being the ‘nice’ girl
This only leaves you empty, disappointed, feeling depleted and not understanding who you really are or what you really want.
How do I give myself away—let me count the ways. Here are some of the biggest ways we give ourselves away.
The kind woman has deep love and compassion for others and for herself. She will pitch in enthusiastically provided she has the time and the desire to be truly impactful. She doesn’t make excuses when she is unavailable, and when she says ‘Yes’, you know you can count on her 110%. She takes responsibility for herself, the way she feels, and taking care of herself 100%.
shoulds versus wants
I should lose weight, I should go to the gym, I should cook nutritious meals from scratch for my family every night, I should get a conventional job, I should live in a certain neighborhood.
The best thing I ever did for myself was quit my gym. I hated going there, I hated feeling guilty for not going after spending a great deal of money on the membership. I hated not being able to keep up with the class instructors and virtually anyone else in the class. It was not helping my health goals—AT ALL! It was crushing any scrap of self-esteem I had. Instead, I move my body in ways that feel great to me and in ways that I actually look forward to.
The fear that people will reject you if you don’t go, that they won’t like you if you don’t go, that they will forever and ever talk only about this one experience that you said no to, the fear that you won’t be “in the know”.
These are very real fears, our survival depends on our connection with others. When I took a hard look at what I was saying yes to, I became aware that there were really only a handful of people involved that I wanted to connect with.
Instead of doing the group thing, I reached out to these women individually and forged deeper friendships than I ever could in a group setting.
conflict and communication
Not only would I avoid it at any cost, but I would constantly try to prevent and smooth over conflict between other people. I would agree and go along with whatever just to avoid having to stand up for myself, or thinking it was just easier this way—not a big deal.
Yet it is a VERY big deal.
Every time we override our beliefs and values we are giving a part of ourselves away, no matter how small we think it may be.
There was a point in my marriage when I was afraid to disagree with my husband or (gasp) to bring something up that I was displeased with. I was afraid that if I caused too much trouble he would leave me. I now understand that the path to true intimacy is through conflict, not around it.
Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions? Where are you giving yourself away? Big changes can come from very little shifts. What little shift in your thinking or your action can you make today to keep more of yourself for you?