Life gets hectic and especially of late as we all face a global pandemic, the war of our lifetime. This has presented challenges along with opportunities in more ways than one. We can get caught up in the “doing” of life instead of the “being” and spend time contributing to our home team, work team and community and we often forget about serving ourselves.
Contribution is a core human need and it satisfies another human need – growth. We grow when we contribute and contribute through growth.
You’ve heard the saying ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup‘ so therefore we need to serve ourselves in order to better contribute to and serve others. Like fuelling a car, if we optimise self-contribution then the car will go further. We will also feel more fulfilled and able to bring our ‘whole selves’ to whatever we do.
We can contribute to ourselves in a plethora of ways and we need to be mindful of how and when we do this, to ensure the Gift of Contribution doesn’t remain unwrapped.
Let’s explore a few ways we can ensure we give back to ourselves:
What are you doing to ensure you are mentally, spiritually and emotionally looking after yourself? This could be as simple as exercise, meditation, mindfulness and protecting yourself from situations and people that disempower or drain you.
Identify and further develop your competencies and skills. Find out what really motivates you and satisfy these preferences – they will make you feel more energised. By growing yourself, you will have more to contribute to others, both in and out of the workplace.
Create a reading habit. Research from the University of Sussex found that reading for only six minutes per day can reduce your stress by 68%. It’s a great way to learn, take yourself away from the everyday and contribute to yourself, your growth and your inner peace.
Accepting compliments is vital to healthy relationships, especially the one with yourself. By saying ‘thank you’ with gratitude, you are honouring the person giving the compliment and reinforcing the quality or trait you are being complimented on.
Be kind to yourself and as I always say, talk to yourself as you would a friend. We are often harsher on ourselves than anyone else.
Easy to say but not always simple to do, learning to say ‘no’ without guilt can be empowering and will enable you to spend the right time on the right things and people. Trying to be everything to everyone is not sustainable long term. Remember you are saying ‘no’ to the event, not the person – this will make the process easier.
Dedicating time to what you love
What is one thing you are passionate about that you can dedicate time to? What sparks your interest or curiosity? Maybe it’s cooking or learning to play the guitar. We can find the time if we are intentional. The American Time Use Survey showed that we can find up to five hours per day for leisure time.
Self-contribution is vital or your energy can end up in the lost property box. If you are one of those people that find self-contribution indulgent or not a priority, reflect on what it will cost you not being able to contribute to others and live the best version of yourself.
As always Id’ love to hear what resonated with you and how you contribute to the most important person in your life-YOU.
Lead to be limitless…