What Are You “Supposed” to Be Doing?
I’ve made a lot of changes in the last month, let alone the last year. I like change. I like to start new things, to learn new concepts. I always loved school (when I was learning about something that fascinated me). In my twenties, I changed jobs a lot. I always wanted something more, something better. I worked hard, but I didn’t always earn an income to match my efforts.
For a really long time, I was completely weighed down by my internal insecurities of what I thought everyone else was thinking about me and my choices. This has to have stemmed from being a perfectionist as a child and wanting to “please” my parents, grandparents, and teachers. I took the idea of “being a good girl” very seriously (until my mid-teens) and did not appreciate when I wasn’t recognized for my good behavior, grades, projects or works of art.
As I grew up, through college and beyond, I recovered a little from the perfectionism but still was nearly obsessed with my image, and not in an obvious way. Just enough so that I was easily influenced by whoever I was in current conversation with, and completely held myself back from advancing in anything I was interested in due to fear of failure. I wanted to please everyone around me and match their views and expectations.
Newsflash, that’s literally not possible AT ALL.
I never wanted someone else to doubt my ability or drive and then be right when something didn’t work out for me. I never wanted to be a quitter. I really thought everyone else was way more worried about me and my choices than they probably were. I put more focus on this than anything I was actually doing.
And for the record, doing and creating, and failing, is WAY WAY WAY better than just thinking about it. (Thank you for your recent inspiration to change my life, Emily Fletcher).
I was very careful about how I portrayed myself. I was always in sales, I worked for a company that upheld a very specific image, and I went to church. I started to drink way too much of the self-help meets network-marketing kool-aid and began a decade long stretch of constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t good enough. I felt guilty or told myself “I didn’t want it badly enough” for nearly any time I spent away from either improving my personal development, my business skills, networking with others, or actually working my business.
Then, I would move onto something new. I was always excited about the newest information that would cross my path when it came to health, wellness, nutrition, products, or owning a business. I feared that people would think I wasn’t able to commit. I feared so many things. I just wanted to love my life and support myself financially. I wanted all the things I was told I would have if I just kept at it.
I wanted all of this so badly that even up until quite recently, I still carried this guilt. I often looked around at what other people had and tried doing what they did to get what they had, rather than focusing on my life, my wants, needs, plans, and dreams and moving forward from where I was standing.
I did this so much that I started to forget what I was working for. I kept trying so hard to keep up with what I thought I was supposed to be doing (my health, my parenting, what I was teaching my clients, what I offered my clients, how I marketed myself) that I looked around and realized I wasn’t even confident in what I wanted anymore.
AND THAT’S OK!
I am done with feeling guilty for doing or not doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I am releasing the worry that I’m disappointing someone else because my actions don’t line up with their opinions. Have you read this book yet? If any of what I’m sharing today resonates with you, than this book may help even more.
Even if someone changes their mind a lot, changes their passions or jobs, it’s not always because they are flaky or unable to commit. You have to give yourself permission to LET GO of what you no longer want or need or what no longer works for you.
Think about all the Marie Kondo-ing going on in the world right now. We don’t have space in our closets to accumulate all of the clothes we have ever purchased or worn or been given since we were fourteen. We don’t have space in our kitchens for all of the food and appliances that we have ever purchased or wanted to try or buy. We don’t have space for all of the relationships that have ever began in our lifetime. The ebbs and flows and pulls and pushes of life happen for a reason.
We learn something, we start something, we gain something, we meet someone, and then when something is no longer working for us and aligning with our values, we let it go.
Allow yourself to do this and allow others around you to do it as well.
If a diet no longer is working for you, you change it. If your medication or supplement is no longer needed, you stop taking it. If your kids grow out of toys or clothes, you pass them on to someone else. If your job is no longer your best option, you transition to something new. If you hate the same workout or group or hobby that once brought you joy, you let it go.
I’m sharing this today to encourage you to allow yourself to change your mind, to let it go, to quit, or to move on, if it is what’s best for you, and do it for you, and not because of what you think everyone else might be thinking. Or at least…consider where it applies in your life.