What are you denying yourself?

A while ago, I decided to make a big symbolic investment in myself…

And I’d waited years to do this… denying myself and envying others who had done what I secretly wanted to do. Continually telling myself that I didn’t deserve it and should just make do.

What did I buy?

I finally bought myself a brand new vacuum cleaner!

Now before you roll your eyes and close this page, hear me out…Heather - smiling - grey shirt

For years I’d been denying myself a new vacuum cleaner because, well, I already had two of them!  Sure, they were old appliances; one I acquired from my Grandmother when she moved into a senior’s home, the other I’d had since my son was born (he’s now 14 years old) but technically they both still worked.

And I hated them.

I hated how clunky and inefficient they were. They made housecleaning such a discouraging and painful task that I avoided it.  But I just couldn’t rationalize spending money on a new one!

Until the day I realized my resistance wasn’t about spending money on an appliance, it was about spending money on myself.

[Ouch]

As a career coach I stand for women to value themselves and ask for what they truly need.  And I was denying myself… a vacuum cleaner?

[Sigh]

Allow me to introduce what became my best friend, the Kenmore Bagless Canister Vacuum 600 Series (I her called her, “Beyoncé”…’cause she’s pretty and powerful)!

My new vacuum - BeyonceShe’s a marvel of engineering and design – where clean meets sexy!  Now when I vacuum I’m wielding a powerful 12-Amp, 2-motor system with a 14” cleaning path [Insert evil laugh here]!

In fact, it’s a little ridiculous how happy this appliance has made me… (It’s a vacuum after all, not “that” kind of appliance).

Vacuuming has actually become fun and my kids started competing over who got this chore each week.  And let’s not overlook how pleasurable it is to see the tangible (albeit filthy) results of our efforts! Who knew there was that much dirt and hair on my floors? (What are we, Yetis?)

In hindsight, I realize how depriving myself wasn’t just hurting me. 

While I was tolerating cumbersome and inefficient appliances for years, I was also torturing my family:

  • Resenting my husband for not doing more of the housework (Couldn’t he see how I was struggling?!)
  • Nagging my kids for being… well, kids. (How dare they shed skin cells so thoughtlessly!)
  • And hating myself for hating housework.

ENOUGH!

The irony is that once I actually decided to buy a new vacuum the Universe responded by offering up Consumer Report’s top rated vacuum (aka “Beyoncé”) for a smokin’ $100 off.

It was meant to be.

Kenmore vacuumAnd here’s the best part: purchasing this item sparked a cascade of awareness for me around self-care, self-worth and permission giving.

I realize I didn’t JUST buy a new vacuum, I gave myself permission to be well cared for and to get my needs fully met.

Too often we put off investing in ourselves, reasoning that we can “just make do” or that we don’t deserve it.  But this thinking keeps us trapped in a cycle of self-denial and suffering.

We grow resentful and further close ourselves off to possibilities.

And the world mirrors for us our internal state.  If we don’t believe we’re worthy of investment then we are certain to experience frustration and lack. If we do believe we’re worthy then we’ll inevitably find the resources we need.

Money. Opportunity. Or (in my case) an appliance will always come to those who value themselves. Amen.

So I hope you’ll consider:

  • How are you denying yourself?
  • Where are you blocking the people, tools, or inspiration you need to up-level your career? Your business? Your relationships?
  • What is this costing you?

If my amusing story resonates with you, I invite you to shift your perspective and join me.  Stop depriving yourself the support you need to move forward in your career.  Start investing in yourself through coaching.

Heather - notebook

 

 

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