I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one… Over-giving.
And why is it more damaging? When we start to look below the surface of this typical behaviour, we start to see it for the symptom of a larger issue that it really is.
Before I do that, let me say this. Giving is a great thing! It even feels good to give and help others so yes, please by all means do that. It’s actually healthy to give… This article isn’t about healthy giving though, this is about unhealthy giving; over-giving.
This behaviour often leads to burn out because the giving it not always from a place of complete love and a full cup, it’s more often coming from a place of obligation and/or fear of upsetting or disappointing someone else. It also creates anxiety when over-giving includes perfectionism; trying to be perfect or do everything right again to make sure it doesn’t upset or disappoint someone.
Healthy giving is a choice; it feels good and you have more than enough to give. Unhealthy giving is at a sacrifice to you, and giving because you “have” to for some reason.
So what drives women to over-give?
- A need or desire to be liked and valued. This comes from a core belief of not being good enough, not being enough or not knowing enough, so therefore over-giving of time, resources, energy, knowledge and expertise, is a regular occurrence. I see this a lot with ladypreneurs (I’ve even been guilty of this myself), over-giving to clients so they’re happy and feel like they got value for money. Unfortunately this does not lead to a successful business if too much time and resources are being given for a fraction of what it’s worth…. And this is a much larger issue; low self-worth and self-value, always needing external people or things to confirm they are good enough which is a hole no one else can fill and will never be enough.
- A fear of rejection. This is typical of women who can’t say no and who end up overwhelmed and tired doing all the things they’ve said yes to and not putting themselves, their health and well-being first. Not being able to say no is also a symptom of a stack of limiting/unhealthy beliefs, again, very much related to “not being good enough”.
- A belief that it’s selfish to do things for ones self or put themselves first. Typically programmed in over time and also a common habit I see with mothers. When our kids are babies, we have to drag our asses out of bed multiple times a night to feed, change, soothe our teething little ones, and feed them when they are hungry during the day so Mum’s needs don’t come first… But eventually they grow up and that should change as they are no longer dependent (within reason of course) but it’s a habit Mum’s don’t always get out of.
- A belief that giving makes someone a good person! This is just a belief gone too far. Plenty of religions teach that giving and helping others makes you good in the eyes of God (or whatever name is used for that higher power), and others. And it is certainly a good thing to do but often this one is still running with a subtext of “I’m not good enough” so therefore they over compensate by giving more.
Are we seeing the bigger issue here? Over-giving is just a symptom of unhealthy and unbalanced mindset programming and unhealed emotional baggage; not being good enough (and variations on that same theme).
If you want to see what beliefs and emotional baggage you have that’s driving you to give more than you have and through obligation, spend 10 minutes each writing all the answers to these 2 statements:
- If I don’t give it means… (what does it mean about you specifically)
- I can’t say no because…
The antidote to all of this?
It’s time to do some self-love and self-care stuff, to fill your cup (your energy, your well-being, your happiness and fulfilment)
- Say no when you don’t have the time, energy or resources to give (it’s perfectly ok)
- Put yourself first wherever possible. This means if the other person isn’t in dire need of you, they can wait even if only half an hour while you tend to your own needs and rest, have food, get water, go for a walk etc.
- Do things that rejuvenate and re-energise you. Have a foot-spa, a massage, do some yoga, make time to prepare a healthy meal, meditate, binge watch Netflix for a whole day or take a mini holiday. Downtime is so very important to your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being, so make it a priority.
- Do things just for the fun of it and/or that make you feel good, anything you love to do. These are critical and necessary not “nice-to-have” so read that book, paint, draw, create something, lunch with the girls, get that hair cut or manicure, walk through that museum or attend that gala.
If you are struggling massively to do those things regularly, then you need to do some serious mindset transformation and emotional healing work to get to feeling good enough to say no, to set healthy boundaries, to increase your self-love and self-care so you can completely fill your own cup and then be giving because you have LOADS to give and you want to give easily without it being detrimental to you in some way.
Rach Wilson is a Master Coach that specialises in Mindset Transformation and Emotional Mastery. She generally works with entrepreneurs but since the tools she teaches are designed to change every area of someone’s mindset, she helps her clients obliterate their fears and transform unhealthy and limiting programming in their mindsets, so they can live a much happier, fulfilling and abundant life with a healthy self-esteem.
Facebook: Rach Wilson – Master Coach – Source4Shift Technique Creator