For as long as I can remember, I have always lived my life by trying to fulfill the expectations of others. I was told what I should do, when I should do it, how things should be done and how I should execute something. In reflecting on this, I discovered that regardless of my best efforts, whatever I did was never good enough and only resulted in greater expectations and of course, greater consequences when I did not meet those expectations. Well, I am tired of being told what to do. And I am tired of being shamed, cajoled, teased, pushed, rammed, etc. into doing things that I don’t want to do or am not comfortable doing. Therefore, I am officially declaring my independence and learning that it is okay to say “no” if that is what I need to do for myself. And I am inviting everyone else to join me in this movement, if you, too, have been allowing others to push you around and deciding for you how you should think and feel and be.
Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge my part in allowing others to control me. I know that I constantly strive for perfection even though I am aware that there is no such thing and if I fall short of expectations, I see only the part where I feel I failed. There are some people who have had the ability to make me feel so badly about myself when I am not in agreement with what they want for me to do but here again, I have allowed it. I find that I get so very upset whenever someone succeeds in turning things on me by finding a justification for their own behavior that is so contrary to the reality of the situation. But most importantly, I have reached the point of no return on this matter and have decided that on a going forward basis, I will not allow myself to accept such behavior from others.
I know it won’t be easy. After so many years of accepting being pushed around in so many ways, it is habit to respond in the same old way. But, it will be so worthwhile in the long run when I find that I am doing what I want to do and I am doing it in a way that works for me. The benefit is that if I do what I want, on the terms that work for me, I will become so vested in the project, or whatever it may be, that I give it all of my effort and dedication and regardless of the work involved, it will actually be fun for me. The fun factor always changes everything. I don’t think that there is a thing in the world that I can’t accomplish if I am having fun while doing it. And if you think about it, I am sure that the same thing applies to you, too, so come on and join me. Life from here on in will be so much better by allowing for the fun in everything that we do and our accomplishments will be so much more meaningful to us. Now that sure sounds like a much better quality of life to me.
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.