It took me 30 years to realize that trying to please others is like a dog running in circles trying to catch its tail. Even if the dog catches the tail, it is biting itself in the rear end. The dog looks insane and winds up with nothing to show for his efforts but exhaustion. It is funny to watch once or twice, but then it gets really repetitive, not to mention annoying. It is an endless process, with no reason. What does that tell us? Quit chasing the elusive goal of approval from others, or you will just end up exhausted from biting away at yourself over and over again. You aren’t impressing anyone with your antics. You’d be more impressive if you were relaxed and comfortable with yourself.
If you haven’t read Waking Up Full of Awesome, you absolutely must. I like how Melissa Wardy points out that our little girls don’t come into the world knowing that they shouldn’t think of themselves as anything less than awesome. They are taught that somewhere along the way. WHY?! I just don’t understand it. I also don’t appreciate the fact that from age 10 to 30, I was in an endless cycle of self-punishment for imperfection. Here’s a thought: I’m not supposed to be perfect. There is no perfect. Even if there is, I pass. I like being different. I even like being a little quirky. It’s what makes Kate Wicked :). So here’s what I want to know: How do I help my little girl avoid the self-esteem deficit I had without pushing her to become one of the arrogant mean girls? Why can’t women just be happy with themselves? Why can’t we acknowledge our faults, work toward self improvement, and yet still maintain some level of self-respect. It’s a hard balance to achieve. The hardest part of being happy with yourself? Being vulnerable. We have to keep our guards up to protect ourselves, right? Well like a shield, you are going to get tired if you keep holding a guard up. Put the darn thing down. Everyone else is out here walking around with their shield up to protect themselves. They aren’t even considering your flaws. If they are, they’re jerks. You’re not the jerk whisperer. Let them be caddy. Let them be negative. That doesn’t have to be you. Decide to be positive. That will REALLY make them talk. Decide to be happy. They won’t know what to say. Decide to do the best job you can, and then even if they say something you know its not your fault. I’ve spent too long caring what “they” think. I move around too much as a military wife. “They” change too much in my world to be consistently trying to keep “them” happy. I’m NOT saying, “Show Em What You’re Made Of!” because then I’m still saying “They are important!”. Don’t do it for them. It’s not selfish to have your own opinion of yourself. It’s not arrogant to think, “I’m pretty ok with myself. I’d like to be friends with me if I wasn’t me.” It’s arrogant to say, “I’m better than you!”, and its weak to have to put others down to feel strong. Positive attitudes attract positive people and positive experiences. Why go with any other plan?!
I’m going to show my little girl how to just relax and enjoy life. First, I’m going to learn how to do that myself. Thirty years was way too long for me to take to learn this lesson. Save yourself the time. Look in the mirror FOR YOU. It is YOUR life, YOUR body, YOUR spirit, YOUR attitude… You will live with your choices. Not them. Rock it out. Like Lady Gaga says, “Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you’re set.