Do you ever feel like life is just taking and not giving back? Like you’re so busy you can’t find the space to breathe, never mind start taking the steps to create what you truly want?
Then I want you to show you a simple distinction that can change every choice you make.
Accommodating versus Allowing.
Read that again.
Accommodating versus Allowing.
Let me explain what I mean and then we’ll dive in more.
When you ACCOMODATE others you’re basically saying,
“Sure, I’ll give you everything you want. You ask and I’ll always say yes. In fact, I’ll rearrange my life so that I can make you the priority. Even if that means I’ll make myself 2nd, 3rd or even last. I’ll react, fast. You won’t even notice that’s what I’ve done.”
When you ALLOW, you’re saying
“you can ask me anything you want. I won’t block any suggestion, question or idea. And I will allow that to filter through ME. My own desires, needs and experience. Then and only then will I respond.”
Still speedy and yet anchored from a totally different place.
You see the difference?
Accommodating has you literally running ragged through life.
Because let’s face it, Life is demanding. And when you’re accommodating everything there’s often nothing left.
In my own experience I saw it was because I thought it was nice people did. They looked after others, they cared, they were generous with their time. And I saw it was also because I found it tricky to say no.
So often I would say yes, even though deep down the sinking feeling told me I most certainly wasn’t a real yes at all. Or I’d say nothing, hoping it might go away and guess what? It didn’t. Doh. Funny that.
The request, “Can you do this for me?”
Me: “Errrrr” followed by silence.
“Just this once. I wouldn’t normally ask, it’s really super important this time”
Eyes down. Discomfort.
I know it’s a pattern.
Here’s what was going on in my head:
If I say yes, this moment will go away. Yes, that’s easier. I’ll just postpone booking that trip.
(That one I need and really want to go on?)
I can’t justify it. They need this more than I do.
(Ah, yes. Of course.)
And there I am. Accommodating, sacrificing, giving way, in the spirit of service and really deep down, not serving anyone at all.
When we don’t stand for anything. We stand for nothing. Someone else decides.
This came into sharp focus when I was working more than full time (you know that experience right?), on a steep learning curve, managing other people’s expectations and also trying to work out why I was always tired and had no time for friends or family.
What was going on?
When I stepped back, I saw that I was accommodating EVERYTHING. I had no guidelines or framework for what worked for ME. And so Life simply took me down the fast flowing river. I was a victim to it, rather than being a Self-Leader.
How did I change it?
I created my “non negotiables”.
They weren’t hard and fast rules as such. They were simply headlines that I could check in on to keep myself true. To myself. I could deviate if I CHOSE TO.
Here’s what they were;
- I’m happy to work during the week – not weekends.
- I want to attend all of my puppy training sessions – I could miss one, I wouldn’t miss the next one.
- I can travel for work and like to but I will not be away from home for more than 2 consecutive nights.
- Making a difference matters to me. If I’m not, or we’re not, I won’t be happy, so I will stop.
- Being supported, listened to and valued are core values to me. Without them, we’re done.
- I like to be paid a fair rate for what I do as soon after I do the work as possible. Always within 60 days.
- I’m great in teams that inspire me. Repeatedly working alone isn’t for me no matter how cool the project. Or the money.
Maybe not a BOOM. And hardly the biggest of demands and yet when I read them I felt good. Like I was covering my own back, setting myself up for success and keeping myself whole. And the important point is it was a conscious choice. I checked in with them first.
Sometimes I still said yes, it’s just that I KNEW I’d taken one step off the Path so I mentally put myself on an amber warning so it didn’t become the norm.
Because here’s the thing. When we are busy accommodating we are often slowly giving away our power and our energy.
Like a tap that it always on. And though we might be doing it from kindness it doesn’t take so long before we’re burnt out. And truthfully? Feeling more than a tad resentful of Life.
Overwhelmed, struggling, exhausted.
We project that it’s coming from our external world, our partner, our jobs, family, a problem. That we just HAD to do the thing that was asked of us. In truth, WE have created it.
Before we hang our heads in guilt, shame or justification, let’s not lose energy there either.
If WE created it, the AMAZING NEWS is WE can change it.
WE can decide that WE make the choices.
WE can see that Life is like one technicolour film set that we are walking through. The show reel continues with or without us. You know the day tick tocks away whether you participate or not? We get to choose our Role.
WE know that when we look after OURSELVES first we have so much more to GIVE.
When we ALLOW, we can give from a place of what serves US and what serves the other person too.
(Let’s not walk past that point either. Giving someone everything they want doesn’t always serve them. It creates learned helplessness. A reliance on us. That vicious circle that we really would like to get out of).
We check in on what we really feel in the moment, what our intuition, inner knowing is telling us. And we respond from there.
And the words;
“I’d love to and not this time.”
“Thank you and no.”
“Not right now. I’ll come back to you if I change my mind.”
“How can I help you achieve this outcome without my direct involvement?”
“I’m clear that right now I’m focusing on xxxx so count me IN/OUT.”
Then you stand back and ALLOW what emerges. There’s no need to find a right answer, to be the one who always fixes, to find the one and only Path.
There will be infinite possibilities and paths. There always is. Life is road map, we just get used to taking the same motorway!
This time you simply won’t be the one loaded up with everyone else’s backpacks, lunch boxes, and spare phone chargers. Carrying all the duty, obligation and expectation. Looking after everyone but you.
You’ll be the one Self leading from the front in your own life. Knowing that when you ALLOW everything to unfold, you have so much more energy, passion and commitment to actually go after what you really want to CREATE.
I want to be clear. I’m not suggesting allowing is a passive process. For me it’s quite the opposite. It’s being alert, noticing, watching what’s truly going on. Not sleep walking, numbed out, or like those nodding dogs you put on your car dashboard.
You’re simply allowing everything to pass through you so you’re not heavy with it. There’s space. To breathe. To decide.
To CHOOSE what you do next.
Because when we serve ourselves first, with oxygen, inspiration, rest, nourishment, connection EVERYONE else benefits.
And before you get your worry head on; yes you, the one reading this line, you….know this too;
It’s not selfish. It’s self-FULL. .
When you say no to someone on the outside from this place, you’re saying yes to you on the inside.
So dial down the accommodation.
Dial up the ALLOW and see what you can create instead.
What are your non-negotiables.
If you don’t know, that’s your first place to start!
And you do know. Truly you do.
You’re making the choices lady.
Make them Wise Ones.
PS Just for today; what are you going to ALLOW yourself to do that lifts your heart with a smile. Instead of accommodating and breathing a sign with a heavy heart? Let us know. We’d love to hear.