Since You Asked: Putting Yourself First

If you are a people pleaser at the expense of your wellbeing, how do you create healthy boundaries? Since you asked, Susan is here to help

Hello, everyone. I am so excited we have another episode. It is a Sunday afternoon here in very sunny Tampa, Florida. I got out and did all my exercise and got dressed up for you guys. I’m even wearing a pair of glasses that I think really channel my dear Iris Apfel, rest in peace. Just a remarkable icon of a woman who definitely ignored her age.

Well, we’re going to move on to questions. And I’ve got a really fun one today. So this one comes from a 63-year-old woman. She describes herself as a people pleaser in her relationships: “I do a lot at the expense of my physical and mental wellbeing. How do I start, at 63, creating healthy boundaries?” There is a lot to unpack in this question.

She says she’s married, so she’s in a relationship. She’s got friends. I often wonder, especially women of this generation, if the narrative for us was to be a good girl, be a people pleaser, make sure everybody’s needs are taken care of. And I joke that in the Cuban Catholic community, self-love, more me or whatever just didn’t exist. It was all about if you had a husband, you took care of him.

If you had kids, you put them first, as well, because you get into a habit of taking care of everybody but yourself. You don’t even remember what that could be like. What would that be like if you just started using the word no? If something came to interfere with putting some goals in plan for yourself? For me, at 63, it was when the pandemic was raging and I decided that I wasn’t going to let the pandemic make me a lesser, more invisible version of myself.

I spent the pandemic with my son, who was in medical school. I loved that period, but I was also living with who I considered to be an Einstein. And all of a sudden I thought maybe discipline’s the key. For the first time, kind of not letting yourself down. When you start to put boundaries in place, it means that you’re saying yes to yourself, and you may be saying no.

At 63, who do you like? Who is doing something that if you said, “If I had a chance now, that’s what I would like to do”? And you stand in Wonder Woman pose because they say that increases testosterone. Who are you? What could you contribute to the world that the world needs so badly? And we need something from everyone. Start journaling. Start trying to see yourself six months ahead.

If you checked the boxes, you already kind of know what to do. It’s just using no in a sentence, that no is a complete sentence, and not letting yourself down. You show up for yourself, even if the only thing you commit to is today. I’m going to tie my tennis shoes and go out for a wonderful walk with a podcast.

I’m going to go out for 5 minutes. And then what happens is, what you find is five turns into ten and ten turns into 15, and all of a sudden you’re starting to replace this crisis of comfort, I think, in people who people please a lot. They need to be comforted quite a bit. And when I do motivational speaking, I’ll often say: this is not the way to get comfortable.

And challenge yourself to do as many uncomfortable things as possible today. I would love to experiment with a phone call to my 94-year-old Cuban mother. She could say anything, guys, so just be prepared.

Hello? Yes, I just have a really quick question. This is a woman who writes in and says, “I do everything for everybody else and now it’s at the expense of my physical and mental wellbeing. How do I start taking back my life?”

Susan’s Mom
I don’t know what her religion is, but she needs to go to church and pray to God. God will help her.

So that’s the answer. She needs to go to church and pray to God.

Susan’s Mom
She needs to think about it before she goes and does things for others. Think: where are you? There. And then see if you can help somebody.

I like that advice so much. Okay. Thank you, Mama. I love you.

She had a lot of this similar advice. Even for 94-year-old, you know, put yourself first, but there has to be a plan in place. And like my mom said, my mom’s very, very Catholic, but that isn’t a bad idea to have some spirituality, I think, involved at this age. We’re not used to asking for help.

What else? There is this: Think like a warrior. My gosh, be like a warrior. Be a superhero. Imagine being called and it’s up to you to save the world. Take a chance on yourself. Make a plan. Try and dream about things you’ve always wanted to do. And look to see who in your age group are doing those things.

When you start putting yourself first, I promise you, you can come back and yell at me, it makes it so much easier to navigate the other relationships.

So that’s it for this week. Have a great afternoon. Take care. I love you guys.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.


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