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Four Steps to Cure Feeling Obligated

no obligation

Everyone longs to enjoy the freedom of doing what you want, what you love and what makes you happy. But how many times do you end up doing something not because you want to, but because you feel obligated? I use the term FEEL obligated because this is not real obligation.

Real obligation is a course of action you are required to take such as paying your taxes or obeying the law. It comes with real penalties, like paying a fee or going to jail and thus you have an external drive to take care of that obligation. Feeling obligated is different because it’s only real in your mind.

The feeling of obligation comes from your thoughts and beliefs. In order to let go of this feeling you must tackle your thinking. You can’t change the behavior of others but you can change your mind. Here are four steps to cure yourself of feeling obligated and to create blissful freedom.

Step 1: Get real with your fear. It’s time to face whatever you “think” will happen if you stop feeling obligated and just do what you want. Remind yourself that these are just made up assumptions that are holding you captive. They are only real in your mind.

Whatever you’ve dreamed up in your head is far worse than reality. Even if your worst-case scenario was reality, is it worth surrendering your happiness and freedom?

Step 2: Put your needs first. When you’re on an airplane, the flight attendant reminds you that if the oxygen mask drops you must attend to your mask first before assisting your child. Why would they need to regurgitate this every time we fly? They say this for the simple reason that you will be of little help to your child if you’re dead from lack of oxygen. It’s amazing that we all have to be reminded of this.

Being of service to anyone requires you taking care of your needs first. You can’t help someone when you’ve depleted your own energy. So create a new habit. Before doing something for anyone, ask yourself, “Am I setting aside my needs to take care of yours?” There is plenty of time to help other’s after your own needs are cared for.

Step 3: Choose actions that make you happy. Your greatest contribution in life is to be happy. When you’re happy you create a wave of well-being that affects everyone. You are lying to yourself if you think you’re really helping someone when you don’t feel good about what you’re doing. There are so many ways to help in this world, pick ones that make you happy, not resentful. The best results for everyone always come when you are creating happiness.

Step 4: Tell the truth. Nothing will free you from obligations faster than the truth. Feeling obligated comes from denying yourself. When someone asks you to do something and you don’t want to, but you override that truth and say you’ll do it…you create obligation. When you feel obligated it is because you are giving up your needs and wants to please someone else. Make a decision to be truthful when you are asked to do something. If it doesn’t align with your needs or wants be honest with yourself and say “no.”

Saying no to obligation means you’re saying yes to the things you really want in life. Let go of the feeling of obligation once and for all. Without these false obligations you can get on with all the things you truly came here to accomplish.

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