Stop Setting Yourself on Fire to Keep Others Warm

Warning – it’s about to get really real up in here.


I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s New Year’s resolution was “be kinder to myself” or “focus on positive self-talk.” It’s never a priority to us to treat ourselves better on sort of this mental/emotional well-being level. We just don’t usually think of health in this way. The term ‘health’ is usually more concrete – our physical bodies, our food/nutrition, even our water intake.


So there’s this big ol’ gap around emotional health. Our focus at Limitless Performance and Therapy in January has been positive self-talk, but I want to take a side bar and dip into the world of when self-sacrifice becomes too much. (Buckle up kids.)


I heard a quote recently and this is the best place I could think of to share it:


“Stop setting yourself on fire to keep others warm.”


Damnnnnnnnn. I heard that and a bell went off in my head. Like, ummmm… Hi, yes me. Wow, I do this allllll the time. #PeoplePleaser


I think in some ways we all do this. We’ll let ourselves “burn” for the betterment of those close to us. Which umm hello, is not exactly healthy. But I understand what it feels like to want or need to sacrifice that deeply for someone. But the “BURN” is significant because it showcases the amount of self-harm that happens to those that do this.


Part of this whole positive self-talk push at Limitless Performance and Therapy is to also help you recognize your worth and part of your worth is knowing when you’re overexerting. We tend to spend so much of our day giving of ourselves to everyone else – our family, our friends, co-workers and bosses. We celebrate their successes and joys, we try to fix their problems and make them happy. But when it comes to ourselves, we’re not as apt to try. And I’m all for people helping one another, don’t get this twisted, but there comes a point when you have to just do for yourself.


So how do you stop the burn? Honestly, I think this is so personal because there’re things that some people would easily be willing to do that others would never, so there isn’t a clear-cut answer. A lot of this involves some self-discovery and honesty with those around you about how you’re feeling.


Maybe that’s the big takeaway from all this – learn your limitations and stand your ground. Your just as important as the people you set yourself on fire for.


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Earlier this month we posted a quote by Brene Brown on social media that read, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” But she has much more to contribute than a single quote. We really vibe with a lot of her work but found this article to be particularly helpful when it comes to investing time in yourself and how it effects your leadership style.


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