I started this blog post and had no clue as to what to title it. It was born out of an epiphany I had that was longing to be birthed for quite some time. The thought crossed my mind after writing one of my Wake up to Wisdom post on Instagram that a lot of times our feelings of guilt about pleasing people come from a place of finding our value in other people’s perceptions of us. If someone expects us to be incredibly outgoing even though we are quiet modest some of us give in to the ideals and expectations others have of us. Ideals are often not reality and human beings tend to perceive things, situations and people from a limited perspective thus forming a limited perception. The fact is our perception is simply that, OUR perception it doesn’t always mean it’s born out of truth or it may have originated in truth, but it sure enough does not always end up being truthful. I speak a lot about defining ourselves for ourselves which is based on a famous quote by Audre Lorde, but what does it really mean to define ourselves for ourselves?
I’m far from being as social as people think I am, so I know all too well the horrid feeling of disappointing people who I appreciate when I am too tired to go out after work or I just don’t have it in me to face a massive crowd. It’s hardly ever anything personal I just feel so incredibly drained after some outings and the older I get the less inclined I am to give in to the pressure of doing things that really don’t feel good for me. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good night out, a good drink and socialising but personally there are times when it doesn’t have the effect me that it would on some other personality types. Some thrive and feel incredibly alive when in the company of many others. In fact there are those who love the vibe of a crowd rather than a couple. Let’s just say that I’d pick a partner any day over a gang. The irony of this is that my image and some elements of my taste would allude to a belief that almost seems to be the polar opposite of my truth. I’m certain that I can’t be the only who this happens to. I love fashion and style it’s my art. My body is and always has been my canvas, my way of expressing how I feel artistically via a style medium. I don’t dress for attention though I love and value appreciation for my artistic attempts, I can’t deny that (lol). However, I’m not attempting to be stylish because I want people to notice and treat me like a demigod out of sheer narcism , essentially I am just being me and being what some may term as normal in my appearance just doesn’t feel like I’m being true to myself. It got me to thinking how do we
1. define our own selves even if we look like the opposite of what we are and that baffles people
2. feel comfortable and confident about it ?
Self assessment is vital in life it’s vital if you want to have successful relationships, want to be professionally successful, if you want to happy and the list could go on forever as to why assessing yourself makes a big difference. To understand who you are is to understand what you are capable of, what you need, what you do not want, what you love, what soothes you etc. Taking the time to do this requires self reflection, sometimes being alone and perhaps even meditating. Understanding yourself seems obvious but so many of us know ourselves a lot less than we really should. My first tip would be get to know you it makes life a hell of a lot more manageable.
Be honest with yourself. After you understand what you’re working with to a greater extent it’s far easier to be honest with yourself about what you are willing and aren’t willing to do , feel, or put up with. It’s also much easier not to be easily swayed by other’s opinions of you because the fact exists that you know the truth. You have to know what you can handle and what you really don’t have the capacity to withstand. This part takes time because it’s often here where guilt sets in. You feel that you know what’s good for you but it may hurt some people or at least disrupt their day or company or whatever because it’s does not create the ideal for them. Remember that being a good person and pleasing yourself from time to time will not always mean being as convenient a person as you can be for everyone else, at the same time this doesn’t make you a horrible person either. We cannot please everyone and everyone cannot please us. It’s simple you win some you loose some. Assess who and what truly matters most to you and then assess how your actions will impact the situation and what is the best way to approach it all. You are not a bad person because your fulfilment doesn’t always align with other people’s comfort.
Guilt is fine if you actually did something wrong, but if your feeling guilty because you fear not being accepted or fitting in or just hate disappointing people because you loathe judgment and/or confrontation you might want to find a way to nip that practice in the bud. In life you will be judged whether you notice or not it sounds tough but it’s true and it’s not the end of the world I promise. Eventually, if not being judged and self imposed guilt trips are what control you, chances are you will probably get overwhelmed because as I mentioned and you may have noticed, pleasing everyone is never going to happen. In fact, some days everyone might hate you for a minute or two but you can’t allow this to redefine who you see yourself as. Know who you are and more importantly love who you are enough to know that one or two slip ups don’t make you the devil. Feeling guilty is natural but it shouldn’t be habitual or based out of a lack of regard for yourself and a bad habit of people pleasing especially when it’s detrimental to you. If you’re wrong accept, apologise, reflect and see where you can do better. If you have a valid reason which makes sense for you not to do something or put up with something then breathe deep and let it go. The which does not serve us, often depletes us.
Oft times we can become hell bent, especially women, on being all things to all people and I’m not one to single out gender but it’s a fact. You don’t need to be all things to all people sometimes in fact you need to stop take a minute or 10 to asses, to breathe in the good after you’ve exhaled the unnecessary and to focus on what matters most in your life. I’m not talking about your ego and you being more important than anything with some intense air of narcissism, but I am saying you need to define who and what matters most to you. Energy is too precious to invest in things that do not truly hold value to you or in situations which do not truly value you either. We must seek to define ourselves, our why and our truth before other’s are given the liberty to dictate such a precious thing for us. May your week serve you beautifully and thanks for being a part of the musings of my uber intense mind.lol :0)
Have a fab week everyone!