Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I’m a recovering DoorMat. For years I let people walk all over me and take advantage of my People Pleasing nature. Those who know me today can’t believe that my self-esteem was in the toilet for many years. Now I’m a woman who travels the world makes her dreams come true. I’m the author of 8 popular books, with several more in the pipeline. I also publish 2 e-newsletters and do workshops and counseling to help men and women learn to empower themselves. While I’m not considered a young chickie and my body isn’t thin, I am VERY happy being me! That’s a far cry from the girl I used to be—feeling worthless, fat, and ugly for a majority of life—all because I wasn’t perfectly thin. Picture a tall girl with a few extra pounds, always smiling and saying yes to all requests because she desperately needed to be liked. That was moi!

When I was a guest on Oprah, she asked the audience which was more important—being liked or being respected? Almost everyone chose liked. One person after another described how much they do for others and affirmed that being liked was worth being inconvenienced by catering to others, spending money on gifts, giving loans that aren’t repaid, and more—to make people like them! Even guys admitted to making an effort to please. Oprah seemed amazed by the response. I wasn’t, because I used to be like them. Many of us were raised to give and give to be accepted.

I learned the importance of being liked early. Teachers gave Good Girls more. Acquiescence was extolled as a chick virtue. Since cute, smaller girls were most popular, being tall for my age made me feel big, which translated into seeing myself as fat, which I wasn’t. But at ten years old, not being small made me FEEL fat. Cellulite and frizzy hair defined my self-image and low self-esteem carried well into adulthood. Since being solo was torture, catering to other people’s needs, often at my own expense, insured having friends. Self-loathing made me do almost anything to buy company and immersed me deeper into DoorMat Syndrome. I remember how it hurt to be let down, over and over, by someone I’d been good to. Yet I took the beating and kept on ticking—and giving!

My forehead no longer says welcome
and I’m filled with self-love!

I am happy, sane, and conscious of taking care of me. That gives me a lot more energy to help others, unconditionally, without trying to buy anything but the pleasure of being a good person. I could still revert to my old DoorMat ways by succumbing to messages in the media and around me


but I don’t intend to go there! I’ve seen enough people who are thin, young and in a relationship who are far from happy. I wake up smiling every day since I found the love, joy, and satisfaction of self-acceptance. While many of you may disagree, I consider myself a very hot, sexy and special chick. And it’s what I think that matters!

This blog will explore many reasons, situations, stereotypes and ways of thinking that may hold you back from being more empowered. It will include tips for building confidence, getting taken more seriously at work and play, learning to say “no” in effective ways, increasing self-love and MUCH MORE. I’ll discuss things in the news, on TV and in the behavior of celebrities and every day people that illustrate or reinforce low self-esteem or healthy self-empowerment.

Some posts will have observations from real life that exemplify what many of us were taught and continue to live by that inhibit development of the strongest self-empowerment possible. There will be interviews with and guest articles by people I respect. We’re influenced by what we hear, read and see. I want to help alter perceptions of what’s important for a good self-image and find ways to feel more empowered and happy in your own skin. As a recovering DoorMat, I’ve been to both sides of the self-esteem dial:

* From being the People Pleasing go-to girl–thinking I was fat and ugly since I wasn’t as thin as the media dictated, and felt generally worthless beyond my ability to suck up to others because of it.

* To being a self-empowered chick who loves herself—despite not being as thin or young as today’s standards dictate to women. I no longer try to be—or lament not being—the flavor of the week extolled in the media.

I can attest that loving yourself in your own imperfect skin rocks!

I’m writing this for both sexes. Low self-empowerment isn’t just a girl thing. Men may not express insecurities the way some women do—but they have them too! I’m proud to say that half the subscribers to my Self-Empowerment Quarterly newsletter (subscribe by sending your name, city/state to are guys. My How to Please a Woman book is in its second edition because it did so well. So while people warn that men don’t care and I shouldn’t write for them, I continue to.

Some posts will address issues related to just men or women, but everyone can learn from them. Reading what I say to the opposite sex gives you insight into how they think and why they do things that might seem silly or downright annoying. Men actually write to say they learned a lot from reading my book All Men Are Jerks until Proven Otherwise (it’s NOT male bashing—I LOVE men!). Most pick it up as a joke; then write to say how informative they found it and shocked at what women needed to be told.

People don’t believe that with all the self-empowerment books, classes, and experts on TV that encourage building a good self-image, low self-esteem is rampant.

You know what they say about leading a horse to water but not being able to make him drink. Everyone wants to lose weight, get in better shape, make more money, look younger, be happier, yada, yada. And feel more self-empowered. But they often wish and wait in frustration. It would be nice to have wish fairies! Heck, I’d be abundant with wishes. But life isn’t a fairy tale and wishes only come true if you’re pro-active about achieving them.

Many folks are closet insecure people. You may play the role of being on top of your life well. But a good job, money, a trophy wife or wealthy husband, fame, houses, cars, etc. don’t make you feel good if you can’t feel good without them. Are you in denial about how truly happy you are? The media emphasizes qualities to strive for. On TV there are folks having fat sucked from their guts, girls getting boob jobs for their sixteenth birthday and fat people marching for prizes. Beauty and youth are extolled as virtues. Many “must haves” are unnatural/unhealthy. In a society of Botox, stomach stapli
ng, breast enlargements, and other appearance enhancing procedures, it’s hard to feel normal when you’re normal.
Standards that we’re told to chase for self-approval are unnatural!

We’ve stopped appreciating who we are in the pursuit of who we can be.

That makes it hard to be happy NOW. Been there, done that! I used to live in yearning. Now that I love myself, life is perpetual joy. Self-acceptance and love bring much more joy than chasing what the media says you need and should be. Please stick around and subscribe to my blog. It will have practical insight into an old problem that hasn’t gone away. You CAN find your way if you CHOOSE to! If this former tubby DoorMat now sexy, powerful chick could improve her self-image without losing weight or being completed by a man, anyone CAN!

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