Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Why We Stay Stuck

shackles.jpgYou think you’d like to have fun but you don’t. You want to try new things but you don’t. You want to be more outgoing but don’t do anything outgoing. I was that way when I was a DoorMat and still feel like this for some new things I’d like to try. Yet you need to do these things to move to a better place in life and say, “I love me!”. Nobody likes staying stuck in a bad place yet DoorMats choose stuck over feeling the discomfort that can come with change.

Nobody keeps you stuck. YOU keep yourself stuck when you succumb to fear or potential discomfort.  

You might blame your situation on others but, that’s just a copout. YOU are the glue that keeps you stuck in a place you say you don’t like. And only YOU can get you out. There are many things that can keep you stuck so you don’t try new things that would let more happiness into your life:
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•    Potential discomfort: Trying something new can mean stepping into unknown water. If you don’t know what will happen or how it will work out, you might procrastinate on taking the first step. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s harder to risk trying something new when the outcome isn’t a guarantee. DoorMats require guarantees to take chances, which means they can’t take chances, since there are rarely guarantees. Stress doesn’t feel good and can deter you.

Taking baby steps can help limit how much discomfort you feel at one time. Say “no” to one person and then process what happens before making another move. The only things I can guarantee is if you’re not happy now, staying stuck will keep you from finding happiness. Slowly expand your comfort zone by doing things that seem uncomfortable and getting to the rewards of taking that risk.

•    Old mindsets: When I was a DoorMat I “knew my place.” There were things I wouldn’t consider doing, men I wouldn’t consider trying to attract and opportunities I wouldn’t consider going after. Feeling low made ME put boundaries around what I had no right to think I could have or do.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HowDoILoveMeCover.jpgRecognize where these messages come from. You might have been told you weren’t good enough to do something as a child or by your first love and you hold onto the beliefs. List why you believe you can’t have or do something. Then write down why it doesn’t have to be true. I believed that I was too fat to consider being with a man above a certain level of good looking. When I wrote it down, I faced that I was making decisions for all good looking men. Yes, some, even many, aren’t attracted to my not slender body. But I no longer see myself as fat and accept that there are good looking men who love my body. So now I flirt with them all.

You might try something and it doesn’t work but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Now if a guy doesn’t respond as I’d like, I accept I just wasn’t right for him and it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. It’s the same principle if you don’t get the promotion or whatever else is on your “want” radar screen. When you accept that you’ll get what’s best for your highest good, and that you can’t have every person or thing or situation you want, it’s easier to let go of old beliefs.

•    Lack of confidence about whether you’re worthy: When self-esteem is low, confidence is low too. That leads to feeling unworthy. It can make you believe you shouldn’t bother to apply for the job you’d love or to speak up for yourself. Low confidence also affects your demeanor so even if you do make an attempt to get what you want, you sabotage your potential to get it by coming across as wimpy.

I  believe that confidence, or lack of it, is a habit, that you can create or break. You can act confident, even if you’re not, or remain in the habit of acting like you don’t feel capable of much. Try writing down all your good qualities and skills. If you can’t think of many, ask friends for suggestions. We often undervalue ourselves, which keeps confidence low. The more you hold your head up high and act like you belong somewhere or have a right to what you’re going after, the more people, including you, will believe it. I use to have to take deep breaths to calm myself enough to do it. So take deep breaths and do it! At least once. With each little step, your confidence will grow and you’ll do more.

•    Budget concerns: When I was a DoorMat, I never believed I could afford to treat myself to things I wanted. Yet I’d spend money on pleasing others! Limiting what we give ourselves deprives of us self-love and happiness. Yet we often do it with nary a thought that we’re depriving ourselves of what would bring some joy.

Think about how fast you decide to spend money on someone you like compared to how fast you say “no” to yourself. You don’t have to break the bank to do something nice. It can be a small but significant splurge, like buying the more expensive cole slaw in a gourmet deli that you love instead of the cheaper supermarket kind that’s just okay. It might cost $2.00 more for one portion but will make you feel so good to enjoy it. That small $2.00 extra spent can say a big “I love me!”

•    Fear: If you do something for you it could take away from how much time you have to please others. That can feel scary if you think you might lose approval or friendship. I’ve learned it’s scarier to be a victim of fear. Fear is the strongest glue for staying in a bad place. And usually, it’s based on what “could” happen–conjured by your fearful mind.

Write down what scares you and consider if you can handle the worst outcome. You don’t have to like losing a friend by turning down favors or getting on your boss’ bad side by speaking up or not liking the new city you move to and having to move back or getting up the nerve to ask for something and getting turned down. None of these are deal breakers. Most outcomes aren’t. Once you realize you can handle less than positive outcomes, it’s easier to try more things and take more chances. Some will bring positive rewards. That loosens the glue holding you in a less than happy place.

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.



  • http://spunkyprayerpoems.blogspot.com STEPHEN GIFFORD

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THE WISE ENCOURAGEMENT IN DETAIL, TOO. THIS IS GREAT!

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