Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Insecurities and People Pleasing
As part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, I am sharing my continual growth and self improvement that I've embarked on this year.
I will forever be a work in progress. And I'm down with that.
I've always been a people pleaser. Mainly to family, close friends, people I care about, and yes the pets are included. Okay, sometimes my co-workers and the boss, though with far less enthusiasm. After I embarked on a writing career, I found that I had even more people to please. People I didn't even know.
I generally get really good vibes from helping people, and I don't ever want to lose that. But then there's that unhealthy people pleasing. The kind that doesn't give off those sparkly vibes. The kind that wears a mind and body down because you've stopped living in your personal rhythm. I did that. I put myself last on my list. I put my health last. My needs were ignored because I was super good about making others happy. And my hubby gave me grief for this, but I didn't listen. I heard him, but I didn't listen.
I had to make some tough choices after awhile because my health slipped, and I didn't handle some personal stressors well. My doctor sat me down and said, "you're on a fast downhill spiral. I don't want to scare you, but it's fast. You need to make changes now" and you know, I freaked out. I wanted to see my baby graduate. I wanted to go to a convention and meet authors and readers and publishers. I wanted to go to Ireland with my sweetie. All of a sudden some very important aspects of my life were dangling in front of me. The unfinished dreams. The unfinished books. The unfinished story of my life. Scary!
And it was all on me. I had to own that I wanted to please everyone, and make everyone happy. I like happy - it's a good frame of mind to be in :) I like the feeling of making others happy. But there's an expense when you don't add yourself into the mix.
It took a couple years to get myself to a healthier place. It's still a daily battle, but it's a good one. I had to change all sorts of habits from food to exercise to social stuff, to learning to say no. I had myself convinced I was a machine. But I'm not, and since I can't trade in for younger, better parts, I have to take care of the ones I have.
I still struggle with this. I still try and take on more than I can handle. And I still find myself falling into the rhythm of helping others. Do I like to say no? Um, not always, no. Have I lost respect from others because of it? Yes, and it doesn't feel good. Have I lost friends over it? Yes, and it really doesn't feel good at all. Have I lost readers and fans because of it? Oh god, yes. It sucks!
But I'm one person. I have one life. I'm working each day to better myself in my professional life and my personal life. On most days, the really good days, I'm back on the priority list. Heck, I saw my baby graduate. *proud mama* I look forward to going to a convention in the near future. And in a few years I'm going to Ireland with my sweetie.
Do you put yourself on the priority list? If not, where do you place yourself?
Thanks for hanging out and letting me bare my soul!