Let me know if you can relate: there's a time you're cruising along in life, feeling on top of food prep, children's needs, work commitments and home-life. Then seemingly insignificantly, you heavy sigh over something not done. Then roll your eyes unknowingly. Your movements become faster and more intense and before you know it, you've gone from feeling good to feeling completely frustrated, wondering if anyone sees the amount you do every day!
"Does anybody do anything around here?!" Rahhh - now frustration is coursing through your body.
Goodbye happy, aligned you and hello resentment.
For some, you'll keep going, pushing through because 'who else is going to do it?' For others, it's been so long already, the fatigue is setting in, either in the form of brain fog and errors, or illness and injury. Sound familiar?
"Resentment is unclear boundaries"
If you haven't experienced one of these two states, heed this as a gentle warning. I speak from experience. If you know these feelings - you might be in the midst of them right now - breathe deeply. Feel into your body, touching your hands to your heart, your legs, your shoulders and breathe deeply again. Come back to your body as you recognise it's time for something to change. It's time for new ways of letting your voice be heard.
Review the following eight offerings to help you get clearer on why you've had trouble asking for what you want in the past. Tomorrow's a new day and with greater awareness of what's holding you back, you empower yourself to step further toward feeling the way you yearn to, to experiencing life on your terms and to creating relationships that make your heart feel seen.
1. Habits Plain old habits. You've always done it, so you keep doing it, but in that patterning, you've created a cycle of effective control and organisation, to resentment for others.
2. Time & Efficiency You've placed these priorities before your wellbeing and your voice. Yes, tasks are likely to be done quicker and better when you do them, but at what cost?
3. Societal Expectations These are often ingrained unconsciously as children by what you saw growing up, and are then compounded by the messages of our current society such as social media, culture, family or friends. This is your life and you get to write the rules for your experiences.
4. Fear of Conflict You may have a conscious or unconscious negative memory attached to someone asking for help, such as a parent figure, colleague or yourself. If this resonates, search for examples where asking for help had a positive outcome, give the other person the benefit of doubt (ie. view them as approachable & caring of you) or ask yourself 'is it really true that if I ask for help, I'll be met with a negative result?' If so, that person may not be your person to ask. Again, you get to choose who, how, when and why.
5. Lack of Skill Yep, asking for what you need is a skill that has to be learned. Perhaps you never saw, were taught, or made to feel worthy to ask for what you need. I'm telling you now, you're a capable and deserving adult who gets to re-write that internal dialogue. Practice sharing what you need with safe people first.
6. Fear of not Belonging This sounds a tad intense when on a topic as trivial as the kitchen benches not being wiped, but trust me, our human need to belong is an intrinsic, instinctual survival need influencing our behaviours daily. If you have an unconscious (or conscious) fear of not belonging, you may do anything not to rock the boat .... even with your safe person. You might be afraid of being too needy, too much, not capable or not contributing, which in turn ignites a fear of, 'what if there's no need for me here?' You do belong. You are worthy. You are safe to speak your truth AND remain loved.
7. Ineffective Communication In neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), there is a belief that communication is only as effective as the result it gets. If you think you're telling people what you need but you're not getting it in return, change the way you're asking, telling or showing. If you still aren't getting what you need, they may not be your person. As Marianne Williamson says, 'stop going to the hardware store for milk', or in other words, stop going to the person who doesn't see, hear, value or care to help you.
8. Love Languages Your bottled frustrations may not be because you're sick of 'doing everything'. You might in fact love your roles and want to keep doing your daily and weekly routines. Your frustration may instead be a sign your Love Language is Acts of Service, and in turn, you're not feeling loved. Your love tank might be running low and could easily be filled with the smallest gesture such as your person making you a cup of tea or putting the bins out unasked. If Acts of Service IS your love language, make sure to communicate this as soon as possible to those sharing your life with you. Click here for more information on The 5 Love Languages.
If feelings of pent-up frustration are starting to ruin your life, if you don't want to model uncontrolled outbursts to your children or feel resentment toward your loved ones and colleagues, take time to consider the above offerings, for it is in knowing yourself, your triggers and your goals, you become truly EMPOWERED.