Podcast Episode 24: The Gift You Give Yourself
Hello my podcast friends! I hope you’re all doing fabulously well! I’m excited to bring you a new episode today! We’re busy wrapping gifts and getting ready for Christmas – which I can’t believe is less than a week away! I’m usually done with buying and wrapping and all that jazz way before December. I don’t usually like going out in the hustle and bustle and crowds of people so that was really the incentive for getting it all done way ahead of time but this year I just decided that I’d wait. I wanted to focus on work and bringing you all relevant and useful content so I didn’t get to the shopping until recently and you know what? It’s been so great.
I was talking with a couple of my coach friends about Christmas shopping and one of them said she avoids Christmas shopping like the plague – she doesn’t like the long lines, the lack of parking, the crowds, etc. Many of the same reasons that I believed too. But this she said she went out and it really wasn’t bad at all – in fact, it was pretty amazing. People went out of their way to help her. She found an epic parking spot. She was in and out in a short amount of time. It was just all good. But as she was telling us this she said it like it was a fluke – just an abnormal day that worked in her favor. I told her that’s good news because I too needed to go out and if that’s the way the day is going then, it’s going be great.
So I head out and very similar things. I took my daughter out and we had so much fun. We had employees ask us if we needed help. We found a pretty good parking spot. We had lines but they seemed to go through pretty quick. I was feeling like this was our lucky day until we went out again the next day and it was similarly awesome. While I was in line I overheard other people talking and complaining about the lines. They were complaining about the store looking a little disheveled because of all the people. They were complaining about this and that and it was in that moment that I realized that it wasn’t some random lucky fluke that we experienced but Christmas shopping was what we made it to be. We didn’t notice the long lines because we weren’t focused on them. I was happily chatting with my daughter and looking at all the fun things by the register. The parking wasn’t bad but I wasn’t focused on how far the walk was simply because I enjoyed being out and about.
Christmas shopping didn’t change – We changed. It was amazing because we made it amazing. I want to tell you this because I want you to have an amazing time too. It’s all in what you focus on, what you tell yourself, and because of this…it changes what you see. To us, we experienced this magical shopping trip but to others it was still frustrating, long, and not fun.
Isn’t that fascinating? How much control you really have to create the kind of world you want to live in? Do you want to live in a place where things are harsh, where people are rude, where long lines are found everywhere, and negativity is imminent? Or do you want to create a world of peace, of abundance, of love, and wonder? It really is up to you. It’s exciting how much power you have, just how much influence you have over what you see and experience.
This is what I want to talk to you about today. It’s Christmas, we’re in the season of gift giving and thinking about what others would like and what you can offer them as a gesture of love and kindness. But what about the gift you give yourself? We’re so focused on making sure we have all the gifts we need. Did we get Grandma? What about Aunt Jackie? And we think about these people and wonder what they would really like and what they want but for today, for right now, even if you’re listening to this and it’s not Christmas, I want you to think about what you want. Think about what you really, really want first.
Before you go into thinking about things, I really want a pool. I want a new car. I want to say that (and I’ve shared this before) what we want isn’t going to be a thing. What you really want is how you believe you’ll feel AFTER you have that thing. So ponder this for a minute. What do you really want?
So many people have a bittersweet view of this holiday season. There’s a lot of good, wonderful fun things to look forward to but then there’s also frustration, pain, thoughts of rejection, loneliness, and dread when it comes to family gatherings, lack of family, lack of friends, maybe it’s thinking about that one person who seems to ruin Christmas or any family gathering for that matter.
Most people around Christmas want to feel love. They want to feel LOVED, included, accepted, joyful, secure, and comfortable. It isn’t the things they want. It’s the feelings we want.
Today I want to teach you how to give yourself the gift you really want – to feel how you want to feel without needing anything from anyone first.
We went to a gathering several years ago. We had a couple of commitments that day and we knew it was going to be challenging to fit them both in and that both parties might not be happy about us needing to leave early or arriving late but it was what we could do that year and we figured it was better to offer what we had than just not show up at all.
So we asked if we could come early and visit before the rest of the people arrived hoping that by doing that it’d help smooth things over for when we had to leave. But when we got there the hostess was not happy. In fact it was really uncomfortable. It was noticeable that the hostess was really, really upset with me and didn’t speak to me for an entire hour. We sat there feeling so weird and uncomfortable and at the time I had all kinds of thoughts and feelings too.
