When you schedule your dental check-up, you have every intention of attending that appointment. Then, the day comes, and stuff happens.
You remember how going to the dentist is uncomfortable. Plus, your calendar got slammed, your internet crashed, you had a rough morning with the kids, and dang-it, now it’s raining. Arg, this appointment is super inconvenient.
But you still put on your boots and go. Why? Because:
- You said you would.
- You know it’s beneficial to your health.
- You don’t want to get penalized with the cancellation fee.
So why don’t you show yourself, at the very least, the same respect you show your dentist?
This week, I’ll debunk your commitment misconceptions and demonstrate how you’re selectively unreliable. I’ll expose the real reasons why you consistently show up for others, but bail on yourself, and reveal the one action that breaks the pattern.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Promise-keeper pop quiz
- When self-care is painful
- Shifting from “meh” to “aha”
- What self-love really means
- The scale of needs
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
What do your next few months look like? Choose to fill them with learning over doomscrolling, new friendships versus social isolation, goals done instead of more excuses and procrastination. You own this choice. We’re getting started in Expats on Fire, so rope yourself in right here, and decide to be unstoppable with us.
- Join Expats on Fire right here.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
Catch These Podcasts:
- Episode 138: Hidden Vulnerabilities
- Episode 94: You’re Selfish if You Don’t Do This
- Episode 211: Rebound After Relapse
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 7:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
It’s Pop Quiz time! Now there’s two rounds so get ready. In round one, give yourself a point for each one of the items that you could imagine yourself saying, “Yes” to. Number one: When you have a dentist appointment, you show up. If this is true for you, give yourself one point.
Number two: If a friend asks you to come over, on let’s say a Tuesday to help her with boxes for 45 minutes, you wouldn’t postpone it last minute unless there was an absolute emergency. If this sounds like you, give yourself a second point.
Number three: You would get up early to pack your kids lunches for a school outing or prepare them the night before. Sound feasible for you? Give yourself a third Point.
Number four: When you have a personal development training, at let’s say work, you don’t skip it. All right. So how many points do you have so far? Two? Three? Maybe even all four? Super!
Now let’s do round two. Round two is different. I’ll give you four items, this time take away one point for each one that applies to you. Number one: When you tell yourself you’re going to work out you don’t always do it.
Number two: If you make a plan to meditate, journal, or something to take care of you, you often push it back and say you’ll do it later. Sound familiar? If either one of these is true, you have to take away one of your points.
Number three: You plan to get up early and have some time just for you, but you end up hitting snooze seven times or you stayed up late the night before so now you have no choice but to sleep longer.
And number four: You buy a personal development book, but you don’t read it. Or you read it, and you don’t actually do the exercises inside.
Okay, time to calculate. How’d it go? What’s your score? Do you got four, three, two, one, zero? Does round one look vastly different from round two? I think you get the hint. Why is it that we keep our commitments to others but we’re so willing to flake out on the commitments to ourselves. I know that some of you are asking yourself the same question and this is exactly the question we took a deep dive in just last week during the five-day IGNITE challenge. Believe me, there was a lot of head nodding in the room because I know you’re not alone.
This is important to answer: Why is it so hard to keep commitments to ourselves when we can show up for others? I know there’s a lot of ways to answer this. But today I’m going to give you mine and it comes with four parts.
Number one is simple: Change is Hard. I’m not hiding that from you. You might even be surprised to hear that from me, but for real, if change were so easy everybody would be walking around with six-packs and be marathon runners, and never yell at their kids. Right? So change is hard.
I went into detail about this in episode 211: Rebound After Relapse, where we talk about how relapse is actually part of our growth and we need to plan for it, and it’s unfortunately where most people stop and get discouraged when they go backwards, right? That is where people say, “Well, I’m never going to make it. I can’t do this.” So if that sounds like you, if you get stopped at the first sign of what I’m doing, in air quotes failure, then maybe you want to check out episode 211: Rebound After Relapse because it’s actually an opportunity for you growth and for you to hone even more powerful strategy. So the reason why it is so easy to keep commitments to others and not so much ourselves is number one because change is hard. Okay. Let’s stop hiding from that fact.
Okay, number two. The reason why we can show up for others but not ourselves is: We Confuse Self-Care With Being Selfish. How many times have you wanted to do something for you but then thought that it was being selfish or I felt guilty for taking time for yourself? In episode 94: You’re selfish if you don’t do this, I talk about the scale of needs, I call it “The scale of needs by Sundae Bean.” And I want you to imagine on one end of the scale we’ve got negative 10, and then there’s the zero in the middle, and the other end of the scale we’ve got plus 10.
And oftentimes when we are thinking about selfish, real selfish people are people who think of their own needs at the expense of others, but selfless is where you think of others’ needs at the expense of your own. And if you’re a listener of Expat Happy Hour, I have a hunch you’re way more on the plus 10 scale selfless, self-sacrifice, than you are on the selfish scale. And the ironic thing is right in the middle, the zero balance is self-care, where you meet your own needs and you still have the energy to meet others’ and you’ll hear more about it in this episode.
