Do you only allow yourself to feel good when you’ve ‘done good’?

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do good to feel good checklistI don’t know about you, but I like feeling good.

In fact I LOVE feeling good.

But why is it that ‘feeling good’ is something that we feel we need to earn?

In order to give ourselves the time and space to feel good, we first feel that we need to do something, achieve something or accomplish something.

We allow ourselves to relax after a hard day’s work.

We say we’ve earned a break, a holiday or even something as simple as a good cup of tea (!) when we’ve been busy.

We feel the need to cross so many items off our to-do list before we feel entitled to some ‘me time’.

So many of us jump out of bed at the start of the day and so begins the incessant ‘doing’, the completing of tasks that will mean that come evening time we’ve done enough to warrant sitting down and relaxing.

Now all of this is well and good…if it actually works for us…but what so many women don’t realise is that for the majority of us, it doesn’t.

What do we need in order to feel good?

Because when we start to understand the motivations, needs and desires of the masculine and feminine, we realise that we’re fundamentally and dramatically different when it comes to the areas of ‘feeling good’ and ‘doing good’.

  • The masculine needs to ‘do good’ first in order to feel good.
  • The feminine needs to feel good first in order to ‘do good’.

As with most key aspects of the masculine and feminine, we are once again equal and opposite. Neither way is better, or worse, right or wrong, it’s just what works for us individually.

The masculine, being goal-orientated, focused and driven to accomplish, needs to feel useful. He needs to feel that he has done his work and achieved some results in order to be able to relax and enjoy feeling good. A masculine man who has not accomplished anything for a period of time will start to feel restless, dissatisfied and less in touch with his masculinity.

The doing can take many forms, going out to work, projects around the house, working on the car, exercise, even helping his partner ‘fix’ her problems (which can be the source of many misunderstandings and relationship challenges!) As long as he can put a check in the box, and feel he’s done a good job, he’ll then be able to relax, unwind and enjoy feeling good, knowing he’s accomplished something.

For the feminine, it’s ‘feel good’ first…

On the flip side however, it’s a different story. The Feminine woman isn’t driven by goals, results or achievements. She’s inspired by emotionally connecting, building relationships, nurturing, communicating and being in flow. As a lot of these aspects require her to give something of herself, in order to bring the best of herself (and ‘do good’) she first needs to fill her own cup, nurture herself and give to herself first in order that she can give the best of herself to others, and create the kind of effect that she wants to for the people around her. Simply, she needs to first feel good, in order to really bring the best of herself when she is ‘doing’.

The thing is that so many feminine women have spent so much time in ‘masculine mode’, that we’ve got into the habit of doing it the masculine way, without ever stopping and questioning whether it actually works for us.

We pay our dues, we do our work, we check off our to do lists, and then collapse in a heap, exhausted – our downtime becomes more about recovery than relaxation.

But if you were to try a different approach you might be surprised with the results.

Have you tried ‘feel good’ first…’do good’ second?

Take today for example. Wednesdays are a busy day for me. Every Wednesday I need to edit and produce two different videos, get them uploaded, put out two blogs, send out several different versions of my newsletter, keep up with my correspondence, take any client calls that are scheduled in and tick off any other urgent items on my to do list that need doing.

Today was a particularly busy day and when I woke up I was feeling the pressure to get started right away. I knew there was a lot to do and I wanted to start to feel like I was making a dent in the long list of tasks I had.

It was very tempting to skip my morning routine, the one that fills me up and nourishes me for the day ahead, and just get started.

But I didn’t.

I took the time to do my goddess yoga practice.

I did my meditation.

I made myself some breakfast…and just before I was about to jump into the shower my partner made a suggestion.

“Why don’t you have a bath?”

Now for me, baths are indulgent time to relax. They are a way to unwind, forget the world and just focus on myself. I normally read in the bath, and so they are not a short affair.

But in spite of the fact that the little voice in my head was saying ‘No! You need to get to work!” something told me that a bath was the perfect way to begin my day.

