Let’s Explore Your Relationship with ‘No’ – Self-Loyalty -v- Selfishness By Kristy Kaye

Psychological safety is a trending topic for thought-leaders at the moment, and is the most studied enabling condition in group dynamics and group learning research today.

Psychological safety is a key to performance and is being able to show and employ one’s self without fear or negative consequences of self-image, status or career. It can be defined as a shared belief that the team, organisation, home or environment is safe for interpersonal risk taking, where people feel accepted and respected. It is a condition where people feel (1) included (2) safe to learn (3) safe to contribute and (4) safe to challenge the status quo – all without fear of being embarrassed, marginalised or punished in some way.

Whilst the environment you are in is key to your performance, more important, is how you show up at the table and this is affected primarily by the level of your self-loyalty, your clarity and the ability to say ‘no’ when appropriate.

Self-loyalty engenders respect, improves the likelihood that our ideals or innovations will be heard and be successful, increases learning from mistakes, boosts life engagement and improves energy and drive to live your ideal life.

Steve Jobs said:

“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

The benefits are huge to discerning the conditioning, subtle manipulations and sometimes overt attempts to put others first that you experience through society, workplaces, families and relationships. When you identify and manage these, your energy and your opportunities grow. The people around you will change for the better. Clarity and harmony become your friends.

Ponder these 11 questions and see if any apply to you:

  1. Have you ever heard yourself saying, “I don’t want to be selfish?”
  2. Do you have a catchphrase similar to: “It’s no trouble at all… really?”
  3. Do you use people you are not invested in as outlets for your emotions or frustrations where the stakes are not so high?
  4. Do you say yes, even when you know you will be over-stretched?
  5. Do you ‘fight back’ or say ‘no’ automatically without discerning or negotiating the opportunity to your best interests?
  6. Do you justify to yourself that you will manage things and then struggle later?
  7. Have you been told you are being selfish, worried about reprimand if you say no, and it confused, unsettled or niggled at you?
  8. Do you struggle to get mad at badly behaving people, opting to blame yourself, justify or re-write someone’s cruddy behaviour?
  9. Do you feel responsible for other people’s reactions or happiness?
  10. Do you identify with being a people pleaser?
  11. Do you say yes, and then find you’re devoting so much more time than originally thought?
  12. Is your automatic sense to take care of others first, then find your own health, time or wellbeing paying the price?

It can be awfully painful or damn right exhausting to push your feelings away, all while working overtime to anticipate, please or silence yourself when you feeling disempowered. This pain and guilt is not an effective way of motivating yourself or others to reorient the situation to a more authentic, fulfilling way of showing up and connecting with others.

What is self-loyalty?

Author, mentor and coach, Kristy Kaye in her profound book ‘Raising Children Soul to Soul’ suggests loyalty to self is the first priority of spiritual growth. 

Kaye states:

“You cannot help others if you are not loyal to your own needs first. Growing spiritually is keeping the focus on ourselves – our energy first and foremost. To do that you must work on self-loyalty. You know the people in your life will benefit from your self-loyalty in every circumstance. They find their own solutions and too much help often makes them weak and dependent.”

This even relates to raising children. Doing too much for them, or stepping in and stopping them from making mistakes, can create a rift between ourselves and these maturing souls as they explore their own boundaries.

Society is full of concepts such as obligation, duty, catering and reprimand. You carry these concepts within yourself, and you impose them on to others. This can robs you of joy in your life and you become misaligned with your true self.

This incongruity or lack of personal integrity can then manifest in out of balance emotional tendencies and inner turmoil which erodes your judgement and confidence and can often result in a physical illness or condition. Of course, if you are sick, you can’t be supportive of anyone else, particularly if you’ve used all of your energy being a servant to others. You essentially lose yourself to the social approval of others. This impacts your spontaneity and fulfilment as you compromise yourself from a pivot of duty or obligation.

One small test when you find yourself in this situation is to ask yourself the below questions:-

  1. How am I feeling throughout the involvement or the activity I am engaged in?
  2. Am I feeling joy and fulfillment?
  3. Or am I feeling worn out and drained?
  4. Did it cost me more (in energy and time) than I expected?
  5. Did I get an energy boost from being involved?

Let’s use an example: Say you have an interview for a pivotal career change. It’s your dream job. But you are asked by a loved one to instead clear up some emotional mess for them at the same time.

You attempt to reschedule the interview, but it is too late. The outcome is that you are considered unreliable and are overlooked. Not only do you not get the job, you also do not get a second chance with your dream organisation. You now must accept a job that is not as attractive. You feel resentment.

An alternative decision is you decide to go to the interview. This outcome is that your loved one sorts the mess out themself and is grateful for the power it gave them. You got the job and embark on a new, exciting career.

Maybe when you cater to others it may not be as significant as the example above. It may show up for you in more subtle ways. You may feel over-stretched; you may say yes to events, food, where you go what you do or commitments when you don’t really want to; you feel responsible for others’ emotions; you may be an over-apologiser – even for small things.

To be devoted to a person, an organisation or an idea engenders a concept that you have to do for others, before you can look after yourself. This becomes an outside loyalty, which does not offer you any energy bonuses and in fact drains your energy. 

William Shakespeare wisely said:

“This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Let’s go back to the beginning:

You begin your life pure - full of self-loyalty and love. As you grow, you take on these types of inhibiting concepts that make you conform through devotion, fear and other outside loyalties. You may try to fit in with everyone else and their ideas and ideals. This conformity will come from the family you were born into, the culture, your environment and societal values. 

