Why We All Need More Self-Indulgence — Lynne McLean Brown Life Coaching

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What I have learned about Self-Denial

I have the potential to be an expert in self-denial but I am working on letting my self-indulgent side out. When I feel pressured or busy, I find myself putting off pleasurable activities until later. I am even aware that it will do me harm in the long run. I hold productivity and achieving so dearly that everything else drops down the priority list. Maybe IIs it cos I like to be the martyr? maybe I am waiting for someone else to jump in take care of me. Do I want to be seen as superhuman? Or is it that I just put things off for later feeling it’s not important. It’s probably a combination of all of these things to varying degrees on different days.

Self-Denial Diet

This all feels very indulgent, it’s like I am on some sort of pleasure diet. You know when you are on some crazy faddy diet that cuts out a whole food group and you feel crappy. Well, I put myself on a pleasure diet I deny all forms of pleasure till I binge and then feel unproductive and guilty. I suspect this to be as unhealthy as its food equivalent. This doesn’t work, just like a diet, denial of any kind doesn’t work. Martha Beck explores this concept of how we can add more joy and practice self-indulgence in her book The Joy Diet. It’s really great reading if you want to go a little further than this article.

Being OK with Self-Indulgence

What can be done today, right now as we think about why we deny ourselves pleasure so easily and feel so terrible for it? The thing is that deep down we always know what we really need. We often hide it with layers and layers of social conditioning and expectations. This includes layers of beliefs and expectations that we have taken to our hearts. Ideas about being a woman, an employee, a business owner, friend, daughter, wife and mother. What a good person does, what the right thing to do is and how we should look while we go about our daily lives. These expectations, ideas and beliefs can add guilt, pressure and stress if they are at total odds with reality.

Indulge Yourself and be at Your Best

Taking time out inspires my work. I can write a blog post in half an hour rather than eight when I am replenished, excited and inspired. When I feel good, I can talk with passion and emotion on video. Being at my best means self-indulgence. Furthermore, it means that I am a better, more present coach. As a mum, I am a more patient and empathetic. I am a hell of a lot more fun, happier I am a better partner and friend.

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Lynne McLean Brown

Lynne McLean Brown

Caffeine addict, mum of two, aerialist, yogi, traveller, wife, stationery horder, baker, life coach and writer at www.lynnemcleanbrown.com