But the thing is whenever we take a step towards self-care, we freak out because we think we’re moving towards selfish, but it’s on the total other end of the spectrum, right? So stop confusing self-care with being selfish. That’s mistake number two that I think people make when they show up better for others than they do for themselves. So to know more check it out episode 94.
Okay, we’ve got change is hard, confused self-care with being selfish, and number three is: Keeping Commitments to Yourself is not tied to willpower. Often people falsely think that they need more willpower to keep a commitment to themselves. You heard about that in my episode 211: Rebound After Relapse, but it’s actually much deeper.
So keeping a commitment to yourself is actually tied to self-worth and self-love. I go into a lot more detail of this in episode 138 called, Hidden Vulnerabilities. And I don’t know about you but self-love seems so abstract. Like, “How? What do I do with that?” So is self-worth actually, “How do I build it? What is it?” So I break that down and episode 138.
But basically, we look at, what’s the difference between self-confidence, self-care, self-love, and self-worth and how are they connected? And basically, we look at what you are, what you have, and what you deserve and self-love is basically a practice of self-worth where you say, “I have value and I deserve respect.”
And now do you see how that’s tied to whether or not you keep a commitment to yourself? Because you respect the dentist. You respect your friend when you don’t cancel on them, but you’re not respecting yourself when you cancel on you. Especially when it’s around amplifying your health and well-being, especially when it’s about helping you create your purpose or helping you move forward on something that’s really important to you, right? And I hate to admit it, that this recognition of, “Oh man, maybe I’ve denied my own value and I have not seen myself as worthy of respect.”
I know that’s happened in my own life. I know that’s been part of my journey of even starting more active self-care practices. And it’s like, “What, I’m confident. I can’t believe that this has touched my self-worth,” right? But that’s because they’re different. So if you’re curious about that check out episode 138 because it’s important and remember the third thing that keeps you from keeping commitment to yourself is because you think it should be willpower but it’s not. And it’s actually much deeper and it’s tied to self-worth and self-love.
So it’s a doozy but check it out. It’s worth checking out. Seriously, you know, if you’ve listened to Expat Happy Hour, I’m not about the surface entryway. I’m into let’s go deep and let’s make real deep sustainable changes, and this is one of them. We can’t really get around it.
Okay number four of the four reasons why I think it’s easier to keep commitments to others and to ourselves is because Self-care Isn’t Always Comfortable or Convenient, right? And when we want to show up for ourselves, usually when we go toward something we want to have, go towards something comfortable. And we usually as humans, in our programming, we go away from discomfort. And self-care usually when we think about it, we think of reading, baths, meditation, going for a walk, having quiet, those sound really really comfortable but maybe you had to have a really uncomfortable conversation to be able to carve out that time. Maybe you had a really uncomfortable conversation with yourself to tell yourself that you deserve that to do that guilt-free. And then there’s a very pragmatic side of how some self-care is literally painful. I have a client who has chronic neck pain and every time she goes to her physical therapist. It’s painful and she wrote me a message once and basically said, “It’s so funny how painful self-care can be.”
I just got back from I think it’s called a Biokinesis. It’s like a physical therapist for my shoulder and I had pain at night afterwards, and the next day after my chiro visit, I had to do both at the same time. I was sore but it was self-care, right? There’s sometimes physical pain with self-care like going to the dentist to get a cavity filled. Or maybe going to get your mammogram, or maybe really sticking to your running program, or maybe like me where I do two seven-minute workouts back-to-back and I feel like vomiting afterwards.
These are things that are uncomfortable and we don’t want to go toward it because we’re going towards discomfort, and that’s why it’s so easy to skip out on it because we’re human. And that goes back to number one, change is hard. But it is so, so worth it.
So this is the thing, these are realities and some of them go very deep some of are very pragmatic but I want to leave you with one strategy today to help you overcome all of this. And this is honestly my secret, and I’ve just recently started talking about it more so it might not be a secret to you anymore. But my secret to overcoming these four things is to: Rope Yourself In.
When I say rope yourself in I literally mean make it impossible to not succeed. For me, roping yourself in is committing the time and the money, and committing to others so that your progress is inevitable. This is one of my biggest secrets of success and this is something I didn’t realize was even a pattern of mine until I looked back. I remember back in 1997 or so, I literally wrote out the check to pay for my study abroad program and bought the flight to go to Spain because I wanted to rope myself into living abroad for a semester.
When I knew I wanted to have German so I could function in Switzerland, I roped myself in by applying for the Deutsche Diplom. I had to sign up for an exam and I paid for the exam, and I’m like, “Whoa. Okay. Now I got to take courses so I can actually pass this exam,” right?
