Your Emotional Bank Account
If your friend was struggling with her self-confidence, what would you say to her?
Perhaps you might encourage her by telling her how much you admire her strength, how you appreciate her kind heart and are envious of how she can make people laugh.
If your sister was having a hard day/week/month, what would you do?
Perhaps you might take her out for drinks, bring her coffee on Sunday morning or offer to babysit the kids so she can get her nails done.
For those of us conditioned to put others’ needs above our own, it’s very easy to conjure ways to help. Serving others fulfills a deep hole within ourselves to feel appreciated and to be needed. Our self-worth comes from the validation of others .
What’s hard for us is giving that same kindness to ourselves. As quick as we are to jump in and help everyone else, we fight the idea of being kind to ourselves.
There’s a scarcity mentality that says if we give to ourselves, we are taking from others. If we take time for ourselves, it will inconvenience others. We are afraid we will let someone down, make them angry or they won’t love us as much.
Let’s look at this in terms of money.
You have a bank account. When you make deposits, the account swells. The more money you accumulate, the safer, stronger and more confident you become.
You have expenses and need to make withdrawals. It’s okay to take money out, as long as you have the funds in your account.
But what happens if you never make deposits? And what happens if you make too many withdrawals?
Stephen Covey wrote in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, about the Emotional Bank Account. Covey’s emotional bank account works the same way as a financial account except the currency isn’t money. When dealing in human relationships, the currency is trust, kindness & positive energy.
So, what does your emotional bank account look like?
Are you making deposits into your account? How do your deposits compare to your withdrawals?
It’s time to take a good, hard, look at your balance sheet. Where are you depositing your trust, kindness, time and energy?
Total, financial destruction occurs when you never make deposits and make too many withdrawals. The same is true for your emotional bank account.
The cost of over-drafting on your emotional bank account is stress, burn-out, insecurity, frustration, resentment, disappointment, loss of self.
You MUST make deposits into your own account. You MUST.
Would you allow everyone to use your ATM card? What if someone asked you to deposit your paycheck into their bank account this week instead of your own?
Ridiculous right! I bet you would say NO to that request in a heartbeat!
You MUST respect your time, energy, and health as much as you respect your money.
You do this by setting boundaries, rules of operation for your own life that align with your values and priorities. You do this by treating yourself as you would your friend, sister or neighbor.
When you take control of your time, energy, health and money, you become a stronger person. You will be a better friend, a better sister, a better co-worker.
Being as kind to yourself as you are to others is the way to better health, more wealth and a happier life.
What can you do today to make a deposit into your emotional bank account?