When you want to do something, a goal, a desire…what is your motivation? What makes you excited to be alive? Is it for the glow the task will bring you as you further your life’s mission and gain experience and knowledge or is it to gain adulation and praise from others? Are we driven by creating a greater good or by vanity? Dig deep for this and take a hard look in the mirror. What are your motives? On the surface, we are social by nature, beings that thrive and advance when the collective works together. I am asking you to look below the surface, deep within where insecurities and the “real self” lies.
We are in most ways, motivated by how we want others to think of us – we want approval, to be adored and appreciated. We want to be the one to save other people. Whether it is our children, parents, spouses, friends…We want rose pedals tossed at our feet while the masses shout our name over and over and over again. We have a tendency to say “yes” when the answer we should say “NO!”. We have a tendency to volunteer when we have so much to juggle between family, work, home projects, shopping and well, somewhere in there should be sleep. We are overwhelmed, overworked and overstressed and because we want others to like us, we create a superhuman persona that only leads to burn out, resentment.
Sorry to start this blog on a negative note, but I felt it was important to be real and address the elephant in the room that most of us, as parents or caregivers, we tend to do. We self-flagellate ourselves because not only do we want to be THE BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES…but we want to win the popularity contest as well. While trying to still take the title of most popular and most likely to succeed, we put our best face forward on social media…All while the reality is we are exhausted trying to meet the imaginary expectations that we think others have for us. This isn’t high school, we are not posing for the yearbook and reality is quite different when you are adulting.
Wake up, buttercup…I’m here to tell you….what other people think of you, your image, your family, your life is none of your business. That’s right, I just said it, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Sorry to be so blunt but, we are among friends and tough love is in order for you and for me. I am just as accountable so this message so we all need to lend our ears. What drives us, what should bring us joy and passion and ease and flow should be the desire to be better for ourselves. We should be so in love with who we are and what we stand for that we are part of our “why”.
When I think about the various passages written by Charles Dickens, where the emphasis was to think of charity and resist the temptation of greed and vanity, while “God bless us, everyone”, still rings true…I am constantly reminded of the words, “Humanity is my business” and I remind myself the importance of giving myself to others; however, in the twenty-first century, there need to be boundaries. Saying “yes” may feel good for the first 5 minutes but when we have said “yes” to a multitude and we are only able to give a small percentage out and only have a small percentage left in reserves, no one benefits.
Boundaries save us from ourselves…our unrealistic expectations, our insecurities, the “I got it” attitude. When healthy boundaries are put into place and the word no is used, it provides quality assurance that we are giving the best of ourselves without draining our emotional coffers. What should motivate is quality, not quantity. It isn’t how many interactions and obligations you have but rather the quality. Give your best and be your best…be you…share you….the rest will all fall into place.
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