According to Science of People https://www.scienceofpeople.com/people-pleaser/, the definition of a people pleaser is:
someone who tries hard to make others happy. They will often go out of their way to please someone, even if it means taking their own valuable time or resources away from them.”

Meghan Fritz suggests if you grew up in a home with a difficult, emotionally unavailable parent, you may have unconsciously picked up the pattern of people-pleasing in an attempt to engage the aloof parent.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/people%20pleaser

You can also use people-pleasing though how you were conditioned as a way of diffusing conflict, feeling more secure in relationships and earning the approval of others. It is a learned way of creating safety in your connections and environments with others mirroring the imagined expectations and desires of other people. This can play out in workplaces, relationships and your home.

Developing Self-Loyalty

As you start to follow your inner truth, it may feel uncomfortable at first. You may believe you are disloyal, uncaring and unkind if you speak what you truly feel. As energy is forever evolving and refining with each moment and each realisation, you become more confident and congruent with your self-loyalty. 

You can investigate where your loyalty lies by inquiring into your feeling nature, through questions such as:

  • What am I feeling?
  • Does this situation feel right for me
  • Is this what I really want?

You can read more on this subject in our article: “10 Ways to Identify Your Feeling Nature to Live an Illuminated Life”. 

Balance and harmony come when you are working from your inner-feelings and not from what other people think or tell you what to do. Notice the quiet voice inside you, rather than your intellect screaming or demanding from you. You can then organise things in your own timing. By taking a moment, staying in the present, relaxed and you can operate from enthusiasm and inner-peace in knowing your direction.

It can be highly beneficial to have a practice of meditation to settle your energy and develop the ability to get clear insights into what is happening around you, and what is happening within you. Read our article on 30 Questions to Ask in Meditation in the Next 30 days may be helpful.

The consequences of not developing Self-Loyalty

History has shown many examples of the risks in not developing self loyalty: leading an inauthentic life, handing over control of your life to others, being led by loyalists to thinking or perceptions that are not aligned to your truth, putting yourself in harms way, having your energy used to benefit others without benefiting your purpose or path. But the crucial one for your personal spiritual learning can be taken from this insightful quote by Francisco Coll:

 “Each soul has come to learn certain lessons for himself. If you interfere with his learning, he will just have to recreate the same situation to learn from.”

Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Self-Loyalty

If you’re feeling pressure from others in your environment, you can use these strategies shown below to give yourself time to discern your involvement and the level of involvement:

  • Use the phrase “Let me get back to you”, as a default to buy yourself time to discern what your opportunity is to be involved in an activity or project.
  • Start with small “nos” or offer other alternatives.
  • Put a time-frame around the situation: “Let’s start here and review how it is going for us both in…….”

Of course, you may still choose to prioritise a loved one’s needs at times, but it will be based on a conscious review and decision, rather than from duty, obligation, catering or past habits.

Again, Kristy Kaye in her book Constitution of Our Soul suggests:
there is a bigger picture to self-loyalty and that is you have incarnated here on your own solo journey.  Your evolvement starts and ends with you. You and your soul part are ready for the direction you are undertaking, while others in your environment may not be ready for what you are doing. As you discover your spiritual path and purpose and grow in enlightenment, you become more capable and have less reliance on others to support us. We become satisfied with good, quality fellowship with other souls (regardless of gender, race, etc). We can open to a bigger picture of sharing soul to soul rather than being caught in the trivial judgement of people by appearance, money, race, gender, or other limiting points of view, which can captivate us in a small picture.

Freedom also comes in understanding that each person has free will to make their own life experiments.  This allows us to take a step back and really discern what our opportunity for involvement is and what is interference in other people’s business. If we try to interfere in other people’s lives or attempt to solve their problems for them, cater to them, or play a role, we are perhaps feeding our own ego and contributing to their stagnation because we can make them weak or incompetent by intruding on their decision making and/or direction. 

Picture yourself having the freedom to love all souls with unconditional love.  Loving people unconditionally does not mean you have to perform some need or sacrifice for them, but to accept them where they are at spiritually, and be open and aware of what is your opportunity.  Allowing yourself time to take a step back and really discern what your opportunity is and if there is energy for it, will then enable you to live the benefit of the solutions it may bring to you both”.

The next step – Sincerity to Follow Through

The next step is to be sincere with yourself to follow through and action your self-loyalty.  This may mean being courageous in sharing your inner-truth and rejecting what others may have planned for you. 

As a stepping stone on this path, you may start with asking yourself at the end of each day “How much joy did I receive from today’s investments?”. Consider how much fulfilment you enjoyed from the opportunities of the day – how much contentment did you live, and was it all day or a small part of the day?  Ask your guidance in meditation, “In what ways can I be more loyal to myself?”, “What percentage was I loyal to myself today?”

Below is a beautiful quote from a French humanist, Andrew Gide:

“Through loyalty to the past, our mind refuses to realise that tomorrow’s joy is possible only if today’s make way for it; that each wave owes the beauty of its line only to the withdrawal of the preceding one.”

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Read other articles related to this topic:

8 Ways to be Loyal To Yourself

3 Vital Steps to Break Through Limiting Beliefs

How to Unblock Your Personal Success and Love of Life

What is the Best Way to Spiritual Enlightenment? 

 

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