Presto-Chango

Life isn’t about making a decision once and changing for the rest of time. It’s about a daily reminder to yourself to be the person you want to be. Maybe it’s even an hourly reminder.

For me, this daily, hourly, minutely (is that even a correct phrase?) reminder is to not be a doormat, to stop worrying so much what other people think of me. It’s a tough one because I am such a people pleaser. I like when people are happy, and I like when people like me. And I often spend so much time trying to make everyone around me happy, that I forget to make me happy.

I’ve been given advice to stop worrying so much and just live. Be a good person, yes. Be humble, of course. Be self-deprecating and unwilling to put myself first ever, absolutely not. So I steel myself. I set goals and boundaries. I promise that I will look inward and to do the things that I need to make myself better, to make my life better.

A week later, I’m back to feeling guilty, to shoving myself in a corner, to beating myself up for not living up to other people’s expectations or to do what they expect of me (and also what I expect that they expect of me).

It’s an on-going process. For years, however, I thought this was one of those things that you set as a goal and it happens, and if I couldn’t change myself by setting this goal, I would never be able to change. And that’s not true. It’s not about setting one long-term plan. It’s not about never having those doormat thoughts. It’s about having the thoughts and then reminding myself that I can be a little selfish, that my life, my wants, my needs matter too.

This goes for everything, eating habits, loving my body, having a more positive outlook, being an easier going (still firm, but easier going) parent. These are all things that don’t come over night. They don’t change when I say presto-chango. They take repetition and cognitive recalibration.

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