Standing up for yourself
Cat loved her mom. She thought her mom was a wonderful person and she’d grown up watching her mother show up and serve others with great compassion, going so far as to buy groceries for the single mom down the street and volunteer to help the community’s soup kitchen.
There was just one problem with her mom. Cat’s mother was opinionated about everything, and she always told Cat exactly what she should do in each situation, even when she hadn’t sought advice.
Cat thought part of being a good daughter meant putting up with her mom’s constant and unsolicited instructions. But after taking a self-empowerment class with her friends, Cat realized she needed to start standing up for herself.
As an empath or HSP we have often lost our own sense of self because we are always feeling others. This can mean that there is a struggle to assert yourself. In fact, many of my clients have an immense struggle just trying to decipher what is their energy (and needs and desires) and what belongs to others in their circle. This can become especially challenging when both mother and daughter are empaths. Our emotions become very enmeshed.
Like Cat, you may struggle with asserting yourself and as an empath in business it is important for your long-term success to find your voice.
You might not even be sure if you need to stand up for yourself. You may not even be an empath or even understand the signs that you are. These will still ring true for you if you haven’t been standing up for yourself.
Here are a few signs that it’s time…
Sign #1: You Feel Resentful Toward Others
This might come out as passive aggressive remarks you make to your husband about his inability to help out with the chores or disparaging comments you make to your friends about your mother-in-law.
Resentment is anger that stems from feeling as if you’ve been treated unfairly. This is your nervous system responding to a threat with fight. Left unchecked, resentment can turn into bitterness and physically harm you, causing health problems. It can also damage or even destroy your relationships.
Want to read more about resentment? Check out this post I wrote: Resentment is a Sign.
Sign #2: You Always Compromise
Yes, it’s good to have the ability to compromise. Especially as an entrepreneur. Finding ways to compromise can make your business, relationships, and life easier to manage. But if you feel as if you’re always the one making compromises, stop and ask yourself why.
What is it that you’re afraid will happen if you don’t back down?
Are you afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings? This comes up often in my one-to-one sessions.
Are you afraid that people will stop working with you if you speak your mind?
Compromising is your nervous systems way of trying to fit in. In the online business world – the sooner you begin to own your differentiators the more successful your business will be.
Sign #3: You Feel Like Everyone Else’s Happiness Is More Important
It’s natural to want those around you to be happy. It means that you love your friends and family and value their happiness. But if you value everyone else’s happiness more than your own, chances are that you’re letting others trample your boundaries.
For example, Claire preferred to go home after work and have a quiet dinner with her husband and children. She treasured these family meals and the chance to have a conversation with her kids. But after Claire’s boisterous mother-in-law moved close, she would invite herself over every evening. Sometimes, she would even bring several friends with her. As a highly sensitive person whose energy was ready for a recharge, this felt like a massive invasion.
At first, Claire told herself it wasn’t a big deal. But as the days stretched into weeks, Claire found herself feeling resentful toward her mother-in-law. She wanted nothing more than to go back to her quiet routine but didn’t want to make her husband unhappy.
When we do this it is creating a sense of Un-Safe within our own system. We need nervous system safety to flourish in life and business.
Sign #4: You Worry about What Others Think
You want to expand your business in the ways you’ve always dreamed of or write that fun adventure novel. But the moment that you think about doing these things, you freeze up. Suddenly, you’re worried about what other people will think.
The surest way to live a life that makes you unhappy is to spend it making decisions for other people. You deserve more than tiptoeing around others and trying not to rock the proverbial boat.
For empaths this is often a trauma response that is stored in your body from childhood. It served you well and kept you safe as a child but now that you are an adult this response keeps your playing small. It gets in the way of you having the business success that you really want.
This sense of being frozen can keep you stuck. It’s important when we start to thaw that we have the right support to ensure safety.
Sign #5: Your Relationships Feel Unfulfilling
If you struggle with standing up for yourself, then you may have difficulty verbalizing what you need. As a result, your relationships can be unfulfilling and leave you feeling misunderstood or unseen.
Sometimes, this only affects some of your relationships. Kim was very outspoken about what she needed with her friends. But when it came to her boyfriend of eight years, she was hesitant to share her needs with him.
After being abandoned by her father at a young age, she worried her boyfriend would leave her if she got “too needy.” Unfortunately, this left her trapped in a relationship that wasn’t meeting her needs while her boyfriend had no idea how to help her.
This can also come up in business as being unable to ask for help, which can prolong our suffering.
Sign #6: Your Colleagues Are Building their Businesses
A colleague’s business has been exploding. You know objectively that she isn’t necessarily better at the work but somehow things seem to magically be coming together for her.
A very real possibility is that you’re not standing up for yourself enough. Maybe you aren’t acting on your thoughts and ideas enough of the time. Perhaps you are constantly looking to others instead of trusting your own inner compass. When you don’t have your own back it is easy to self-sabotage and keep you from the success you crave.
Creating nervous system safety and expanding your resilience will start to invite success in.
Sign #7: You Apologize All the Time
Many people struggle with apologizing too frequently. For some, this stems not from the belief that they were wrong but a sincere desire to repair the rift in the relationship.
While there’s certainly something to be said for being strong enough to apologize, it’s a mistake to always be the one apologizing first.
As a coach or healer when you are constantly apologizing, people may start to take advantage of you thinking that you are a pushover. It also undermines your authority as an expert. Which is what youa re in your business.
Sign #8: You Feel Like You Don’t Have a Choice
A common sign that you struggle to stand up for yourself is that you often feel as if you don’t have a choice in what happens to you. You have to work all the time, and you feel like if you stop everything will fail.
You feel as if you must go to the restaurants that your partner enjoys, and you can’t argue.
But are these thoughts really true?
What will be the worst that happens if you start to create business boundaries?
What will your partner say if you stand up for yourself and confidently share where you want to eat?
Chances are, if you’re in a healthy relationship, the other person might be surprised by your sudden vocalization, but they’ll be supportive. After all, those who truly want the best for you believe that you should own your power. (check out this meditation I have on Insight timer to help you stand in your power)
Most often this is a trauma response that you need support repatterning.
Sign #9: You Get Taken Advantage Of Frequently
Everyone has the wool pulled over their eyes and is misled on occasion. But if you’re always being taken advantage of, there’s probably a reason.
Something about your posture, your speech, or your body language is communicating to others that you are an easy target. This could be as simple as using submissive language when you talk or holding your body in a way that communicates subservience.
Using EFT Tapping to help build your self-esteem can make a massive difference in your posture and stance. Growing your personal power helps your business and you live your truth.
In my life I have used Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) to create a sense of inner strength.
Sign #10: You Don’t Know What You’re Feeling
During a disagreement or fight, you have trouble verbalizing your feelings. You struggle to tell others what you’re experiencing. As a highly sensitive person this is often because we are so tuned into other people’s energy and emotions that we have lost sight of ourselves.
You may also fear rejection. Building the emotional tools that you need to define your feelings is powerful healing.
The good news is that you can learn to define and communicate your emotions, even in the middle of conflict. But it does take time and practice to learn these skills.
Working with a certified EFT Practitioner can make a massive difference in your connection to yourself.
You Can Stand Up for Yourself
If you recognize some of your own feelings or behaviors in the list above, don’t despair. While it might seem overwhelming now, the truth is that you can become an empowered empath who asserts herself and gets her needs met.
Ready to start standing up for yourself?
When we go to make big changes in our lives it can be incredibly helpful to have a coach in your corner. Using EFT tapping as a supportive tool to help you change these deep patterns is the way to create long term success.