The power of validation has to come from yourself, not just from others.
A client just said after sharing her wins with me….
‘I’m so proud of myself!’
‘You should be, you deserve to be’ was all I needed to say, because she was not looking for compliments or validation from ME, she’d just realised she had congratulated herself and validated her OWN efforts and achievements, which is SO much more powerful!
I followed it up with – ‘Look how far you’ve come in less than a year Hon, you’d NEVER have said that before let alone even felt it, another reason to be proud!’
She agreed and confirmed, this still felt so new to her but it also felt so AWESOME and RIGHT!
It got me thinking, how often do we declare and really MEAN it when we say ‘I’m so proud of myself,’ if we ever say at all?
I say it to my clients all the time, and to my kids. I try to be specific with my kids as all the parenting experts tell you to, so that they know what specific behaviours or actions they need to continue to develop, when to concentrate on the stuff that makes them feel good because of the positive reinforcement dolled out to them as a result, and all that jazz!
My clients know when I’m proud of them because I always say it not just after a specific achievement or win, but when I notice a change in their thinking, their self talk, their energy and motivation, their self-belief. I’m proud of them for starting on their journey, or stepping up to trust me to be their guide. I’m proud of them for doing the work required to let go of the crap that’s been holding them back. I’m proud of them for putting themselves first and saying yes to a new way of being, of living. I’m proud of them for giving themselves the chance of success and happiness, free from the limiting beliefs and toxic self talk and sabotage that has usually become an unconscious part of their inner chatter. Many of these beautiful women (as well as a few women) have never had their parents or partners say the same thing to them. Despite always craving it, they are able to finally let that go and know that as long as THEY are proud of themselves, that’s all that matters. Me bring proud of them is just a stepping stone to that self pride, validation and self respect.
When my client’s aren’t yet comfortable with declaring their awesomeness, I have to sometimes take rather more extreme action. Last week, I told one of my clients,
‘You are a F***ing Hero!’
She almost wept she was so touched by my words – because despite her loving husband, he doesn’t really understand what’s involved in raising his step children.. The mental and physical load is on her shoulders, her children’s Dad really isn’t any help at all.
She then laughed, tried to brush it off and only really let it in when I repeated myself several times and asked her to imagine it was tattooed on the inside of her eyelids!
The second client I had that day is really carrying more than the Lioness’s share (why do we say the ‘Lion’s Share’ when all they do is sleep all day while the lionesses do the majority of the work??? Toxic Patriarchy anyone? #YesIKnowItsNotAllMen
This amazing lady is raising kids and dealing with sick relatives almost single-handedly, trying to prioritise her own health and wellbeing, run her business as well as hold down a busy job. Everything is pushed to the max and she just sometimes needs to feel as though someone other than herself and her close friends have got her back.
Many of us around my 44 years of age are raising children, many of whom are suffering from the new epidemic of increased mental health issues as well as neuro-diversity challenges. We’re often caring for aging relatives, many of us having already lost them and many more having to travel great distances to support them. There’s often little or no support or back-up parenting, we live increasingly isolated lives due to work and social ‘mobility’ and many of us don’t even get the social support and interaction now working from home is no longer reserved for the advantaged few. We’re often dealing with our own health issues, marriage and relationship breakdowns and everything that comes with that, increased costs of living /surviving. Apologies, this wasn’t meant to turn in to a rant about the patriarchy and women having to do almost everything nowadays, but I’m having to make every effort to steer my words from going down that rabbit hole!
Sometimes, we just need someone to wave our flag, stand in our corner ready with support, love, gratitude, any and all thoughts and declarations of awesomeness! Only when people feel like they have a ‘family’ of cheerleaders can we realise that it’s safe to be proud, not just of our achievements and what we contribute to society, but of who we really are! Just remember – despite most of us desperately wanting those cheerleaders to be our own parents, loved ones and family members, once we do ‘the work’ to release that, it is possible to accept and believe it from other people, and then ultimately, ourselves.
How can you help yourself? Do this….
1) Take a few minutes RIGHT NOW (yes right now else you’ll never do it), to jot down a list of as many things as possible you can think of that you’re having to manage.
2) Now, re-read that list. Take it in. You’re not just HAVING to manage these things, you ARE managing these things, probably largely way more successfully than you think.
3) Re-read the list again and see if there’s anything you can pull back from, delegate or even let go of completely. Being a member of the school PTA for example, it’s a great thing, but if it’s placing too big a burden on your time and stressing you out, give it up and give it to someone who does have the time. There’s zero shame in asking for help or informing someone that from X date you’ll have to hand over something to someone else.
Put yourself first for once, not last.
I am proud of you.
I am proud of myself.
It is my wish and my hope that YOU are proud of YOU too.
With much love
Liz Hancock, The EFT Coach
P.S. The client I mention first today also agreed that she was a F***ing Hero!