I was like, What the heck?! We’re trying to do the right thing. We’re trying to offer what we can and it’s still not good enough. Why are we being punished for trying to bring and do our best?
I felt attacked – in a very passively aggressive way. I felt frustrated that the hostess was “punishing me” when it was my idea to come earlier to make sure we spent more time with them. The rest of my family really didn’t care too much about it but because I put a lot of thought into this and how we could try and make this person happy, I was so frustrated that this person didn’t acknowledge my efforts or thoughts.
Needless to say that wasn’t one of my better holidays. I spent the rest of the day stewing about the entire situation. Stewing over the wrongness of it all. If only I had had these tools then what a different situation it could have been.
If I could go back I’d ask myself in that moment, what I would have wanted. In that moment of sitting in that uncomfortable silence I would have asked myself, What do I want right now?
I could have asked myself ahead of time really but for now I’ll work it in the moment to show you how you can do this too.
What do I want? Well, from an obvious standpoint I’d have wanted the host to talk to us. I’d have wanted them to notice, to see, to appreciate the extra effort I put in to get my family ready on time and over there to spend time with them.
But those things are all based on the other person and them changing and we all know by now that we can’t change others. We also should never place our happiness in their hands because we just don’t know what they’ll do with it. So, now stating the obvious of what I want – I can ask myself this,
What do I REALLY, REALLY want? How will I FEEL after I got the appreciation, the thank you for coming early, for thinking of us and wanting to do all you could do. I would feel love after I got the hug and the smile and the acceptance of doing what we could. I’d feel understood when they could see and notice our other commitments and maybe even tell us that they’re proud of us for being so anxiously engaged in good works.
That’s what I really wanted that day.
I wanted to feel loved.
I wanted to feel appreciated.
I wanted to feel accepted.
I wanted to feel understood.
Now, onto giving myself the best gift – exactly what I wanted.
I want to teach you HOW to give yourself the best gift and I want to tell you why YOU are the best person to give that to yourself.
I know there are going to be many times in our lives when, especially when it comes to family that we’re going to want something from them – we’re going to want them to understand, we’re going to want them to appreciate our efforts, we’re going to want to get that, “I’m really proud of you” talk, we’re going to want them to be different because of how we think we’ll feel after we get that. So it’s important that we learn this today so you don’t have to wait for them because it might never happen and it’s okay if it doesn’t. Because you’re going to get exactly what you want and take care of yourself because when you do get what you want – that love, that understanding, that compassion you show up from a much better place. You show up more loving, more giving, more compassionate and not needing anything from them. It’s a beautiful liberating space to be in.
So many of my clients don’t want to give themselves what they want. They want OTHERS to do that for them and I always tell them that this is a mistake! It’s the easy road. It’s not wanting to do any work and just getting the prize.
We all do this. We all wish we already were at the finish line. We wish we could play Rachmaninoff without ever having to practice. We all want to be fit and thin without having to exercise and eat right. We all want to feel amazing by others lavishing us with compliments and validation without us having to do anything – without us having to look inside our minds and see where the mess is coming from in the first place.
But trying to go about it this way is not helping you to grow, to evolve, to think deliberately for yourself and it’s just not the way. We can’t be a professional at anything without putting forth effort, struggling through challenges, and learning to rise above them.
It’s easy for me to wait for my husband to compliment me so I can feel good. I didn’t have to do anything. I just get to hear kind words. But this is a huge problem because what happens when he doesn’t compliment me? By this point I’m expecting it, I’m needing it so I can feel good. I’ve become dependent on him saying nice things so I can feel good and if he doesn’t, whoa…what a mess I’d be in.
You have to learn to give yourself what you need, to establish confidence in yourself to know that you’ve got your own back. You’re going to take care of you no matter what. You can make requests of people. I still love hearing compliments and kind words. That’s awesome but whether I do or don’t I still feel amazing because I take care of me. I don’t need him to compliment me. I don’t need the hostess to love me, to appreciate me, to accept me, to understand me. I’m amazing at that job. I take care of me. I know what I want way better than anyone else does. It has to be me to do it.
Listen, most people don’t know what THEY themselves want, how can we ever expect others to know what we want if we ourselves don’t even know what we want?
