As a positive woman, I was always a happy and loyal supporter of others - doing good deeds ...that is until I felt myself feeling drained and taken for granted.
I found loyalty to have several elements and then I separated doing good deeds from being a good person. Let me explain because I think this may assist you in becoming and remaining a positive woman without selling yourself out through loyalty to a draining cause or person.
First of all, loyalty is defined by Webster's as "faithful to commitments or obligations." Faithful is "steady in allegiance," commitments are "engaging oneself" and obligations are "binding promises" or "a sense of duty."
So, for my example, being loyal is "steadily engaging ourselves in something where we feel a sense of duty."
An example of my over-loyalty was when I agreed to create a business project for someone that should have taken 5 days and took 6 weeks! I stayed in it because I didn't want to be a quitter. What I found was that I was manipulated and drained of my time, energy, positivity and money because I was loyal to a fault.
The good news is this sent me on a journey to recognize when to be loyal and when to cheer someone on from a distance without getting involved. Also, how to determine if someone is using me or truly needs and appreciates my assistance.
There is a balance of being helpful and passionate about what we do and holding onto our inner power. Knowing when it's time to move on or allow someone to have their own experience comes with trusting our gut feelings and practice. Practice always makes us better and is so important. If we are so loyal and giving that we give all we've got and end up drained, overwhelmed and stressed out, we won't be good for anyone. We certainly won't be a good example either.
Most women are giving and nurturing by nature so a reminded to step away and evaluate can be helpful and welcome. How are we feeling in this situation, or with this particular person we're helping? Are we consciously taking care of our own mental, emotional and physical health? Are we staying connected spiritually to what we believe in and gain strength from? I have found when my clients feel lost or depressed that one thing can get them back on track to feeling better immediately and that is reconnecting with their source energy. Whether you call it Spirit, Source, God or anything else, this connection is what keeps you grounded in my experience.
3 Tips To Be Loyal While Staying In Your Power:
Trust your gut feelings. You will intuitively know when someone is genuine or playing you for a fool. Tell them, "Let me think about it and get back to you," in order to have time to quietly feel the right answer. Notice I said feel not think about. Your instincts, gut feelings, intuition are all the same thing and is there to guide you to where you need to be and away from anything that threatens you feeling whole and complete and strong.
Value yourself. When we, as positive women, base our value on the number of people we can help, it means we don't value ourselves. We are worthy and valuable even before we help someone else, so if it doesn't fit into your plan, say "No." Who you say "no" to is just as important as who you say "yes" to. Sometimes much more important.
Know the 3 agreement options. You can do three things with any agreement. 1) Keep it. 2) Renegotiate it. 3) Break it. These are for your protection, so use these options. After all, sometimes we are doing things for someone else under the guise of helping when they would have been far better off doing for themselves. Just like a butterfly being helped out of its cocoon dies because it didn't build the strength it needed to survive.
If I had known about these options, I would have changed the situation I was in. I never got paid completely for the work I did but learning that my loyalty has to be to myself first has been payment enough.
Now, when I'm passionate about something and want to contribute, I check in with myself frequently to evaluate if I'm helping or taking on someone else' responsibilities preventing their growth and if I'm nourishing my soul. If stress and overwhelm start to take hold, I adjust what I'm doing and use my agreement options to stay at my best.
Realize, some people may not want to succeed and like having problems to complain about. They get attention by being weak and it can be scary to see a bigger picture and grow. It's true that we grow only when we are out of our comfort zone and many would rather stay small and wither away than step into their power. Loyalty is honorable and it's your responsibility to make sure yours empowers rather than drains you.
Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of www.PositiveWomenRock.com. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.
More Juicy Content From YourTango
This article was originally published at Ezine Articles
. Reprinted with permission from the author.