Don’t Be Yourself
I have this thing I do, where if I perceive that somebody is not valuing me or my time or maybe they just don’t really respect or care about me in the way I thought they might, I become quite passive aggressive.
Well, it starts with passive aggression, but if it’s allowed to play out over time (for example in a relationship) it can turn to nastiness.
Both of my previous relationships ended, in large part I would say, because both of us took little passive aggressive snipes that were never resolved and allowed nastiness to grow, to eventually become a pattern, to eventually become a default, and then to eventually become a way of life that we just couldn’t seem to break or change even when we tried, nor even when we acknowledged the reality of it!
Just now, in a messaging conversation with a friend, I VERY nearly sent through a sarcastic and passive aggressive response in reply to something that triggered me. I was so close to doing so – it was automatic to do so – and then something stopped me –
This is my pattern.
I don’t mean in business so much, although I’m sure it’s crept in from time to time. More so in my personal life. And I played out the feelings beneath the feelings while I mentally restrained myself from sending the message (which was damn hard to do and I still kind of want to send it!!) –
I feel undervalued.
I feel like this person thinks my time doesn’t matter which means maybe I don’t matter.
I feel like maybe they don’t even like me; maybe I’m somehow forcing them to be friends with me!
I feel hurt.
I feel pissed off and frustrated, but those feelings are surface feelings for feeling hurt and, essentially, rejected.
I know 🙂 it’s quite impressive how much underlying shit I can come up with for something that took place over a 2-minute message thread!! Yep … I am as fucked up as anyone out there, and maybe more so!
But here’s the thing:
It’s okay to feel whatever your feeling.
My response to want to lash out was me wanting to protect myself; to essentially ‘reject you before you reject me’. Which we all do; I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has played out THAT particular pattern!
The reason I stopped myself was not so much to sit here and try and understand myself or figure my own shit out (although that’s certainly part of it), but because I recognised in a flash that if I do this – again – then I allow it to become part of this relationship.
And then it becomes a pattern –
A default –
And really what it’s destroying, is me. In a practical sense of course behaving like this can also destroy my relationships and friendships, or at least add unnecessary struggle, but when it comes down to it the main victim of this behaviour is me.
Now here’s the (other) thing:
Sometimes life WILL throw a true shit-storm at you.
Sometimes you really WILL do ‘everything you should and that was right’ and yet things still. won’t. work.
Sometimes you can’t control other people or the world around you 🙂 … and nobody’s saying you need to sit there and take it; whatever ‘it’ is that life is perhaps serving up to trigger you with right now.
But you do get to choose how you respond.
And you can respond to a person, a situation, a so-called failure in business or life with anger, hurt, rejection, ‘fuck you’, etc, and maybe that makes you feel like you’ve taken care of yourself in that moment, but have you really?
And who is it allowing you to become?
How are the choices you’re making, the reactions you’re allowing within yourself, sculpting you into the person you’re now becoming?
We all know someone who walks around with a chip on their shoulder acting like the world owes them something.
Or somebody who has been so beaten down by business or life that they have practically no ability to think positively or believe in something better.
Or somebody who is so BITTER and full of hate that you just have to wonder what it was that hurt them so badly, but at the same time you wonder (or I do) –
Is it really worth holding on to that?
Is it HELPING you to hold on to that?
I’m a pretty happy, positive, and forward-focused person.
When I did a ‘wheel of life’ exercise recently I was proud to see that I truly do feel aligned, successful, positive and on purpose in most areas of my life.
The two areas that notably stood out as needing work? Money, and relationships. Yes, even after all these years, the lessons I’ve learned, the struggles I have indeed overcome with money, the truth is I’m still a little scared of it. I still feel like maybe money doesn’t like me, even though I have much evidence to the contrary! But there’s a lot of deep-seated worthiness stuff there.
“Who am I to be (financially) successful?”
“Why SHOULD I have that sort of freedom?”
Etc. All stuff I am actively working on.
With relationships there’s the same sort of underlying shit. Whether it’s romantic connections, friendship connections, and yes even in business – particularly in terms of how I connect with fellow entrepreneurs who are on a similar pathway to me, or who are in a so-called ‘higher’ position to me; i.e. I aspire to grow in some way to their level.
My underlying belief, if I’m being honest, is “why would anyone like me?”
“What do I have to offer anyway?”
“Who am I to even TALK to this person!”
“They probably find me so annoying, or boring, or wonder why I’m even here!”
At its core this belief is one that can be summed up very simply:
“My existence is not justified, and I must justify it”
Childhood drama, right?! Being uncool, unpopular, feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, etc. It’s fucking amazing how this stuff still impacts you as an adult.
I’m not saying all this for some kind of sympathy vote. And clearly I don’t walk around all day allowing this stuff to rule me. It’s stuff I’ve actively been aware of, sought to understand, and chosen (repeatedly, which you must do) to move on from and not allow to rule me.
But yet it does, to an extent, always.
Your past DOES shape you.
And the things that trigger you in business, in relationships, in life, the way you flare up when somebody says or does something or doesn’t say or do something, is often very indicative of past hurts and patterns.
“They don’t like me!”
Is that true? Do you know that? Do you know THEIR shit? No. And in the end, it doesn’t matter anyway, because YOU still get to decide how you react both internally and externally, and your reactions WILL dictate the you who you’re now becoming, day by day, with every choice you make and every breath you take.
What about when business situations don’t work out, when you do ‘everything right’ and you find yourself stuck, broke, scared or alone?
What are you going to say?
“God doesn’t like me!”
“The Universe doesn’t like me!”
“So – FUCK YOU eternal being and all that surrounds me – you just watch! I’ll show you!”
This is the underlying message we put out there when we react to a situation with anger, fear, resentment, bitterness or hatred.
But who are we really showing?
Who are we allowing our self to become?
And how are we sculpting our DESTINY with who we allow ourselves to be today?
Every day I write about being yourself, being authentic, being REAL.
But today I want to remind you and I both:
Sometimes being who you’ve always BEEN, or allowed yourself to become, does NOT allow you to be the you who you dream of being.
Being yourself doesn’t mean playing out the same patterns over and over.
It means identifying the life you wish to create, knowing what matters to you, getting clear and honest about how you want to grow and live and BE on a day to day basis, and then acting accordingly.
I can continue to lash out in my relationships, to try and ‘self-protect’ when I feel hurt … or I can do the hard and VERY outside of my comfort zone work of surrendering to NOW being the kind of person I want to be.
Perhaps you have a similar choice to make in a relationship, or with money, or in how you’re doing business and what you’re assuming or expecting and therefore REACTING to rather than creating deliberately.
It’s incredibly fucking hard work, to release your SHIT and surrender. To act FROM where you want to be and who you choose to be rather than react TO what you perceive has happened to you or how you perceive ‘things just are’.
Whichever path you choose, struggle will be part of it.
So in the end, all you can ask yourself?
Do I wish to fight this same fight over – and over – and over – again?
Or am I willing to surrender, to understand why I react in a way that ultimately hurts ME, and to choose – today – to be a new version of me accordingly?
Whatever you decide, just remember –
You DO have the power of choice.
You ARE already choosing who you’re becoming.
And really? Do you want to keep on the way you’ve been keeping on, or do you want to create something new?
Life is Now. Press Play.