Burnout’s a real thing friend. No one benefits when you put your own needs on the back-burner and drive yourself into the ground from self-imposed martyrdom.
In this week’s post, I want to discuss how being a caretaker/caregiver can be severely detrimental to you if you don’t have a healthy grasp on your own personal value.
Self-Care Excuse #2: I’m validated by what I do for others
This excuse is definitely one of the more imperceptible ones out of the main 5; you’re typically blind to it when you’re in the thick of it because a consistent disposition of not maintaining personal boundaries disguises itself as selfless acts of service to others.
This article over at Healthline does a great job of summarizing people with the Martyr Complex:
“Someone who sacrifices their own needs and wants in order to do things for others. They don’t help with a joyful heart but do so out of obligation or guilt.”
The second part of that definition stands out to me.
“They don’t help with a joyful heart but do so out of obligation or guilt.”
Not all acts of service are created equal!
The honest truth is, you’d have to hold yourself accountable to know when your service to others is oriented in obligation or another ulterior motive, or oriented in selfless compassion.
If you find yourself validated by what you do for others, neglecting self-care and spreading yourself too thin because people would be “lost” or “helpless” without your intervention … then it’s time to reassess your motives and realign your focus.
There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about the wellbeing of others– in fact I certainly hope you get to a place where you consistently shower unconditional love on those around you.
Where things get sticky is when you become a self-imposed indentured servant to others out of obligation, with your value only being derived from the things you do for other people and how they perceive your “goodwill”.
The danger of this is how contrived your good deeds become. Instead of being motivated by a “Yay, I get to”, they come from an “Ugh, I have to” mentality.
How do you get to “Yay, I get to”?
Adequate self-care! That’s the only way! Your role in life isn’t to be the suffering savior to other people. Your role in life is to be the highest, most fabulous you, and only in that capacity can you be of greatest service to those around you!
And it’s not because the external acts of service look different; it’s because your internal motivation has changed. After you’ve prioritized self-care and self-love, a whole new understanding of genuine compassion and kindness for other people bubbles up, which equips you to love people from a selfless and healthy place!
I find Excuse #1 and Excuse #2 closely linked. In Excuse #1, you’re afraid people will stop liking you, and in Excuse #2, you’re still concerned with others’ perception of you, but just in a different light!
I share more about Excuse #2 in a video here! Take a watch and let me know your thoughts!
Have you ever found yourself putting your self-care on the back-burner because of Excuse #2? Share with me below!
Sunny Dawn Johnston ❤️