Pearls! They’re one of the most beautiful gifts from mother nature! They’re delicate and makes any girl look sophisticated and warm heart. But those are not the pearls I want to talk about. It was First Steps to Success, Dani (my coach) started talking about these GEMS. I got exited I thought we were about to have a class of precious gems and investing. After all it was a business seminar. Boy was I in for the biggest eye opener of the day.
All the sudden the movie of my life played before my eyes.
After it was all said and done I realized I was a pearl. I’m not qualified to teach you what a pearl is but I will share the link at the end of the post. She mentioned that pearls are very service oriented, like to help others, are very cause oriented and very loyal. Those are great qualities! Then she got ugly lol she said pearls are enabling, sometimes door mats and don’t know how to say no so they get taken advantage of often.
Oh yes this pearl realized that If she wanted to grow and move forward in life she had to deal with the ugly truth.
My friend, that was a bucket of ice cold water over my head. That is so not what I wanted to hear. All the sudden the movie of my life played before my eyes. I realized she was speaking truth about my life. Things that I didn’t want to deal with. I mean really, who the heck want’s to deal with the skeletons in the closet. Leave those sucker in there with the spider webs lol! But then the light came on! Oh yes this pearl realized that If she wanted to grow and move forward in life she had to deal with the ugly truth.
You see for years my desire to help others drove me off the cliff. I spent numerous hours listening to others problems and helping them figure it out, If they needed money, I was the ATM. Need a place to live, sure come on in. “Hey Fe! I have this great business I’m starting and I would love you on board” Oh yeah this particular one really did me in.
Oh yes, then comes that face palm, idiot, you stupid moment! I went to work for someone as a office manager. It was a consulting firm. They dealt with high yield investments. One day upper management comes and tells me they’re unable to pay the staff. So I continue to work for them because of the greater good. I was helping people become financially independent. Are you cringing yet? It get’s worse! I’m working 14-20 hour days sometimes 7 days a week, to help this company dig out the whole, sacrificing my family and putting it before my marriage. I had a new born with whom I spent little time with because I was focused on the “greater good”.
Sometimes we get in such a high of wanting to help others that we don’t stop to evaluate the full picture. We allow ourselves to get into situations that later on bite us in the behind.
There it was one summer morning in 2007, that my eyes opened up and I started seeing things that didn’t add up. I stated digging. What I found lead to my resignation. I found out the entire thing was a scam! Oh yes it was a Ponzi Scheme. The owners where ripping off millions of dollars from hard working people. Leaving others in debt, including my self. It was a royal mess. The FBI, SEC etc. all got involved. Paperwork galore for all of us who where clients, knowing that what they took they would never return. They had spent it all!
Sometimes we get in such a high of wanting to help others that we don’t stop to evaluate the full picture. We allow ourselves to get into situations that later on bite us in the behind. Till this day the trial is still taking place. 6 years have past but the aftermath is still very real to many including me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to help others and fight for the greater good. I encourage that. I also want you to create healthy boundaries for your self. Had I drawn healthy boundaries, I wouldn’t had had to deal with the hurt, resentment, anger and all the other emotions that come from being taken advantage of. GEMS taught me a lot about my self and others. Understanding how I think helped me understand my weaknesses too. I’ve made many other mistakes that have cost me. So if this is you, I don’t want you to beat your self up. I want you to learn from the experiences and thrive!
From this mistake and countless others I have learned to identify the red flags. These red flag help me avoid the pitfall of being used and keep healthy boundaries I’m going to share those red flags with you.
- Flattery: A wise king once said “A flattering neighbor is up to no good; he’s probably planning to take advantage of you”. There’s a different between complements and flattery. Flattery always comes with a motive attached to it like “I was wondering if you could do xyz” or “You’re such an amazing person, that’s why I need you for xyz”. The whole point of flattery is to manipulate the other person into doing what they want.
- Damsel in distress: Oh yes this is the person who is always in some sort of crisis and is needing help. We all go through times where it seems like it’s just one thing after another. But you must be watchful of those that are always demanding your time. Especially when you’ve said no already or they know it’s your family’s time. These type of people have no boundaries or respect. They just want what they want regardless of the effect it may have on others.
- Smooth Talk: Unlike flattery, this talk doesn’t always come with complements, it sometimes comes with manipulative words. Words that touch your emotions and the fiber of who you are. Often things like “But I thought you where a good person! I guess you’re not who I thought you where” or “That’s your fear talking. Come on take the risk you’re selling your self short”. The truth is only you know what you can do and when you’re stretching too thin. Listen to that little voice, the whisper that says danger is ahead, before it turns into a brick wall.
It’s been humbling and encouraging to share this part of my life with you. Life is about living and learning. You and I are work in progress. Give your self the grace to make mistakes, that is how we learn. If like me you’re a pearl I want to share a book that will help you learn more about healthy boundaries it’s called Boundaries. You can click on the image to view the listing on amazon.com It is a great book that I read often. I my self still need reminders of this very topic. If your wanting to learn more about what GEMs is click HERE