Thursday, June 20, 2019

It's Okay To Say You're Not Okay

I am a strong and independent woman.

The phrase has been used so often by countless women all over the world that it’s become a meme. There is no denying that it’s something we all find ourselves repeating. Whether you are going through a particularly hectic time or you feel overwhelmed by life in general, it’s a magical spell you can hold onto for protection. It doesn’t solve your problems, but it gives you the strength and self-confidence you need, because, no matter what, you are a strong and independent woman. Whatever it is you have to do, you can do it. You know it because you’ve repeated the phrase like a religious chant until you finally believed in it and in yourself.

There is nothing wrong with reminding yourself that you are able to cope with a lot more than you think. Everybody needs to feel they can handle life’s lemons without blinking. Ultimately, the inspirational line serves one definite purpose. It shields you when you feel vulnerable. It helps your mind to ignore the obstacle and aims for success.

Unfortunately, self-motivation comes at a cost. You have to ignore how you feel to push through. But there are times when ignoring your feelings isn’t the right solution. There are times when not being okay is the right thing to be. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge your pain and challenges rather than pretend they don’t exist. Even a strong and independent woman can say when she’s not okay, and these are the 8 times when you have to put yourself first.

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As a freelancer, you need a break

Women are most likely to experience what is called imposter syndrome. To put it simply, it’s an overwhelming feeling that takes over yourself and forces you to believe that you are not as good as others see you. You live in fear of being spotted. Female freelancers know this struggle, and many, as a result, feel guilty when they need to take some time off. But the truth is that, as a person, you need to recharge your batteries if you want to remain on top of your game. Listen to your body; if you find it hard to concentrate or to stay alert, it’s a sign that you need a break. Burnout doesn’t pay the bills! If you’re booking a holiday, it’s essential to let your clients know as early as possible to avoid any issue. Additionally, you don’t need to provide any detail about what you are going through as a way of justifying your absence.

Pixabay Image

You can’t accept every new work project

Being in charge of your time also implies that, as a freelancer, you can get to decide which project you want to work on. A common mistake is to accept every gig you receive. However, you don’t want to exhaust yourself or waste your time on projects that may not be rewarding, both in terms of interest and payment. You have to learn to say no without feeling bad about it. Being organized with your work and clients can let you prioritize gigs as they come in and make sure you know how to stick to your schedule. More importantly, it gives you a choice. When you know how much you’ve got on your plate, you are more tempted to reject difficult clients because money is not an issue anymore.

Don’t be ashamed to see a doctor when you are in pain

What’s a little pain, right? You’ve got no time to indulge in sickness, especially when you’re trying to run a business. Did you know that freelancers are the most likely to develop health complications because they try to shake off minor issues to carry on with their work? As a result, something that could have been without consequences can become a handicapping pain. Don’t be tempted to pop a pain killer and push through. Minor symptoms could lead to significant problems if you leave them unattended. Ignoring your health troubles is never a sign of strength. It’s the opposite. Even though it can be stressful to face the issue and book a medical appointment, you need to put yourself first. The truth is that it won’t go away if you pretend it isn’t there. Many people worry that discussing pain makes them appear weak, but acknowledging the problem is the best thing you can do.

You shouldn’t be afraid of complaining when things are not right

We have a hard time acknowledging issues that affect us. Seeking medical help when you’re in pain is a mentally challenging process. Indeed, you may not feel confident enough to complain about the things that bother you. When it comes to health complaints, many are worried about appearing weak and awkward. Alternatively, complaining about a service or a product that didn’t meet your expectations feels just as challenging. Except that you’re not worried about appearing weak, but instead you’re afraid of sounding like a jerk. Did you know that very few customers like to express their displeasure in restaurants, for example? They are concerned about affecting the mood around the table for the worse. However, when you get what you’ve ordered, it’s only fair to address the problem – after all, you’re paying for it. More often than not, staying calm while stating your issue can not only help to get it sorted sooner but also smooth out the complaint. Whether your meal is overcooked, your hotel bedroom is dirty, or even your haircut isn’t quite what you hoped for, you shouldn’t pretend everything is okay. On the contrary, nobody is going to resent you for politely and respectfully explaining your concerns.

Nothing makes sense anymore

Worrying about who we are and how others perceive us is human nature. If you have to raise a complaint with a business, you can’t help but wonder if the employees are going to dislike you for it. If you are going through a tough time, you may come to think that the universe is against you. When you’re in your usual mindset, you can brush away those thoughts. However, if you’re already stressed out or tired, the negative thoughts hang around. The worries become your new reality, and you rapidly feel overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon to be helpless in the face of unexpected and difficult situations. But harboring hurtful thoughts about yourself without being able to stop can do a lot of damage to your health, your career, and your happiness. Dark thoughts isolate you and create a destructive pattern if you don’t learn to manage your inner critic. Talking and sharing your worries with a trained therapist can make a great deal of difference – if the situation sounds familiar, you can find someone to talk to at today. Ultimately, you can’t ignore your negative thoughts without putting your mental health at risk. Even a strong woman needs help to find the way back to herself.

Your best friend has stabbed you in the back

Sometimes the pain comes from the place you least expect. Arguing with a friend is a difficult and emotional experience. You might feel betrayed by their behavior or hurt by something they’ve said. More often than not, as puts it, feeling vulnerable and emotional is what can lead to unnecessary conflict. Sometimes, your emotions get in the way of your communication, and someone says something they will regret. Most people would choose to ignore the issue because they’re worried about upsetting their friends or admitting their vulnerability. But it only results in a damaged relationship. It is important to let those close to you know when they’ve hurt you, but you don’t have to add more drama to the situation.

When the relationship doesn’t feel right anymore

Falling out of love is taboo in the relationship talks. Nobody wants to admit that it is possible for feelings to fade. But if you notice that you don’t have feelings for your partner anymore, you can’t make yourself love them again. Failing to be honest with yourself and with them isn’t going to cause less pain. On the contrary, it will be a painful situation for you. You can’t be stuck in a loveless relationship because you’re worried to upset your partner. In the long term, it stops you and them from being happy.

When you think your relatives don’t respect you

Parents should have your back. However, many adults complain about their painful relationships with their parents. Indeed, some situations make you feel unappreciated and disrespected – and you shouldn’t ignore them. If your mother’s comments about your weight or your job are hurting you, for instance, you have the right to tell her you will not tolerate any further pain. If you don’t set boundaries by letting them know what you don’t find okay, you are going to struggle. You shouldn’t feel guilty about managing your parents or your in-laws when they infringe upon your personal boundaries.

Mother and Daughter on Pixabay
In conclusion, you are a strong and independent woman. But being aware of how you feel and the things that drag you down can help you to cultivate your sense of personal strength too. Remember that acknowledging the bad things that affect you is no weakness. It’s your secret to make issues disappear.

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