These things are scary. We either have to start something or stop something. We have to commit with our time and our money and our energy. But this is how you get yourself into these things and how you keep promises to yourself. I know for me with my business, I’ve consistently invested in a business program or a business coach since I started my company seven years ago. And every year I kind of up the ante on how much I’m investing because I know if I was left to my own accord, I wouldn’t allow myself to dream as big or I went take action that matched those aspirations.
And one of the biggest events is probably when I was in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso, and there was this program that I really knew I needed to get savvier on marketing and sales because that wasn’t my thing at all. I’m an interculturalist, I’m a coach, not a marketing and salesperson. But I knew I kind of needed that for my business and so I committed myself to a very high dollar program. It was not quite the revenue of my whole year of business I was making the year before.
And I committed to it because I knew that I didn’t I wouldn’t show up for myself and I showed up. And it was actually during a time right when the terrorist attacks happened in Ouaga. We ended up leaving Ouaga and going to Switzerland, splitting the family up and me solo parenting and running my business full time from Switzerland. And I still took part in the course because I invested and I knew, “If not now, when?” Right? Like, “Let’s do this!” And it paid off.
So, what about you? What are your examples? When have you roped yourself into something and in hindsight were really glad that you did it? What, if you could right now, I’m imagining like, this is probably the North Dakota in me. I’m imagining literally like a cowgirl with the lasso, you know throwing out the rope and pulling something in. What would you like to rope in for yourself? What pops into your mind?
If you’re like many people in my community, it’s around taking better care of yourself. It’s about nurturing your relationships better. It’s about being better with your boundaries. It’s about finally getting clearer on what you really want. It’s about showing up differently in your business or your passion project. It’s about showing up in fresh ways for your community or for that environmental cause or social issue that is in your heart, right?
That thing. What would you like to rope yourself into? Right now is the time. So I’m going to just imagine yourself. Imagine yourself six months from now. If you rope yourself into this, you are going to have fresh input, more momentum, new strategies. You’re going to probably have a greater sense of belonging with others that you’re engaging with and maybe have some fun along the way.
And if you don’t, then you might continue to feel isolated or be telling yourself that you’re alone, or resign to like, “Oh, well, this is how it is,” or you could even decide that you’re going to accept the status quo. Or maybe just continue to feel meh.
I know how I want to feel in six months. And I know which one you want. Right? So if you’re if you’re looking for something fresh and you don’t want to stay stuck then now is the time. Now is the time and of course I have your back. I’ve been talking about it for a few weeks now, but I designed Expats on Fire exactly for this reason. Because I want to help you rope yourself into what you want this year. And I don’t want to do it alone.
This is your bulletproof accountability and community. Think about how you could be spending the next few months, full of learning and aha moments, and inspiration and action that will help you make a shift that changes the trajectory of this year. And how do we do that? With Expats on Fire. It’s this gorgeous Community where we will be together and monthly, where I will drop what I call a “Monthly Progress Guide,” but it’s basically a weekly inspiration and direction, and reflection for you to keep your promise to yourself that involves monthly training, that involves challenges and prizes, mini-coaching and video drops from me.
Also included is a resource library of hundreds of hours of training, podcasts, blog articles, worksheets, etc. that I’ve created for the last seven years in the Expat Vault. That itself is already a crazy value to help you keep going with what means the most for you. And in the premium version of Expats on Fire is two coaching calls, live every single month.
So check it out. We are going to be on FIRE and there’s a variety of topics we’re going to touch on every month, but we’re going to make sure they come from you and are what’s most burning or pressing for you, right? So maybe you’re struggling with making you a priority or you want to establish better boundaries, or clear out a negative mindset, or break bad habits and make new patterns, focus on your health and well-being, amplify your impact, live with more purpose, amplify your career. Build and maintain relationships, celebrate, use your voice.
What is it that you want to do? That’s what we’re going to be doing for the next six months in Expats on Fire. You deserve to give yourself the same support that you give others. And now you’ll have me and a community of other people in your corner who get it.
So check it out, Expats on Fire. I’m on fire about it. If you were in the IGNITE Challenge and Expats on Purpose, you have just had a taste of the results that you’re going to get in the community. So really looking forward to having you be part of that.
Don’t take my word for it. Here are some results that we got with a taste of what you’ll be experiencing in Expats on Fire one participant said, “I’ve started a couple of new habits and I’m practicing them daily to keep them going. Both of these habits are helping me to be better aware of what I’m thinking and feeling.”
Another participant said, “I feel very energized and strong as a result of what we were doing together.” And another said, “I have shifted to ‘I want this!’ and I’m going to make it happen. I’ve also loved being here with everyone and the combined sense of purpose that comes with helping each other.”
Do you want to be feeling these things and saying these things? This is a taste of what you can get next with Expats on Fire. I’ve had other clients who have worked with me in group programs like this before here’s what Carol had to say. She said, “Working with Sundae and the group was one of the most productive periods of my life. I made significant progress on several of my projects.” So join us in Expats on Fire. It is starting now. So check it out in the show notes.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. I’ll leave you with the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.”