding everyone else?

Somewhere hidden below your subconscious thoughts are feelings of abandonment and the need to be needed. Nevertheless, you can convert these feelings of rejection into copiousness amounts of self-worth.

Often, we have a kneejerk reaction to a situation or incident and upon reflection release we may feel different. We are influenced by the people and environment that surrounds us. It isn’t always east to recognise co-dependency behaviours within ourselves as this may have become our norm. Happiness will now become your first priority. Building yourself inwardly allows you to be there for others in a supportive way without taking from your own needs and wants.

Ways to free yourself from Co-dependency

  1. Free yourself from saying YES to everyone and every situation – Giving yourself the permission to say NO. You can say no to someone and you do not need to partake in activities that you don’t want to. This can be a struggle and it is layers with fear and judgement from others. You were not put here to cater for everyone’s demands and you are allowed to say no to a situation that doesn’t benefit you. Practice saying “no” in situations and remember that you are allowed to be respected also.
  2. Set new healthy boundaries – Standing up for your needs and wants sounds easier said than done, especially if this is a way of behaving that your use to. Allow yourself the time to become aware of behaviours within that may not be doing you well. Recognising these and slowly introducing change allow us to heal.
  3. Give yourself the love you deserve – When you realise that you can love yourself and give yourself the love you have ALWAYS deserved your life can and will change. When you begin to recognise yourself you will find yourself not accepting anything less from others. Being loved does not require giving all of yourself to others. Recognising healthy and unhealthy concepts of love can be useful in readjusting your stance.
  4. Rebuild yourself – This is perhaps the most important step, rebuilding yourself. Think back to a time when you were happy. What was happening then, where were you? What hobbies and interests did you have? Don’t be afraid to start over. Reconnect and do the things that brought you joy. Go ahead, set higher standards. You are non being selfish. What better way to free yourself from co-dependency? No one ever regrets finding themselves and the things they love and enjoy!

You deserve this! Will it be hard? Yes! Will you make mistakes? Yes! But, will it be worth it? YES!