…so I grabbed my book and disappeared into the bathroom.

A couple of hours later, relaxed, and feeling great I began to ease myself into my day.

I still had a lot to do, but the ease with which I was able to do it was palpable.

Not only was it easier…I was more effective.

I had a potentially difficult customer service challenge come up due to a technical glitch…but I was in a better space to be able to effectively deal with it. In a way that made me feel good (and that I was looking after my customers in the best way possible) and resulted in a satisfied customer. I received a lovely email in reply thanking me for responding in such an upstanding way and saying how refreshing it was to see such good customer service online. In their words “Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone makes an effort that is real to handle them”. I was able to better serve her needs because I was in a good space myself.

I then had a consultation with a potential new client, and because I felt so grounded, relaxed and filled up I was able to serve her even better than I would have been able to had I not taken the time to look after myself first.

I completed all of the ‘tasks’ that needed doing, but rather than feeling stressed and pressured, I felt relaxed and I enjoyed it more!

…and I am ending the day typing this article to you from a deck chair on the balcony, enjoying the beautiful blue sky, the warm breeze and the setting sun.

If the masculine approach to doing good and feeling good works for you, then stick with it – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂

But if you find yourself more often than not drained at the end of the day, feeling tired and stressed with your work and like you spend more time recovering than relaxing, then maybe give this alternative approach a try.

I know as a feminine woman it works best for me, my customers and the people around me – I’m more relaxed, feel more filled up and can therefore can give the best of myself to them.

If you’re tank’s running low to start with, it won’t be long before you’re running on empty. Try filling up first…you might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

10 replies
  1. Kim Boudreau Smith
    Kim Boudreau Smith says:

    Claire,

    A great way to begin the week. I am with you on the task list to skip taking care of myself, my morning routine as well. I have learned, felt and experienced that I must feel good about ME before I can feel good doing other things for others. I tried and lived this for many years and I fell short with me and my health. I know when I am depleting myself to accomplish other things like my “to-do” list, I become edgy. This is my sign to step back and go nurture and nourish myself!

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      It’s a story I hear over and over again Kim…we’ve all done it…the key is to become aware of it so we can start looking after ourselves again x

      Reply
  2. noni Boon
    noni Boon says:

    Oh Claire… that bath sounds like bliss. With a busy little 4 year old calling to me all morning, a bath is out of the question. I hear you though. Now that he’s safely off to pre-school, it’s me time. I’m feeling good and about to do good today. Thank you. N xxxxxxxx

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      …and that’s what it’s all about Noni…finding a way of nurturing and nourishing yourself that works for your life and lifestyle. It’s whatever works for you! 🙂 Enjoy feeling good today xx

      Reply
  3. Kate Gardner
    Kate Gardner says:

    My day always starts with me.
    A cup of tea in bed , followed by 10 minutes of meditation, followed by 30 minute workout ..Then I am ready to take on the world and my business.
    If I didn’t put myself first for that first hour in a morning then I would never gain any of my own attention and needs.
    We have to remember without us being at our bests, we are useless to the rest of the world

    Reply
  4. Patty Farmer
    Patty Farmer says:

    Claire,
    Well said… when I get up in the morning and have my coffee and take that first hour for me I seem to get so much more done than when I wake up and jump into my “to do” list and I am much happier and more creative as well.

    Patty Farmer, The Networking CEO

    Reply
  5. Stacie Walker
    Stacie Walker says:

    Hi Claire,

    This is an excellent post to reflect on. For me, I have to take care of my needs first before I can put my 100% into other people or projects. I feel more balanced, relaxed, and grounded. After reading your content, I didn’t realize that is what works best for me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to really think about what makes me feel good:) Looking forward to your next post.

    To Your Success,

    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership Founder

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      You’re so welcome Stacie, and I’m delighted this article has helped you to discover what works best for you! My work here is done… <3

      Reply

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