Last week we explored showing up for yourself, and this week we’re going to have a look at how that worked out.

Did you track two instances that you did or didn’t show up for yourself and take care of your specific needs?

If you did show up for yourself, how did that feel? Was it easy to take pause and make a choice that aligned with your needs or was it a bit scary. 

Sometimes these shifts feel easy and we realize that we have been showing up in certain situations as we were expected to show up and that we have failed to recognize we always have choices – in every situation. It’s a bit of an awakening, if you will, an a-ha moment, as we slide differently into a familiar situation with ease.

Other times it feels scary and uncomfortable to take a stand for your needs, because we are used to showing up and behaving as expected.

If you didn’t show up for yourself, how did that feel? 

I know for me, when I recognise that I have failed to show up for myself, I feel deflated and crappy, like the world is hard and uncaring, and there’s no room in it for me. And I wonder why I sunk into a familiar pattern, sculked away, and didn’t make my needs known. 

And here’s the tricky part – at every point, during any event, I always have a choice as to how I show up; for me, or not for me… Not showing up is my familiar response. Showing up is foreign and scary.

Learning to show up for yourself is a bit of a bumpy road but it is absolutely do-able (and powerful)! For me, the first step is to take pause. When ever anyone asks anything of me or takes issue with me, I take pause, center myself and ask: Is this something that fits into this moment in my life right now? or Is this actually true?

The second step is to feel into it

For instance, if someone askes me to drive them around so that they can run errands. Of course I want to be helpful – but is this a good fit in this moment of my day (or whatever timing is required)?

Step 1

  • Take pause and reflect

Step 2

  • How does it feel to make room for this in my day

Now I want to consider if this situation feels good or bad? If it feels good –  I can go ahead. There’s no conflict with my needs. If it feels bad to think about accommodating a request – then I will want to take a pass and take care my needs. 

Also, if you can’t accommodate a request you don’t need to elaborate as to why you can’t do something. A simple negative response is all that is required. You don’t need to validate your choice with an excuse or story. 

As another example, perhaps someone makes an accusation about you. 

  • Take pause (don’t react, reflect)
  • Ask yourself: is this statement true?

If it’s true – own it and discuss how to rectify the situation. We’re human and we all make mistakes and poor choices. It’s not a big deal, so don’t make it one. (As neurodivergent folk we tend to believe that we are the only ones making mistakes and poor choices. However, this is not true. Everyone makes mistakes. Even neurotypical people!).

Now if the statement is not true, say so. A simple statement such as, That is not correct or That’s not what happened, will suffice. No need to validate or elaborate. If further valid questions are asked, answer them in a way that feels comfortable for you, in a matter-of-fact, non-reactive tone. Again, there is no need to validate your responses with a long winded, emotional story.  

Learning to show up for yourself takes practice because we are stepping out of the familiar. The first few times will feel very uncomfortable – but it get’s much easier over time and it’s very empowering. 

Were you able to show up for yourself last week? If so, think about how it felt to do so. Were there bumps or was it smooth. Was there anything you could have added to the situation that might have made it easier? What might you do next time?

If you were not able to show up for yourself – don’t worry! You gained insight and awareness, and these are steps in a good direction! We are creatures of habit and stepping out of the familiar can cause a lot of anxiety and overwhelm. Keep trying. Take tiny steps in situations that feel small and manageable. Small wins give you the strength and courage to try again. Be compassionate with yourself and shut down any feelings of failure. There is no failure – there is only learning and growth. Start by just noticing the ways in which you don’t show up for yourself and take it from there.

So, again, over the next week, take steps towards showing up for yourself. In every situation before agreeing or responding:

  1. take pause, reflect
  2. feel your way into it

You do not need to respond to someone immediately, even if they’re standing right in front of you waiting for an answer. Simply let them know that you need a minute and that you will let them know. Then take a hot minute for yourself, work through steps one and two – and then once you’ve gained a little insight, respond accordingly.

And that’s it for this week.