If you knew you were dying, would you stop caring so much what others thought? How would your life change? What would you say no to? Who would you stop hanging around? What would you stop doing?
Well, guess what? You are dying. We all are. Instead of putting mental energy into thinking about what others may think, dive into what you think. What do you think about the things on your calendar? What do you think about your daily life? You have something to give this world that no one else can give. When we are living our lives based on what we think others want us to do, everyone suffers. Other people are going to have opinions of what we should do but what is their opinion based on? Their life experiences. Their beliefs. You are the only one who has walked on your life path and only you can make the decisions that are best for you.
How to do that? Three steps:
1) Own You: You are an adult. You are where you are because of the decisions you have made thus far. Whether you are in an unhappy job, an unhappy marriage, carrying extra weight, or happier than you’ve ever been, you are the boss of you and you are where you are because the choices you’ve made. You choose who you spend time around, which news sources influence you, and how you spend your days. You aren’t a kid anymore so don’t look outside of yourself to blame others. Own who you are today. Own You.
2) Be You: Be brave enough to dig into who you are: What do you like to do? When are you happiest? Start noticing when you have choices and you are letting others choose for you. Where do you want to go to your birthday dinner? Not where do you think your friend or husband wants to go but where do you want to go?
From a very young age we are fed the message that the smaller we are, in spirit and body, the better. Where does this messaging come from? The media and our parents. I grew up in a family with a highly-intelligent mother who was constantly criticized by my father because of her body type. Instead of celebrating her vast array of knowledge, my mother spent her days dieting and feeling badly about herself. Girls who link their value in society to their appearance grow into women who don’t have the confidence to stand up and stand out. When we are taught that our opinion not only doesn’t matter but also shouldn’t be shared, we learn to play small: have small needs, have small likes, have small opinions. We look outside of ourselves for approval:
What will she think if I….?
Am I wearing the right clothes?
Am I skinny enough?
What are the other moms doing?
Am I a good enough mom?
Do I help out enough in my kids classroom?
Today try turning to yourself to answer those questions: are you? Do you think you’re wearing the right clothes? Do you think you’re helping enough in your child’s classroom? Your opinion is the one that matters so check in with yourself. Honor what you want in order for the magic of your life to happen. And then…
3) Love You: Allow yourself to like what you like. Your brain likes to be efficient and it will want to continue doing what it’s always done; in this case, fit you in a small box. When you start to choose what you want to do, your brain will come up with reasons why you need to go back to listening to others and doing what they say. Surround yourself with supportive people and remind yourself that you have a responsibility to follow your heart and intuition. Clients will tell me they feel guilty for taking care of themselves. That is because we were never taught how to take care of ourselves and don’t have people around us modeling self care. Find them. No excuses. Others can live their life however they want. You are done spending your remaining days living a life for them.
Choose to show up for your life.
Our days are limited.
If you’d like some journal questions to dive deeper into this topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “journal questions” in the subject line.