"It's not normal to be so happy before 9am!"
The girls at my first job told me that as we rode the train into downtown Chicago. We were headed to the office, and I was excited to be working downtown at my first "real" job.
So I became less outwardly happy, so they would like me. So I would 'fit in.' I toned down my joy and instead commiserated and complained, because I wanted those girls to like me - to approve of me.
"Are you on something? You're so full of energy - it's not natural - you've gotta be on something!"
My co-workers didn't believe it when I told them I was just excited about something that happened at work that day.
So I toned my natural exuberance down... to win their approval.
(Is there such a thing as being *too* excited?)
"You're not doing everything on the itinerary? Why not? You're a rebel!"
The people I was with were upset that I didn't do everything they were doing. It made them uncomfortable that I would opt out and not do what the group was doing.
So I went along to appease them, and wound up getting sick
instead of listening to my body and to that inner voice that said to take some time for me.
I even did it to myself: "Why don't I have more likes? Don't I look good? Is the message not good?"
Maniacally checking the post every 30 minutes, feeling let down as the numbers of likes didn't increase, made me feel like a loser when I didn't get the approval I was seeking. I felt unloved and "friendless." And I was making it all up because it wasn't even true.
I had it all wrong.
Changing who I was so other people would like me - yeah, I used to do that. A lot. I did it so often that I couldn't remember which persona I had to adopt for whom.
It was exhausting.
I kept thinking something was wrong with me. I thought I had to change so others would like me and accept me.
I didn't realize that it was never about me. Other people were uncomfortable because of who they were - not because of who I was. They weren't happy. And my happiness made them uncomfortable.
It took years for me to realize I'm not living on this earth so others will approve of me.
I'm not here to live my life for other people. I'm here to live my life for me.
Sure, I still get tripped up by this sometimes, getting in my head and criticizing myself about something I did "wrong."
But then I remember - I don't need anyone's approval. It's MY life.
I approve of me. And I approve of this message.
And that's all that matters.
©Catherine Borowski, 2018
Live a wealthy life.
Catherine Borowski, life coach, knows that life can be messy. Though digging into the mess, beauty emerges in the most unexpectedly brilliant ways.