I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching the last year. It is a common thing, I think, when a toxic relationship ends. And in many ways I’m lucky because the toxicity in my life was a friend and not a spouse. However, the grieving process and moving forward are remarkably similar. I’ve even had to put myself out there in the “pool,” so to speak, so I can make some new friends. Here are the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far:
- Life is too dang short to waste time on people who make you feel inferior. Whether they are talking down to you, belittling you, or just taking you for granted, you are worth more and deserve to be treated like an actual person.
- Standing up for yourself is hard and can lose you friends but it is ALWAYS worth it. If a relationship can’t withstand you standing up and saying, “No, you’re treating me like crap and I’m not OK with it,” then that is a relationship you don’t want to be in. We all get complacent in relationships and take people granted or take our frustrations out on them when they don’t deserve it. The difference between those who are real and those who are terrible is they will stick around when you call them on their BS.
- Take time to find your people. If you’re dark and twisty don’t waste your time trying to fit in with the “we wear pink and speak in cliches” group. They won’t ever be your people and compromising who you are to fit into their idea of cool will never be satisfying. Be true to yourself and someone will start picking up what you’re putting down!
I know these lessons are probably kind of DUH but like a lot of things, experiences drive them home. As a result though, I’m working on living my life without regerts, see what I did there!
To be as regret free as possible takes work. I have been consuming a whole host of “self-help” style books along with trying to be more proactive about things. I’ll write another post on some of my favorite books from the last year in another post. But here are the steps I now take to be, or at least feel like, a badass!
- Figure out what is important to you. Who cares about anything else going on around you. In your life you should have your own set of values and things you hold important. It can be a simple list or you can take the time to create a mission statement for yourself. But understanding what you value is the first step. Here’s mine: I want to live my life in a way that puts my close friends and family first. Being reliable and there for the people I care about is important to me. I want to feel accomplished at being a wife, mom, and business owner. For me accomplished means less flying by the seat of the pants and more having a plan, being proactive, and being more active. I also want to have time to binge watch netflix or nerd out if I want.
- Now that you’ve taken the time to figure out what you hold near and dear. Go through what you wrote and define any ambiguous terms. In my example above, I took the time to define what accomplishment looks like to me. It may look different to you so be sure to set clear ideas of what things look like. A good rule of thumb is, if a term is subjective to different points of view take the time to define it in terms of your life and perspective.
- Stop giving a fuck what other people think. Like assholes, everyone has an opinion right? That doesn’t mean you have to give headspace to those who are sharing negative ones about your life. They aren’t in your shoes, they aren’t willing to try to put themselves there to understand your perspective, therefore they don’t matter. There are very few people who you should give headspaces to and you should already know who those people are in your life. Also, this includes giving headspace to your negative thought processes. You can be your own worse enemy. Here is a simples process to stop:
- When you start to feel those thoughts or the pressure from the outside creeping in make yourself take 5 seconds. Literally count down from 5, out loud if you have to. Counting will give you something to focus on to shut down the negativity. Once you hit one then you need to physically move and consciously pick a new thought process. If you want to know more about why this works not just as a mental trick but psychologically and scientifically read Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule. It’ll change your life!
- Constantly repeat steps 1-3. Life gets in the way, it happens. Understanding that this is not a one time process is integral to continuing to be successful with it. When shit crops up figure out if it’s contributing to your life in a positive way and if not deal with it if its like taxes but if it isn’t important in some way, cut it out!
I’m sure as I continue to learn and grow my process will change but here it is as of now! What are things you do to continue to stay true to yourself and your values?