Choice, it's a powerful "thing". And it's funny, I think we or at least I, sometimes forget there's always a choice. I mean, even the choice to do nothing is still a choice.
BUT when it comes to choosing ourselves, do we? Or do we wait and wait and wait for others to choose us?
Do you remember playing games on recess like Dodge-ball or Kickball? There was always a team captain who got to choose who was on their team. I was never very athletic so I often got chosen close to last.
Fast forward to adulthood; dating apps that swipe left or right, and likes on social media come into view. Seeking others' validation, hinging our self-worth on being chosen for a job, an assignment, or a promotion…all signs we're waiting on others to choose us.
BEING AN OPTION
“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” - Maya Angelou
For more than half my life I made everyone and I mean everyone a priority. I people-pleased the shit out of my relationships. I molded, melded, twisted, and turned myself inside out to be chosen, to be validated as a worthwhile human, to be accepted. I chased after the Facebook likes, and the Twitter follows because I thought it made me a "somebody".
It was fricking exhausting and downright demoralizing.
And then I realized something; I realized that if I didn't choose me, I was going to continue people-pleasing, molding, melding, and settling for things and people that frankly, weren't a good fit for me. I was going to continue to teach people it was OK to treat me like an option, a close to last choice.
HOW I STARTED CHOOSING ME
"Be a voice, not an echo." - Einstein
I had that quote tattooed on my wrist to serve as my reminder to use my voice to speak up. To say "no" to the things and to the people that don't work for me.
It was scary at first, but once I started, not only did it feel empowering, it got easier.
I asked myself "What do I choose?" when it came to making decisions regarding my business or my personal choices. And I chose.
I started listening more to my inner wise woman and less to my inner bully. Reminding myself that my inner bully was only sharing data and that data was an indicator of what was important to me.
I stopped looking for "likes" and started paying attention to how I felt about what I was putting out into the world.
And when I felt pangs of insecurity that might throw me into the old habit of people-pleasing, I went inward (and I still do). I journaled. I read. I worked (work) on my "innards" to sort out the root cause of the insecurity so I'd come up with options to stand firmly in my power.
IT'S YOUR TIME TO CHOOSE
“Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”― Glennon Doyle, Untamed
We don't need anyone's permission to choose ourselves. We just need to start choosing. Knowing that we're not being selfish, self-centered, or arrogant by doing so.
As a matter of fact, we're serving the world from a better place, a place of compassion, and humility when we choose ourselves. We come from a place of being "filled up" instead of depleted. Not to mention, we're giving from a place of "want to" instead of "have to".
With that in mind, here are some things to experiment with.
Grab a piece of paper or your journal, and free write your answer to this question, "What makes me choosable?" Don't edit yourself. This is a list just for you, one you can use as evidence. Because when we have evidence, we feel more empowered and resilient. (It's a mindset thing.)
Start saying "no" to the things that don't serve you. But I'd like to suggest starting with the "small stuff" first to build up the "no" muscle and to get the momentum going.
Don't listen to your inner bully. Instead, use the dialog as data. Data to choose the opposite or to remind you that whatever you're choosing for you is important to you.
Pay attention to what you say about yourself. Some of the most powerful words come after "I am..."
Listen to your inner wise woman/man first (your gut instincts.)
Just remember, you've got this! You deserve to choose you and doing so makes you #unstoppable!
So, my friend, I just have one question for you...will you wait for others to choose you, or will you choose you?