Okay, so I'm a little nervous to share this one!
After a year of getting to know me on my blog, you might like to hear more of my story: what I regret and why. This might resonate with you or maybe not, but here goes...
Five mistakes I've made, in no particular order:
1. People pleasing
Oh, I could write a book on this. If I could name my biggest regret it would be that I spent a lot of time doing what other people expected of me.
People-pleasing is exhausting. It's not a great way to live.
Want a few concrete examples? Getting into some very wrong romantic relationships when I was younger and having to dig my way out, saying yes to work opportunities that I knew I didn't love, maybe even my decision to immigrate. Yes, yes, yes...until NOPE.
Gretchen Rubin, Happiness guru, calls this NOPE response 'Obliger Rebellion.' She's says when Obligers / people pleasers rebel, they usually chuck a hand grenade in order to stop.
(Yes, there is collateral damage.)
So what have I learned to do differently? Rayya Elias said it perfectly:
2. Letting Fear make my decisions
I often make quick decisions because it makes me feel less afraid. Sometimes this works out really well. I'm agile and I'm good at starting projects and finishing them. But sometimes quick decisions have resulted in a haphazard life without a plan.
I'm trying to take my time with my decision-making and not let Fear drive the car. I've learned to say this (from Susan Jeffers): "Whatever happens, I can handle it."
Let's face it, pretty much 100% of the time we have to handle it, anyway.
And we do. And we can.
3. Feeling unworthy of (fill in the blank).
Love, attention, good luck, encouragement, praise.
It's just nonsense.
All of us are worthy of all good things, right? Right.
4. Believing that people need to be like me (think like me, act like me)
It took me so many years to give people the right to their own opinions. Now, as a writer, I've taken a crash course in it. Writers deal in pitching and rejection and I've learned to see that one person's opinion is just that: their opinion. Not necessarily the right opinion, just another opinion.
I am not necessarily right. You are not necessarily right. We both think what we think. And finally, I'm okay with that.
5. Playing small
A few years ago, I got to a point where I felt like a cicada about to burst through my shell. I was afraid of shining my crazy, imperfect light out in the world. I was waiting to be more perfect or more accomplished or more ready or something. But then I decided I couldn't wait any longer.
My life is half over and I want it to count. So (bravely) I'm putting it out there: my books, my creativity, this blog, my life, all the lessons I've learned. Love it or hate it, agree or disagree, I'm showing up. I hope you are, too.
I finally said this: