You don't own me.
I was so that girl. Spent most of my life trying to please the people around me. Always worried about what people thought. Was I making the best grades, did I have the best socks (we wore uniforms, socks was the thing #dontjudgeme), was my hair perfect? Was I the most polite and beloved by all of the people in church? Did I score the highest on the test?
I mean seriously; seeking approval was all I ever knew. It became so toxic that if I came second place in a tournament (I was a Debate Champion), I couldn't sleep. I was literally the worst loser. And there it is again; I came in 2nd place in a statewide competition that I'd won several rounds to make it to...and I considered myself a loser.
I had a parent who demanded that I give my best always. I mean, to the extreme. I couldn't just be an Honor Roll student. It had to be All A's. She required a lot from me. And so, as I grew, I believed that I had to be everything...Perfection.
That stayed with me as I grew into a young adult. And for that, I don't even blame her. I blame myself.
This inner war I was having to be perfect is something that I did to myself. And then I repeated that in my (failed) marriage. I wrapped myself up, and put myself in the "love me, pick me, choose me category".
I viewed his cheating and complete & total lack of respect for me as somehow my fault. So I just kept "improving" myself & upping my game...which just meant I required less of him.
And at some point...that had to stop. There comes a point in life when that transition into adulthood has to step in. And I needed to take responsibility for everything within my control.
Initially, I chose to continue being a people pleaser; constantly letting that guilt of expectation rule everything I did (or did not do).
And one day...I decided; no more. Like, literally, jumped out of bed, feet to the floor epiphany type shit.
Oh, for many of us, this will involve royally pissing off the parents like mine, who had such high demands & expectations. Those expectations led me to self indulgent behavior that I had to oust if I didn't want to end up with tons of regret and self pity.
What I took to heart was the fact that the expectation also made me who I am today. So how can I take the parts I am so proud of, while condemning the tough parenting experience; the parts I didn't understand, that also made me who I am? The person who would eventually say, no more. I'm doing it my way. You don't own me.
My mindset shift came from lots of work. Not blaming, not judging. But simply by following some deliberate steps in coming into myself and what I wanted. It's called growing the fuck up.
It wasn't about defying my loved ones. More about allowing myself the freedom to become my own person. Not someone who had to be perfect for the world. Just the perfect version of myself, flaws and all.
I created a Law of Attraction workbook with those steps & my process...shedding the expectation, shifting my mindset, and regaining my power. You can get a copy of my workbook that I created to help you with your mindset shift here.
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