Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I heard from many people about my last post, Passion Makes a Life. Some expressed how bored and stuck they are and feel it’s too late for them to make changes to have a more satisfying life. I hear it all the time—all the reasons conjured up for not making steps to become happier.


It’s easy to make excuses! Taking steps forward is the hard part. I stagnated for years when I was too scared to make a move and convinced myself that was the way my life was, and would continue to be. The thought of change can be scary. Actually making the change seems even scarier. So you stagnate like I did. Wishing—hoping—dreaming. And lamenting that you can’t get off your butt to get out of the rut. None of this bring happiness or satisfaction. Passion does!

Staying in a boring or unhappy place shreds your self-esteem—and happiness.

The bad news: Rarely will someone take you by the hand and walk you out of your rut. All those wishes will remain wishes if you stay put. While the DVD and book, The Secret, has some great stuff in it, it minimizes the importance of doing the work to get what you want. Sitting around praying for what you want makes you good at praying, but not manifesting!

The good news: You CAN achieve your dreams!! I felt hopeless for years, until I empowered myself with knowledge, skills, perseverance, and FAITH. People told me that I was too old to get a new career, that I didn’t have the skills and experience to do the things I yearned for, and in general, that I should stay a good little DoorMat and continue to live on autopilot in my unhappy rut.

I refused! NO MORE! I took the first step and pulled my other leg behind it. Now I’m joyously happy in a career that was worth going for.

Do you feel too old to change? That’s just in your head! Unless you’re 6 feet under, you can give yourself the power to try anything you choose. Yes, you give the power, not your mother, romantic partner, boss or anyone else. Once you CHOOSE to pursue your dreams, no one can stop you! No one but YOU. It’s your own negative thoughts that keep you stuck. I had MANY naysayers telling me to save my energy since it was too late for me to develop a new and passion driven career.. HA HA! HA! They’re all still in ruts while I’m on a passionate path of infinite possibilities.

When you strengthen your faith, and practice using it, the world can be yours! I’m living proof! ?

Do you ignore your dreams due to insecurity? Work on figuring out what you want and affirm that you can do it. Practice the self-appreciation exercises that I’ll have in many of my posts. Show yourself lots of love. Then make a plan and take teeny baby steps toward achieving. John C. Maxwell said, “Every worthwhile accomplishment has a price tag attached to it. The question is always whether you are willing to pay the price to attain it—in hard work, sacrifice, patience, faith, and endurance.” Are you willing to empower yourself and find your passion?

Learning new skills and knowledge can counter doubts and skeptical feelings about not being able to try something new. Knowledge is a HUGE self-esteem booster. Preparation provides confidence to go after what you want. Acquiring knowledge and skills lightens the anxiety of trying new things and taking risks. When you feel inadequate, think about:
• What don’t I know that could help me?
• How can I learn it?

The more new skills and knowledge you acquire, the stronger your confidence.

Find ways to acquire knowledge to improve your perceived inadequacies. Then stop lamenting about why you can’t do what you’d like. There are many levels of acquiring skills and knowledge. Set small and specific goals to prepare for pursuing desires. When you pinpoint what you think you lack, change it:

Advance your education. Do you feel inferior to your co-workers? Does it feel as if they know more than you? Learning provides a boost. Explore what might be valuable to study. What do co-workers lack that you could learn? If you want to be office manager, accounting or computer classes might help you to shine as a candidate. Increased knowledge increases confidence. Take one class at a time as you empower yourself with knowledge.

Learn a skill. Are you tired of paying people to do what you could if you knew how? Do you want a better job or have a desire to paint? Learn skills! There are Adult Ed classes and books on how to do a gazillion things. Learn how to use watercolors, do simple plumbing, maintain a website, create a newsletter, etc., and feel more competent. Each skill you pick up puts another notch on your self-esteem belt.

Get a tutor. Do computer classes go too fast or confuse you? Are you scared to take auto mechanics? Find an expert to give you private instructions. I’m dense at reading manuals and find people to explain whatever I need, step-by-step. Computer whiz college kids helped me for a few bucks. My friend gave me a guided tour under my car’s hood. Find the right person to tutor you instead of feeling dumb about not understanding how to do something.

Read the paper. I once heard a madam who ran an escort service say that her women were required to read several newspapers a day to be an interesting date. When you get familiar with current events, it makes for better conversations and you feel less ignorant. Many folks ignore them. I did and felt insecure during discussions. Now I at least check the news on TV or radio to be armed with current knowledge.

Practice to become the best you can be. Skills are like muscles—they improve with use. Decide what you’d like to do and practice, practice, practice. If it’s painting – make time to paint! Learn a language? Find someone who speaks it and chat. You’ll reach a higher level of competency by doing and doing. Be the best YOU can be. Forget perfection, or you’ll never be good enough. Practice to improve, not to compete with others.

Ask questions when you don’t understand. News flash! You’re not the only one who doesn’t always grasp instructions. I used to nod in agreement and stressfully try to figure it out. Now I know that asking makes you smarter. Requesting more clarity doesn’t make you look bad. “I’d appreciate your explaining that so I can get the whole picture,” shows you’re confident enough to ask. Insecure people don’t. You can’t know everything but can learn by asking for more info on what you need.

Get out and network! The more folks you meet, the more possible ways to get into doors to more passionate endeavors. Be friendly to everyone. You never know who might know someone that can help you. As you make more contacts, take more r
isks to get help from them.

The more you know, the less inadequate you feel. Self-empowered folks try to get better at doing things. Stay ahead of the curve by educating yourself when you can! Knowledge empowers! That gives you more confidence to take more risks to follow your passion. Happiness is worth the effort you’ll put in!

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