Do you identify as someone who is a kind and generous person? Does that sometimes mean you prioritize other people’s wants, needs, and desires above your own?

It is possible to be kind and generous without self-abandoning!

In this episode, you’ll learn why we do this plus the most common signs you might be self-abandoning, so you can up your self-love and begin to take better care of yourself (because you deserve it).

Prefer the audio? Listen here.

Let’s do a quick inventory:

  • Do you have difficulty trusting yourself?
  • Are you kind of a boundary disaster?
  • Do you say yes when you want to say no?
  • Are you a people-pleaser?

If you said yes to any of these, you might want to take a closer look at where you are abandoning yourself in your life!

Self-abandonment is when we reject, suppress, or ignore parts of ourselves. It is when we are out of tune with our own needs and wants and stuffing them down. Usually, this accompanies being super dialed into everyone else.

Why do we self-abandon? We all learn at a young age what to do to get a positive response from the adults in our lives and what behavior to avoid so we don’t get a negative response.

This isn’t about placing blame on the people who raised us. It is about gathering data about your childhood so you can become an expert on you. It is helpful to understand how your childhood relational patterns might still be negatively impacting you today.

If as a child you didn’t get your emotional or physical needs met, it can negatively impact your self-esteem. What we did or did not experience growing up can affect how worthy we feel of love, affection, attention, and consideration from the people in our lives. Without the awareness that comes with inner work and a mindful commitment to healing, we tend to carry these patterns into adulthood.

You might have witnessed self-abandonment as a modeled behavior. Do you come from a long line of self-abandoners? The behaviors we see enacted when we are children broadcast conscious and unconscious messaging like: “This is what it means to be a good parent/partner” or “This is what it means to be a good human being” or “This is what it means to be an adult”.

Even if those behaviors weren’t serving the adult you witnessed when you were growing up, we can still carry the same behaviors into our adult roles because of the meaning created and embedded in our formative years.

Here are some of the most common signs you might be self-abandoning:

  • Your boundaries are a mess

When you are a boundary disaster (with porous boundaries) you have trouble saying what is on your mind. It’s hard for you to make simple requests for what you want and need. You struggle to set limits with others which sets you up to be taken advantage of. Your boundaries are blurred or non-existent. 

  • You’re second-guessing yourself

You have difficulty making decisions. You have trouble trusting your intuition or your gut and might ask others what they think you should do. Overthinking, rumination, and procrastination when it comes to decision-making are also common for self-abandoners. 

  • You have the disease to please

The people-pleasing syndrome is another indication of self-abandonment. It points to seeking a lot of external validation. You might only show the parts of yourself you think the person or people you are with will approve of and you can be a chameleon depending on the company. The cost is denying parts of your true self! 

  • Perfectionism

Self-abandonment goes hand-in-hand with having unrealistically high expectations of yourself. Are you a workaholic? Many workaholics (and I am a recovering one) also suffer from perfectionism. Even when a perfectionist is exhausted, we will push ourselves and ignore our needs to get whatever the thing is exactly right. 

  • Having an Inner Mean Committee

Check the voice in your head. Do you say things to yourself you would never say in real life to someone you loved? That inner mean committee weighing in on your every action can be an indication of self-abandonment.

  • Lack of self-care

When everyone else comes first, your self-care rarely makes it onto your to-do list. Self-care isn’t just about a spa day. It’s about giving yourself plenty of space and support- and that means being able to say no to things when you need to rest. You have the right to prioritize your self-care without feeling selfish. 

  • Self-numbing

A big part of self-abandonment is ignoring or pushing down our true feelings. For some, that’s where self-numbing comes in with any number of mood-altering activities. There can be a lot of avoidance that goes on when you don’t know what to do with uncomfortable feelings or because you don’t have the skills to have a conversation you know you need to have. 

  • Self-betrayal

This looks like betraying your own values, how you feel, what you think, and what is important to you. Sometimes we can do this because we don’t want to disappoint someone else in our lives, even when we don’t agree with them. But when you act against your own values and beliefs, that is self-abandonment. It is so incredibly important to stay true to our own moral compass.

  • Codependency

Codependency is being overly invested in the feeling states, problems, and outcomes of others to the detriment of your own inner peace or financial, physical, or spiritual well-being. This might be the mother of all self-abandonment. When you’re codependent, it means you are outwardly focused on other people’s stuff instead of yourself.  It can manifest as over-functioning, over-giving, and yes, self-abandonment. This hyper-focus on the lives of others means your personal needs and desires get sidelined.

So what can we do? The key to recovery from self-abandonment is to reestablish (or establish for the first time) a healthy, loving vibrant relationship with yourself. Inside this week’s guide, you’ll learn the next steps you can take to begin to lead with more self-love and less self-abandonment! 

You’ll get some questions to help you uncover your self-abandonment blueprint, tips on upping your emotional fluency, and how to make checking in with yourself and what you need a new, healthy habit. You can download it here now. 

I hope that this episode inspires you to take better care of your amazing, unique self. If someone in your life could benefit from this, please share it! 

Have an amazing week and as always, take care of you.

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  1. Terri, thank you for this podcast. I needed it right now as I am going through some self defeating behaviors (ruminating about the ex). It's all a process though. You have no idea how much you have helped me in the past 2 years. I have left a dysfunctional marriage, I have moved to another country twice, and now that I am settling in, I am strengthening the ability to be true to myself. I am reprograming how I think of myself and how I want to be treated. I listen to your amazing meditations each day and I realize today, I also need to watch a podcast each day for something to focus on. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You helped me through the roughest part of my life so far.

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