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Hard-Won Wisdom: Reflections on Self-Care

Hard-Won Wisdom: Reflections on Self-Care

In this blog post, we'll explore six hard-learned lessons that have shaped my journey toward self-acceptance and empowerment. From trusting your instincts to standing up for yourself and valuing your time, each lesson offers insights and reflections gleaned from decades of life experience. Let's start with the glitter on cupcakes...

1. Embrace your quirks; they're the glitter on the cupcake of life, not evidence you're missing sprinkles.

For years, I took stock of how I differed from my friends and colleagues, and it was puzzling at times. I could appreciate their gifts and talents, but I tallied up our differences, shaking my head. Each difference was evidence of my brokenness to me. Today, I recognize and value those differences as my own gifts and talents, not brokenness. Life seems richer, and I see the exquisite differences in all of us because I can see myself as the same as others in different ways, not less than. Ask yourself, have I been tallying up my differences from others as evidence of my brokenness, rather than recognizing them as unique gifts and talents?

2. Trusting your instincts isn't selfish; it's like giving a high-five to your intuition.

I was raised to people-please. It was considered selfish to put my needs before others, but every time I violated my own gut instinct, I felt inconsolable and would kick myself later. When I let my instinct call the shots, feelings of betrayal, toxic kindness, and abandonment left me. Having a boundary and standing firm within that boundary wasn't selfishness; it was honesty. Consider for yourself, do I trust my instincts, or do I prioritize pleasing others over honoring my own intuition?

3. If you're uncomfortable in your own skin, it's like hosting a party where the vibe is awkward—no one's having fun.

I once worked in a toxic situation that made me doubt what I knew to be true. I was gaslighted and started to believe it myself. My lack of confidence spilled onto those around me. As I kept focusing on what I was doing "wrong" in their eyes, I made not only myself sick and unhappy but pulled others down emotionally, too. To be my best self, I need to feel comfortable with who I am and what I contribute. Being true to myself and my values brings out the best in others as well as myself. Am I comfortable in my own skin, or do I find myself in toxic environments that erode my confidence and self-worth?

4. Stand up for yourself; it's the grown-up version of adding extra sprinkles to your own sundae.

In that same toxic workplace, I also had to take responsibility for my actions. I tried to make sure everyone liked me, over-promising and hustling for them while neglecting my own needs - childish behavior. The truth was, I didn't stand up for my ideals or back them with action. That experience taught me to advocate responsibly for my needs. The difference between a child and an adult is taking responsibility for yourself. Question: do I stand up for myself and advocate for my needs, or do I seek validation and approval from others?

5. Choose your words wisely; they're like little ambassadors from your soul, and you wouldn't want them causing diplomatic incidents.

When failures would happen, I'd ask, "What did I do wrong?" - pinning the problem on me and my evidence of brokenness. We all do wrong sometimes, but this question reinforced that tendency. When I started asking, "What am I missing here?" the process changed my attitude tremendously. I could stop blaming myself and started seeing positive growth opportunities by assessing life more neutrally and less as a personal failure or shortcoming. Question: Do I tend to blame myself for failures, or do I approach setbacks with a growth mindset, seeking opportunities for learning and improvement?

6. Time is your most valuable asset; treat it like the honored guest at your gathering - no free passes.

I’ve had two major health issues that taught me this lesson the hard way. Facing borrowed time made me aware of how little time I might have and notice who I was important to. Without those wake-up calls, who knows how much time I would still waste on out-of-sync people or projects? I hope you, too, gain clarity about time's precious, finite nature without fear of a health scare but consider this: Am I mindful of the precious nature of time, and do I prioritize activities and relationships that align with my values and aspirations?

DeShawn Wert teaches intelligent, motivated professionals how to get stuff done so they CAN relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor! Let's explore how you do your best work together. An Ericson-trained life coach and JTS Coaching-trained ADHD coach, DeShawn is a member of good standing in the ADHD Coaches Organization. She's contributed to several books on living with ADHD, including Dr. Dale Archer's book, The ADHD Advantage, and Laurie Dupar's series called More Ways to Succeed with ADHD.



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You know what I find fascinating? It's our differences

~ especially those of us who can be a little off-center trying to function and find fulfillment in the mainstream world. This world values efficiency and productivity, which can require productivity techniques and hacks that some of us find 

too mundane and soul-crushing, if not impossible to follow.

For me, I've found I can't follow mainstream productivity tools and hacks. I've had to learn to drive my brain, use its quirks and creativity to feel seen, make contributions to the world, and enjoy both work and home.

I like working with smart people who are ready to dump conventional productivity techniques to learn their true personal productivity by understanding how to drive their brains and discover their unique strengths to redesign their days with systems that complement them.

Let's start exploring together!