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What can I provide myself?

Feb 13, 2024

Video Summary:

There was a very cool TV show called New Amsterdam that got taken off NBC a year ago. It’s on Netflix now. The main character was Max, and he was the CEO or lead administrator of a hospital. He was very hands-on and he'd go around the hospital and ask his employees, “How can I help?”

His implication was, “How can I help you do your job? What do you need from me? How can I empower you to do your job better?” When this show first came out, I thought it was a brilliant management style of if you give people what they need, they're going to do a better job.

So then I took it a step further and thought… what if I use that in the way I relate to myself? What if I ask myself, “How can I help? What can I give myself so I function better and enjoy life more?”

It’s a great self-compassion practice when we are getting down on ourselves and beating ourselves up for not getting the results we are hoping for. Rather than telling yourself, “You suck because you're not succeeding,” you could ask yourself, “How I help? What do I need? What can I provide for myself?”

I could be more supportive of myself like Max was with his staff. When work wasn't going well, I could ask, “What can I give myself so that it goes better?” When I'm not happy in a relationship, I could ask, “What can I provide myself so this relationship goes better? How can I support myself in this situation?”

In addition to getting down on ourselves, we can also project our blame and judgment about what we are not happy about onto another person. At this point, our significant other, family member, boss, or friend starts having serious issues. If only they would get their act together everything would work out.

This practice can be highly effective for issues of codependency when look to another person to meet the emotional needs that we ought to be meeting for ourselves. If I'm not happy in a relationship, I can ask, “What can I provide myself so that I enjoy life and this relationship to its fullest extent.

I can start providing the acceptance, validation, and the things I need for myself so that I'm not trying to get them from the other person. Now that I'm providing that, I'm taking pressure off the relationship, the other person, and myself so we can both enjoy the relationship more.

Whenever we‘re not happy with someone or some situation outside of ourselves, chances are we’re not providing something for ourselves that we need. We can be like Max and ask ourselves, “How can I help? What can I provide for myself to be more whole and supported so I can enjoy life more?”

We can get into a new habit of noticing whenever we’re not happy with someone or something and hear ourselves say something such as, “My job sucks,” or “My partner has (whatever) issue.” Then the first thing we do is ask ourselves what can we give ourselves to enjoy our job or relationship more.

What do you think?

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