When dealing with female clients and friends, there is an underlying theme of waiting for permission to live life on your own terms. To this I say, “Poppycock!” If we wait for permission to live our life our way, we will be waiting a long time. It’s not anyone else’s job to tell you what’s okay. You are your own boss! If this is an uncomfortable thought for you, I understand. It’s just a matter of changing the way you think about your own power. What thoughts do you need to Be Your Own Boss?
1. “I respect your right to an opinion, but don’t expect me to agree with you”: My bookends (my oldest and youngest) are both great examples of this kind of thinking. They are a little (okay, a lot) sassy, and they really don’t care if you agree with them or not. As a result, I think they default to what THEY think is important, instead of what the group is doing. And they don’t spend a lot of time trying to change other people. My middle girls learned this at college, when they finally stopped changing to meet a crowd that didn’t represent their values. You will never change another person to be what you think they should be, but you can sure as hell stop hanging around them if they drain you..
2. "I have all my own answers." When we stop looking to other people for approval for every little action or thought we have, we can free up a lot of time—time we used to spend waiting for other people to tell us we are okay. With that time, we can choose something new. We can try to prove our hunches right. We can listen to our Inner Guide (that little voice that tells us what, and who, is good for us). We can stop waiting for permission to live our life and get on with it, already!
3. "If I take responsibility, I can save time and energy." Think about all the time that’s spent pointing fingers at other people, in order to find out who’s responsible for screw-ups and mistakes. What if you just took the heat, even if it’s not all your fault? What if you owned up to your part in something, just to move the situation forward? If you take responsibility for your actions, people start looking to you as a leader. As humans, we want to forgive someone who stands up and says, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake.” So, stop blaming your boyfriend, parent, child, boss, or reality TV show for how unhappy you are. Take a stand, own it, and move on.
4. ''Treat yo’self right. If you don’t, who will?" Start taking care of your sweet self RIGHT NOW! Don’t wait for the kids to grow up, to get a raise, or to lose 10 pounds—treat yo’self right this very minute! I’m not talking about buying yourself a brand new car if you can’t afford lightbulbs. I’m just saying take 5 minutes to go outside and look at the clouds. Do a cartwheel. Dance in the rain. Lie down and cuddle with your dog or your kids; or better yet, your dog AND your kids. Do something that delights your senses and take charge of your own happiness by building it on a daily basis. You’re worth it!
We all make our own rules. As Victor Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. We all have free will, no matter the circumstances. Exert yours. Be Your Own Boss and watch how your life grows in the process.
If you want to talk more about this, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our pretty new website at www.girlpowerforgood.org.