On Tuesday we talked about taking up space. Today I want to talk about how we are living life.
For most of my life I lived my life so I didn’t upset specific people and so I could earn the love of other specific people. As I got older, moved out on my own, and started working in a professional environment, that need to not upset people expanded. The first 30 or so years of my life are absolutely a reflection of me not wanting to upset people. Over the past four years, I have started to live my life as a reflection of who I want to be. Of course, I didn’t just flip a switch. These past four years are intertwined with me not wanting to upset people and me living for who I want to be.
I’ve learned that there are waves throughout each month where I am really good at living for who I want to be while there are waves where I fall back into my need to make sure I don’t upset others. These waves just happen to coincide in the changes of my hormonal cycle. It has taken me a while to learn this as well as some learning from life coaches who train on this topic. It has become very clear and very important that yes, our hormonal cycles affect our moods and our growth. Once we understand and can identify this, we can be more efficient at working to overcome the challenges we battle.
To overcome this challenge I have had to work with my hormonal cycle to understand when I experience the highest draw to live my life as a reaction to others. It’s almost like clockwork for me. These days it only takes me a few hours to identify what is happening when it hits. As I was first trying to identify this reaction, it took me a couple of days of reflection to realize what was happening. I cannot wait until the day when I can identify the reaction as it is happening.
So, what is an example of me living as a reaction to not upsetting others? Recently an account manager was on vacation but still held one meeting with a customer because it was a kick-off that could have delayed the entire project if she rescheduled. Then one of my project managers got on our team meeting at 6:00 am in the time zone he was in. Our operations vice president made a comment about the dedication of these two. This happened about a week before I was scheduled to have some time off where I would be out of service the entire time. My immediate reaction was to get really depressed and reconsider taking the time off. Of course, that was not what our VP was saying. He was merely showing gratitude for their dedication to our massive quarterly goal. How do I know this, I confirmed it with him after I had a day to reset my mood and check-in with myself. I was about to cancel my time off because I felt guilty. My immediate reaction was in response to not wanting to upset someone rather than taking the time I need.
No matter how good we get at identifying this reaction, we most likely will always battle our need to live our life in order to not upset others. The goal isn’t completely prevent it. Hell, I don’t know if that is even possible. The goal is to be able to identify when it happens and change how we react. I want to be able to help myself to live less and less in the pursuit of not upsetting others. I want to live a life that reflects who I want to be.