My collection of personal-thoughts-turned quotes, Note to Self, is coming out on 06/20/20. This essay series details the journey behind each chapter.
My natural setting is people-pleasing.
Or maybe it’s not, and I’m just like the rest of you, running around trying not to throw things out of whack because it involves a lot of cleanup.
I constantly think about what I should have said seven years later. I bite my tongue, or I am in so much disbelief that I don’t say anything at all. If I do say something, I say it unconvincingly, or it’s not how I wanted it to come out at all.
I hate this about myself. But I don’t hate myself. And that’s when this question came to me:
How much do I respect myself?
Why do I allow people to talk to me or treat me a certain way if I don’t like it? Why do I not trust every red, blaring alarm inside me screaming, “This is not right”? Why do I take their cues over mine? Don’t I matter, too?
I’ve been told my entire life that being full of emotions is a bad thing. It’s weak, it’s messy, it’s annoying.
But I’m learning that it’s not. I see right through everything and the people who say that are scared of being found out. I understand what’s happening around me at a deeper level. I’ve learned that this is my power.
Like anything that has power, it’s not possible to stay on all day, all the time.
Forgive yourself for the times the lights were off. Forgive yourself for needing rest; for glitching or for losing control. For getting it right 10 times then messing it up the 11th. For missing a step while you stomp to the beat of your own drum.
Then recharge and take inventory of your self-love and self-respect. I succeed at my own advice. I fail at my own advice. I am constantly patting myself on the back. I am constantly putting myself in check. Both are necessary and important.
I have to remind myself not to be a people-pleaser. I have to remind myself to ask for what I really want and ask directly. I have to remind myself to say what I mean, but say it kindly. What’s scarier: never getting what you want or deserve (a pay raise, a date, an answer) or getting turned down? What’s worse: having an uncomfortable conversation and just getting it out into the open, or carrying the discomfort of what went unsaid into every part of your day? Your ego is a monster. Kill it now.
Just last week, I was negotiating and asked for what I wanted. Not once, but twice. It was terrifying. I felt like I was stepping into a fake, more confident, more seasoned version of myself. That’s who we become when we practice. We have to stop being afraid of what we want.
Trust yourself. Learn to hear the sound of that little voice inside. Learn to embrace every misstep and mistake you’ve made. Wipe the mirror down and take a good look at your power, your magic. It’s all right there.