First thoughts on this entry were more focused toward our need, as fearful people, to not ASSUME others are judging us, thus inhibiting our authentic actions. But the more I thought about it, the more I am convinced that . . . well, yeah – people can be judgmental, and downright mean. But should that stop us from doing what is good and right for ourselves? Why is it that we often give more credence to STRANGERS that we do to ourselves? Shouldn’t we love ourselves enough to meet our needs and nurture our wellness rather than cower to the “assumed” judgments of others – when it is within appropriate parameters?
“The Beached Whale Example” – Physical wellness and healthy living had always been paramount to my lifestyle. I loved the feeling of long workouts that made me sweat and ache . . . the feeling afterwards of the adrenaline rush . . . the sense that I had both upper and lower body strength. But when I left social work and turned to the corporate work world to provide the funds to pay for my son’s college, I knew that travel and long work days would prohibit the endurance sports that I enjoyed. I was glad to give it up for such a good reason! But I grew exhausted of searching for healthy eating options during long days in hotels. . . regularly working days that started at 7am and ended at 11pm with no break ( even meals were working). I honestly got angry about having to fight so hard to work out, and I sort of gave up. Add to that health issues that required no exercise, and medication that caused weight gain, and here I am – 25 pounds overweight. So a main goal for my time here in Bali is to get back into shape. I am excited! I am ready! – BUT THERE IS NO WAY I AM GETTING ON THAT BEACH WITH ALL THE BUFF SURFER BODIES!! ARE YOU KDDING ME???? Okay – that was my first day on the beach – considering taking off my shirt to reveal my pasty white flabby body.
Scared me: “ I will be the laugh of the beach”
Courageous me: “ But I should be proud that I am working toward being healthy again”
Scared me: “ What if the young buff people make fun of me?”
Courageous me: “ Am I really so important that they are going to even notice much longer than a chuckle? And this is just the BEFORE me – like a house renovation”
Scared me: “But I will look like an idiot”
Courageous me: “It would be idiotic to be flabby and sitting still !! Get to work and be proud that you are working on yourself .”
We have all had conversations like this with ourselves. Why do we give STRANGERS so much power over our healthy and positive actions? Let’s be clear – cultural manners, etc go a long way toward preventing anarchy. But I am talking about allowing ourselves actions that hurt no one but still make us a little uncomfortable. . .
- Asking a question in a crowd (“But won’t I look stupid?”)
- Correcting a wrong order (But what if I make the waitress angry?)
- Clarifying expectations (What if I come across as bossy?)
- Doing something enjoyable but silly ( seriously, why did we ever stop playing on the swings??)
While googling for quotes on this concept, all that came up was “love a stranger as yourself” – but that should not be misconstrued as “love a stranger MORE than you love yourself!” Somewhere I once heard: “Love God first, family second, and yourself third.” This is not a narcissistic ‘SELF’ – but the courage to love yourself above all the voices in your head that encourage you to acquiesce to what others might think, over getting your needs met.
Author Steve Mariboli says,” How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you”, so let’s challenge ourselves today to behave towards “ME” with all the love and respect we deserve, and not worry so much about “others”!
WANT TO TAKE A DRINK?
How many times have you watched someone do something simple and said to yourself, “I wish I could pull that off”? So, challenge yourself today to take one step toward breaking away from your fearful voices and intentionally practicing self-love!
- Diplomatically address an issue with a colleague or client
- Say “No” to a request in order to give yourself down time
- Wear that crazy outfit that you love!
Start with a simple action, and you will find that it is easier than you think . . . bet you will find that others don’t judge as much as you think they do – and if they do, that is their issue – not yours!
Courage to you all!