Have you ever felt that you’re giving more and more… and MORE of yourself?
You whizz past your own boundaries, those nagging … ‘should have been a no in the first place only to find yourself in it’… giving away more than you should, more than you need to… or being honest more than you want to.
That my beauty is overgiving.
I’ve seen it in so many women I work with and I am a recovering over giver. Yet to keep overgiving, is to dishonour yourself… your needs, your wants, your dreams, and passions all get drained in an endless cycle of giving more and more!
And you get to that point of feeling so exhausted, you’re burnt-out, demotivated, and so unfulfilled you don’t care anymore. AND for the person you’re overgiving to… your boss, your friend, your partner or even your children your overgiving is doing them NO favours. It’s creating a co-dependency, why will they do something themselves when you’re there to do it. You’re taking away their want to discover, explore and be independent when you keep stepping in!
So you’re not even helping them either! And leaving yourself exhausted. The irony!
So today I’m going to share what is overgiving, where it comes from and 3 simple steps to start to change.
What is overgiving?
My definition of overgiving is when you give more time, love, energy and more of YOU than we actually have. You give out more than you are able to renew and reenergize from, leaving you exhausted and depleted.
Here’s some examples:
- Going above and beyond your job role to be noticed, like those extra “development opportunities”
- Being the first in and last to leave – well back in the days we were in the office anyway!
- Doing something that is someone else’s role as you know it’ll get done in the time you need to.
- Putting your partners/sons/daughters/dog/cats needs before your own.
- Sacrificing what you want to give your partner what they need, and still giving more.
- Saying yes when you know, you have no time or energy to do the thing.
- Giving advice, and being the friend who’s always checking in, even when you don’t get that back.
- Not pushing for the job title and promotion to fit with the level of work and the team you run.
Are you nodding along, are you guilty of any of these? Then you’re not alone.
I’m a recovering overgiver, especially during my marriage breakdown. I didn’t want to face things at home, so I went into overgiving at work mode, staying longer, doing more and all those projects that I’d never had time to do were suddenly completed. I hid away from the reality and my feelings, for me it felt safe.
Why do you overgive?
The good news, you are not alone in overgiving. It’s sadly an epidemic amongst so many people who grew up in the “hard work” generation.
You believe you’re not clever enough or talented enough. So you’re forever giving more … advice, time, money, support.
You’re used to working hard and then harder, to be noticed and to feel lovable e.g. if your parents rewarded you for good exam results.
You have no idea of what it would take for you to feel enough, you have no way of measuring so you keep going down the only road you know… giving more.
A culture where overgiving, is a sign of love and you’re described as “so generous” or “such a harder worker”
A culture where women are raised to give more and more, think less of their needs than others… “give before you take” and not to pursue needs that would upset others.
Your want to make a difference and impact on the world, that want for lives to have meaning and to matter.
Your want to feel needed, loved and appreciated in search to feel enough, yet it never comes so you keep going.
Not valuing your own magic, your expertise and impact that has a huge impact on others, simply by BEING you and NOT from always DOING.
Overgiving protects you from slowing down to think about how you really feel and from the pandora’s box of looking inwards.
If you’re nodding along thinking fuck how does she know, I’ve got you… time to make a change and give to feel good, yet NOT overgive!
3 Ways to STOP Overgiving
- Recognise your overgiving
Be super honest about where you ARE overgiving, it’s not easy but the truth will set you free.
How to start?
Think about the areas of your life and people who drain your energy, who it feels heavy and depleting when you think about them. Make a list and think about how much you give them of your time and energy, and how that feels for you.
- Meet your own needs first
Meet your needs first, trust that inner voice and intuition if when you’re asked to do something it feels like a no… SAY NO! E.g. at work if you’re asked to take on another project yet you know you can’t, say no or make it clear it needs to be one thing or another.
It’s not easy to say no, but the more you show your brave boundaries the more they’ll be respected.
Other people can’t respect boundaries you never set.
- Course correction
When you start to correct your overgiving, expect some reaction from people who have benefited from your overgiving.
They might try to make you feel bad and question it or you, but know that it’s simply a course correction to get back to YOU!
If you’ve found this useful, I’d love you to share? And which from the list above will you start with? Message me here to let me know.
If you found this useful please share, and here’s my Overwhelm to On Fire: The 5 Minute Head Clearing Checklist for Women in the Corporate World to help you keep a clear head and that “balance”… just click here to download your FREE copy!