Have you ever been the person with the huge humanitarian attitude especially with your family?  Yup… that was me. I was the huge gatekeeper.  Every problem would end up either at my front door or on the other end of my cell phone. I could never say, “No”… “I can’t help”. It was to the point where I started neglecting myself, my family, my finances and even my aspirations. I started noticing that I was devaluing myself in every area of my life because I was divulging in everyone else’s. It became so bad that it was to the point where I had developed an “approval addition”. Meaning…that if I was not helping anyone; especially for FREE, I did not feel complete; true story.

This gatekeeper; approval addiction kind of attitude, lasted until I realized if the shoe was on the other foot or I needed the support and the help, all doors were closed. No one was available. When I reached out, there was no one to lend a hand. Talk about a wakeup call! After a while, I knew that my mindset had to shift. I had to realize that it was all about developing a balance. If I wanted to help someone, it had to be when I could and I no longer needed the approval of anyone to do so. I had to retrain my brain to say, “No”… “Sorry I can’t”. This was especially when I began to notice that people were actually enabled by my help.  For some, it became negative, when I could not help. For example, I would hear feedback like, “The Roxanne I knew changed”. “She’s nasty”. “She’s not the person I knew”. “You’re different”. It wasn’t that I had changed or became different. It was all about learning and starting to “love ME”. I had to set priorities. I had to set boundaries. I had to prioritize what was important to me.  I had to make sure it did not negatively impact my family. 

Sometimes in life, we start to allow our environment, circumstances, family and friends to negatively influence what we truly want in our lives. It becomes our identity and how we feel secure of ourselves. In some cases, this can lead to a life of feeling insecure.  Some even become ill because of the stress level as a result of the inability to help everyone, by not simply saying, “No”. Let’s practice… stop reading for a minute and shout with me… “No… I can’t help you”. Don’t even put a sorry in the context. Now tell me how good this felt.

I can remember having such a need to hearing everyone say, “Thank you for helping me Roxanne”. “You did it again Roxanne” and so forth and so on. But… deep down inside, I was miserable. This was because I felt as if everyone’s hierarchy of needs were being met, except for mine. Although that was not the case, this is what I started to believe because I was not taking care of me first. Thankfully, with the support of some special people and friends, my mindset change.

I recommend that you write down your priorities, your visions, your wants. Then, have a list where you can refer back to in order to hold yourself accountable too. That way when you choose to do some humanitarian or philanthropic work, you are not jeopardizing your list of things to do for you. Learn to set boundaries.  Who cares if you have critiques or negative feedback from others? Get off your butt and do something for you! Learn to invest in you!

Each and every day, when you wake up, repeat these words… “I LOVE ME”!