Empower Your Choices By Empowering Yourself
Making choices, big or small, can sometimes be fraught with worry and stress, as well as lack confidence. It can be especially scary to make decisions that involve others, like your kiddos. The fear can easily turn into paralyzing self doubt and feeling victimized by the weight of the choice you are trying to make. It is true that sometimes these decisions are truly difficult to resolve because they are complicated, but there is a REMOVABLE obstacle that you can shift now. Creating change and focusing on what you can control vs what you can't, as well as giving up the worry of how others will respond to your choices, leads to empowered decision making that promotes feelings of self agency and esteem.
One of the biggest ways people give up their power is by investing their energy in what others think, which leads to a fear of being judged and rejected. We give a lot of weight to other's opinions and what they think of the choices we make for our lives. That weight feels like pressure from all sides that squeezes out the capacity for creativity and joy, and leaves you paralyzed in fear and guilt. We feel resentful and tired because we have spent our precious energy giving power to someone else. When the desire to fit in surpasses the need to belong, our priorities become more aligned with fear than with love. If your goal is to fit in, you will change yourself and your authenticity in exchange for acceptance. If you align yourself with the need (yes, it is a human need) to belong, no part of your light ever has to dim. Belonging allows for plenty of open space to be authentically and unapologetically yourself. Letting go of the fear around what others think, allows you to co-exist in differences AND similarities, as well as frees you from the gripping energy of fear.
Believe me, I know this is WAY easier said than done. Here are a few strategies to get you started and bolstering your self-worth from WITHIN.
To bolster self worth from WITHIN and empower self esteem, you need to release the emotional pressure you add by focusing on what other's think about who you are and the decisions you choose.
If you stay focused on efforting outwards, providing for others and soothing their judgements, you will get burned out, resentful, and disoriented. An antidote is to turn inward to see the precious gift of yourselves.
A few ways to do this...
1. Turn apologies into "thank-you's" (or "no thanks" or "not now"). "Thank you for your opinion," "Thank you for pointing that out," "Thank you for caring." Saying thank you does not mean you need to internalize their opinion or judgement. You are just acknowledging the other person and their effort in caring. If you choose to give more energy to their assertion, that is up to you. If you are experiencing a caustic or unnerving interaction, you can very simply walk away or in your own words, say "I am not open to that feedback right now." It doesn't have to be pretty, and it can also be respectful. You have every right to preserve your energy and protect yourself.
2. Let it be messy. If you are like me in the past, you may tip-toe around other people's feelings and not wanting to upset them, even if they are taking advantage or being unkind. I had a DEEP fear of messy relationships, which also meant I had a deep fear of being seen. I paradoxically pushed away connection by trying to over-control my feelings and others feelings and judgements. SO EXHAUSTING. One of the most relieving changes I have ever made was letting relationships be messy, letting myself just be me. As it turns out, we are not perfect and we get to be our beautifully imperfect selves. If another person cannot be with your authenticity, they are not your people.
3. Stop comparing. Seriously, stop comparing. Or at least do it wisely. We often compare our insides to someone's outsides. Now that we have social media on top of advertising and our own incessant need to keep up appearances, we often only see a fraction of someone's life. We can't always trust what we see but we can trust our own instincts and worth. Take ownership of what you consume with your eyes.
Your worth and value as a person are independent of what others think. Your worth is only dependent on what kind of relationship you have with yourself. So, make it kind. Make it compassionate. Make it beautiful. Make it glorious. Make it pleasureable. Make it spark. Make it big and take up space. Make it deserving. Make it assertive.
Stand tall and hold your head up mama. You got this!