Don’t even try.
Just let it go.
Once you complete embrace that thought then you can focus on the matter at hand.
What is going to make you happy?
What a trite little sentence – huh? When someone asks me this I have to fight the overwhelming urge to reply with something sarcastic like, “rainbows and butterflies and sunshine”. It is a hard battle but I normally win.
I used to think that making it all about me made me selfish. After all, I am a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend and so on – it is my job and duty to think about everyone else and make sure they are happy, safe and secure.
On the list of priorities my son and family were at the top and I fell somewhere near the bottom after the dogs. Somehow it gets ingrained in us that we are low on the list. This is especially true for mothers. Once we give birth that “last on the list” instinct kicks in.
But then I realized, if I am miserable than how can I best serve anyone else? How can I tell my son to do what makes him happy if I am not leading by example? How can I encourage my friends to go after their dreams if I do not do the same? Isn’t is just some big repeating example of “pot kettle black”?
Yes, it certainly is.
So I stopped. I stopped the world and locked myself away and had a long, hard look at where I was, who I was and what I was doing. Was what I was saying really match up to what I was doing? No. Was I living true to myself, in making myself happy? No. I vowed that it was time to change.
Then I became afraid.
What if I alienate someone by putting myself as a priority? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if they think I am selfish or I miss out on helping them because I am being selfish?
Those are called reactions and those are things that are out of your control. The bottom line is by being happy as a person individually you bring more value to those you love. You are allowing for all the positives in your life to start with you and this allows you to serve as a megaphone for others. You increase the good for everyone else to allow them to see and feel that positive in you and be able to bring it into their own world.
If someone alienates you then perhaps they were more concerned with their own welfare and not yours. If you hurt their feelings because you are trying to be happy then how did they see you in the first place? Being selfish – damn straight, but in a positive way; and when you are happier you will be able to help them even more.
Your family and friends may not approve of the job that you are going after or the business that you are running; but if it makes you happy than isn’t that what they should really want for you? Isn’t that what you want for them? So why shouldn’t you want the same for yourself?
You may loose contacts, associates, friends or family in putting yourself and your happiness first. You are not going to please everyone. But remember, it is the quality that counts, not the quantity.
Start today, do one small thing today just for you that makes you happy. Treat yourself to a foo-foo coffee, or a new book or a new toy. Say no to a request for your time and give yourself that time uninterrupted.
Just do one small gesture just for you. You will probably feel lighter, happier, more relaxed and a little bit of peace; which is a much different feeling than when you are trying to please everyone.
What small gesture will you do for yourself today?
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW