Helpful or Harmful?

Nov 10, 2021

Who doesn’t love to be helpful? We have been told from the beginning of time to help our neighbors, help those in need, help each other out, lend a helping hand, etc… etc…etc… 

I’m all about being helpful, it's one of my most favorite things to do. I love to volunteer. I love to help those less fortunate than me. I love to be a part of something bigger than my own goals, dreams, and desires. And I love when others help me when I'm in need.  Here’s what I don’t love: when offering that help is at the cost of my wellbeing. 

You know how when you’re on a plane and the flight attendant reminds you to put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you. Do you know why they do that? The reality is that once a plane cabin begins to depressurize, you have about 18 seconds before you start to be affected by the lack of oxygen. If you spend 15 of those seconds helping out someone else, you might not have time to put your mask on before you lose consciousness. If that happens, you cannot help anyone else and in fact, now need more attention. In this case, offering that help led to a loss in your own well-being and an inability to continue to help in a situation that may certainly require more helping hands instead of less. 

As you go through this life, be conscious about where you spend your energy. Is helping at the school fundraiser going to cost you precious sleep? Is picking up that extra shift going to honor your need for rest? Is helping out that friend going to put you into a toxic environment that indeed adds more stress to your life? 

I need you to hear this: it is okay to say no. It is okay to honor your time. It is okay to protect your peace and wellbeing. Choosing to not over-extend yourself does not make you a bad person or less worthy of love and attention than the next person. Please continue to offer as much help to the world as possible. Continue to give of yourself when you have the capacity to do so, but please don’t put your own well-being at risk. 

The truth of it is when you’ve pushed yourself that far, you’re less productive. Less compassionate. Less patient. Less energetic. And less willing to go the extra mile. If you were the one needing help who would you want this version of you to be helping? Someone who feels at the top of their game, or someone who is visibly exhausted, impatient, and low-key frustrated that you need help from them? 

It’s hard to put this into practice, I know. But I also know that you want to put your best self into this world. I know that you want to be the most helpful person that you can be. I know that you are capable of finding that balance.

And I know that if you need help with all of that, you’ll book a call here with me.


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