Today I Feel Like Shit.
Today I feel like shit. It’s not an uncommon feeling, of course, but it’s particularly acute this morning.
For me, it stems from a lot of things - most of them out of my control - but painful nonetheless. Typically it revolves around the opinions and actions of others. I called my business coach and friend who loves me but is ruthless in her truth. She told me to STOP IT. STOPPPPPP ITTTTTTTTT. I was “doing that thing again”. The thing where I’m overly nice and accommodating and helpful to people who are actively treating me terribly and it’s not because I’m an overly nice person. It’s because I WANT SOMETHING. I want them to like me.
I can feel myself wanting to dig a really deep hole of “Why? Why does this always happen? Why do I always LET this happen? Where does this come from? What childhood thing occurred to make me think I had to be this way???” and then I stopped myself. Mostly because my friend had another call to jump onto and I had to stop myself (thank god).
“Work with people who WANT to work with you, Meg. Not people you see incredible potential within. Those two things are not the same.”
This, for me, has been LIFELONG and applies to basically every area. Bosses who walk all over me. Ex-husbands who aren’t in love with me. Friends who never call. Clients who ask for the moon and then treat me poorly when I don’t do it for free. You name it. I keep making excuses and plowing ahead, and working hard for the love… like working REALLY, really, really hard for the love. Maybe if I do this they’ll love me? Maybe if I say this? Maybe if I act like this??? I was once with a man for FIVE YEARS who wasn’t actually in love with me. I knew it. He knew it. We didn’t talk about it. I worked really hard to make him love me. It didn’t work. I felt awful about it. So did he.
It’s a bottomless pit, my friends.
I remember interviewing once for a job with someone I really admired and after the audition I said to her (like seriously I can’t even blame this on anything other than tremendous insecurity), “I just want you to be proud of me.” Mic drop.
Like I ACTUALLY SAID THAT OUT LOUD.
Filter-less. Another issue.
To her credit, she didn’t skip a beat and responded with, “I already am!” I got the job and was there for four years. The whole time I wanted her approval. Well… most of the time. Sometimes I got tired of seeking it and gave up, but most of the time I was in active “please look at me and tell me I’m fabulous” mode.
I’m sharing this with you today because I think you may need to hear this too. Maybe you can relate. I have a feeling it’s not just me:
When you are busy seeking validation from others you don’t have the time or the energy to create it within yourself.
Getting validation from others if really meaningless. It comes and it goes like you just poured it down the drain. When you create validation within yourself you get to keep it. It blooms inside of you eternally and it grows!
I used to live for my dad saying, “I’m proud of you” and then one day I thought, “I don’t think I need it anymore.” It’s lovely but I don’t NEED it. There’s a big difference there. Recently he said something else far more powerful. He said, “I’ve learned that you always figure it out." THAT one sat with me. “I do”, I thought. I always make it work. I liked that comment because it spoke to my own ability and who I am rather than a doling out of external approval. Of course it feels good for people to be proud of you and love you and encourage you… but do you know what feels infinitely better? When you are proud of and love yourself. Period.
How do you do this though? It’s something we all understand but HOW?
For me it’s been a journey of calling myself out and then practicing different thoughts. It takes so much time and so much devotion but the results are stunning.
Here are what my thoughts used to be and still sometime are:
I need this love.
I need this approval.
I need this person to like me.
I want to be the best at what I do.
I want others to know that I’m the best at what I do.
I want to be respected.
I will find joy once everyone loves me.
The problem with this thinking is clear to you, I’m sure, but I’ll say if for myself: IT WILL NEVER BE THE CASE THAT EVERYONE IS HAPPY WITH YOU AND THINKS YOU’RE THE BEST! EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE THERE WILL BE SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, WHO HAS AN ISSUE WITH YOU.
So the thoughts I practice now are:
I am already complete.
I have what I need.
The answers are not outside of myself.
I love who I am even though I will never be perfect.
There are people who love me even though I’m not perfect.
I’m worthy of relationships with people who love me.
I should not be in relationships with people who are consistently unkind.
One set of thoughts is all about needing, wanting, and hoping. I have no control. They all rely on others. The other set of thoughts is all about affirming reality and reminding myself of where I have control.
I love to talk about possibility and dreams and the active creation of success but let’s get real… some days just aren’t rainbows and cupcakes. If I don’t share those days then I’m not worth paying attention to.
Am I alone in these feelings?