How do you find out what you want? By asking yourself two questions:
1.) What do I want? – Go into detail here – even it’s apparent and obvious. Ask yourself anyway And 2.) How will I feel when I have those things?
The second question will give you what you really want and the direction to move towards to figuring out how to give it to yourself.
Think about past holidays when things weren’t as fabulous as you would have wanted them to be. Why was it a problem for you. What happened? What would have made it ideal?
Let me give you another example, one of my clients struggles with certain family members not coming around, not spending time with them for holiday events and get togethers. This is painful for her because she thinks that maybe they don’t really care. If they did, then certainly they’d be around, certainly they’d make the effort and want to come, right?
She was making their actions mean all kinds of negative things about her and that’s a terrible way to operate from. So in that moment when they don’t come around to celebrate, to eat family dinner, to visit she could ask herself, “What do I want?” And the obvious answer would be
I want them to come. I want them to be here. I want them the want to be here.
But then she’d need to ask, if they did everything I wanted them to, how would I feel?
She might feel loved.
She’d probably feel connected.
She’d probably feel happy.
Now that she knows what she really wants she has a direction to move to.
We have to be able to give ourselves the gifts we really want.
Other people don’t make us feel loved. We feel love by the thoughts we think about them.
When we’re visiting with people and we’re all gathered together eating dinner and laughing. I think thoughts that create that feeling of love. I think thoughts like,
“I love them.
I’m so glad they came.
I love spending time with them.
This is the best Christmas ever.”
It’s these thoughts that create the love. YOU bring the love, NOT THEM. It’s not their actions that make you feel loved. YOU create it. Be grateful for you.
You can try on thoughts like,
I love them. I love them always. Even when they’re not here I love them.
Because I love them I wouldn’t want them to be anywhere they don’t want to be or can’t be.
This is an interesting one because when we’re offended we don’t talk to them. We think we’re punishing them by showing up angry or frustrated and really all we’re doing is furthering to hurt ourselves. If you want to feel love, feel it. There isn’t anything standing in your way to feeling love but you and your thoughts. That’s it.
Is it more important for you to feel terrible because then you also feel justified – justifiably
Terrible or choosing to love them no matter what. Love doesn’t mean being a punching bag btw. Sometimes love is setting boundaries but still, you feel love.
Love is always an option. It is always available to you. And when it comes to family, friends, and relationships, it’s generally what we want the most.
I have family that chooses not to come around all the time. A lot of the time someone is missing. I spent years feeling bad, feeling offended and hurt that they didn’t want to get together and I realized that I was only hurting myself. I was blocking love from myself and if I truly loved them as I said I did, did I really want to keep expecting them to come to events that they didn’t want to be at or couldn’t be at for whatever reason? No, I want to feel love for them. I want to love them and be understanding just like I wanted to feel love and accepted when I couldn’t stay at that event I mentioned earlier.
When I do that, when I give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that they’d be here if they could – this doesn’t mean physically capable either – I feel love. I feel love towards them and love towards me. I feel understanding and accepting. I give myself the gift I really want – to feel love.
Practice giving yourself love. Practice giving yourself exactly what you want. If you want appreciation, then practice talking to yourself and giving yourself love and appreciation. I talk to myself all the time. There’s this shirt I saw once that I totally want to get one of these days that said something like,
“Of course I’m talking to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!”
If I could go back in time to that one holiday where I really wanted to feel loved, appreciated, understood I’d tell myself this:
I love you. I love that you are here and that you’re here because you want to be here.
I appreciate that you tried your best to make it to two essential commitments and gave them both the best you had to offer. I appreciate that you’re here. Thank you for getting your family ready, the gifts wrapped, the food made, the kid’s hair done, and everyone in the car and out the door to be here. That’s so wonderful that you went to all that trouble and I feel loved because you were so thoughtful to do that. Thank you. I understand that you can’t be at two places at once. I’m glad you’re here at all. I totally understand that sometimes you have to make tough decisions and that other people won’t understand. That’s okay. You understand and know that you’re doing your best. It’s okay to let them be wrong about you – I know the real you and that you’re giving me your very best. Thank you. You are wonderful. I love you.
It might sound funny at first to do this, but I’m tell you, practice this. Give yourself what you want. You’re the only one that can. You’re the best one to do it because you’re the only one that knows exactly what you need to hear!
Have you ever called a friend to share some woe and they tried to offer you consoling words but it just wasn’t what you needed? Yeah…that’s most people because they don’t know what you need. Only you know that. Only you know the efforts you put in to doing something. only you know the obstacles you faced to get there. Only you know your thoughts, intentions, and desires. You are the only one that can give you exactly what you need.
Stop relying on others to give you what you need – they can’t give it to you. Their kinds words feel good only because you’re allowing yourself to believe them. It’s still YOU making you feel better. Skip the middle man – make yourself feel good first and if they offer you kinds words – it’s like the cherry on top. You’re already taken care of. You create the experience you want no matter what happens. No matter if people show up or don’t show up.
No matter if words are said or not said.
No matter if people judge you. No matter if they shun you. No matter what, you’re taken care of.
Once you get to this point of knowing that no matter what you’re going to be okay, is there a situation you’d shy away fro that you really wanted? Is there any chances you wouldn’t take that you really deep down want to? Are there any conversations you wouldn’t have with others that you really wanted to have?
I have an entire episode devoted to conversations but for now I’ll just say, that we avoid talking to people and bringing things up because we’re afraid of how we’ll feel aftwerwards. How they’ll react and how we’ll feel. But what if you KNEW that you were going to be okay. That you could feel love the entire time. That THEY can’t hurt you. Are you willing to take that leap? What’s the worst that can happen? You feel a feeling and maybe you talk about things you’ve both been avoiding for ages, years even because you’re too afraid to feel uncomfortable?
You can take these leaps, have these converstaions, do what you need to do, say no when you need and want to say no because no matter what – you’re going to be okay. You take care of you.
Find out what it is you want.
If it’s to have the conversation – you’d probably want them to understand you and your point of view. But since we don’t control them and really we don’t need to to get what we really want you can give yourself what you want. How will you feel if the conversation goes exactly like you want it to?
Understood? Loved? Connected?
Give that to yourself.
Talk to yourself ahead of time, during, and most especially afterwards.
Self, Thank you for taking the time to want to talk about this. I love you and love that you care enough to want to talk. I appreciate that you’re willing to feel momentarily uncomfortable so you take this relationship to a deeper level. I love that your heart is in the right place. I love that you’re thoughtful and considerate. etc.
Talk to yourself – these thoughts are real, valid, and you will create the feelings you want to feel – it will create the results you want all along – and the best part of it all is, THEY don’t have to do anything differently. They don’t have to change a single thing for you to get exactly what you want.
With my kids sometimes they don’t always understand why I do what I do or why I don’t let them do somethings sometimes. They don’t understand sometimes why Johnny got $500 worth of Christmas and they didn’t. And it’s okay that they don’t understand. They don’t have to understand for you to feel how you want to feel now.
You can give yourself what you want. You can give yourself appreciation. You can give yourself love. You can give yourself understanding. You can listen to yourself. You can validate yourself. You can compliment yourself. These thoughts are valid, true, and the ones that stick around the longest.
You are the best person to give yourself what you want. You’re the only one that knows what you need to hear.
This year and forever after – learn how to give yourself exactly what you want. Remember, circumstances – other people – can’t and don’t make us feel anything. Your thoughts create your feelings.
Your thoughts give you what you really want.
Going back to my shopping experience. I wanted to have an amazing Christmas shopping adventure and that’s exactly what I saw because that’s what I created.
This Christmas is going to be amazing because I already know exactly what I want and how I want to feel – how I want to feel about each family member, how I want to feel towards all of my friends – how I want to experience Christmas – I create that for me. I know what I really want, what the best Christmas gift for me is and I know it’s my job to give that to me.
By taking care of me and knowing that I’m going to be okay. All my family and friends just get to show up and be themseleves- even if that means not showing up and I just get to love them. They don’t have to do anything for me to feel love for them and for me.
You can have THE BEST Christmas ever. You can have the best life ever and no one needs to change a single thing. You create your world. You create how you feel. You create what you see and experience and how you experience it. Take the time to be thoughtful about you. Spend some time thinking, pondering over the exact and best gift for you and then practice giving that you yourself.
Have a beautiful holiday week! I’d love to hear from you as always. You guys are just the best and I appreciate your kind comments and emails. Thank you!
If this is a challenging concept for you set up a mini session with me and I’d be more than happy to help you out. It’s easy, and free. Just head to my website www.thecatalystcoaching.com and go to the free coaching tab to set that up.
See you all next week!