This is a very important blog for me to write because I see so many people living miserable lives and I used to be one of them. My people-pleasing-empathetic tendencies held me captive most of my life - committing to things I didn't want to do, staying in relationships and jobs longer than I should have, silencing my thoughts for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Born with a desperate need for approval and perfection, it only took a mere look of disappointment on my dad's face for me to correct my behavior. It wasn't until my late 20s that I started to break from this cycle that was leaving me stressed, unhappy, and unfulfilled.
Those of you who only know me recently or virtually are probably wondering how I went from someone seeking approval to someone who literally gives zero sh*ts about what anyone thinks. Well, I think that's what this blog is about, so keep listening.
Everyone's journey to freedom will look differently, but I think the breakthrough will be very similar. One day you just wake up with a different perspective. For me, I started an anonymous blog when I was 24 to just vent and rant the truth. The truth about my mistakes, my failures, my friendships. It felt so good to get out the feelings I'd accumulated after years of being a doormat. Eventually, I said, you know what? No more being anonymous. These are my stories. This is what I lived. It's ok to talk about it. And who cares if they see it? They haven't been in my life for years.
Well that act of bravery was short lived when some of them actually DID see the blog. And they didn't like it, lol. And a few of them threatened me with libel suits who didn't understand much about libel. My first reaction? OH NO THEY ARE MAD AT ME! DELETE THE POST. DELETE THE ENTIRE BLOG. MOVE TO THAILAND.
And then I had an epiphany (besides that I'm really scared of the types of bugs and cuisine in Thailand)- it's OKAY for someone I don't even want in my life to be mad! And guess what? I'M MAD TOO. That's why I'm writing about it to begin with. Because I'm mad and I want to deal with it. And that's my right.
That was the catalyst of me getting my voice. There were many more steps to follow: learning how to say no things I didn't want to do, learning how to cut toxic people out of my life, learning that people respect honesty, and my opinions are nothing to apologize for. Had it not been for this breakthrough, I would never have had the guts to break off an engagement that was totally wrong.
How To Free Yourself And Find Your Voice
Get Perspective. Realize that in 10 years, you won't even talk to the same people. Can you even remember who you hung out with a decade ago? Their opinions on your life decisions literally mean nothing. Few friends will last a lifetime, and they will love you no matter what your choices.
Assess. What are your goals in life? To be the most fake and agreeable person ever? Or to be respected as an interesting and independent person - a truth teller who is REAL.
Say No. Once you start to say no to things you don't want to do, it becomes easier. You will also become addicted to the feeling of not dreading a commitment you never wanted to make - you will feel a thousand pounds lighter. My favorite excuse, "I'm booked, sorry." The end. *Also, stop thinking you need to give 1 million excuses as to WHY you can’t do _____ thing. “I can’t” is enough!
Detox. Get rid of the toxic people in your life who put the pressure on you to over-commit. The ones who make you feel bad or get defensive for giving your honest opinion. The ones who degrade you for your decisions. The life-suckers. The ones that you find yourself being "fake" around. The judgey ones. Your time is too precious to spend this way. BYE!
Realize Perfection Is Nauseating. It's unrealistic and unattainable. And frankly, the very appearance of perfection is annoying. The Stepford Wives. The Beauty Bloggers With An Airbrushed Life. It's all so stupid. Why are you trying to be perfect? FOR WHO? Everyone knows you're not - so why waste so much energy pretending?
Honesty Begets Honesty. You want meaningful relationships? Share your life. Be honest about your flaws. Be open. And others will feel free to do the same.
Free yourself from all that crap.
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.