Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Go for the Whole Enchilada!

DoorMats settle for crumbs—occasional attention from someone you do a favor for, romantic involvement with someone who is “better than nothing,” bits of happy times, etc. I remember clearly how that feels. Back in my Doormat days, I got used to settling for bits and pieces of pleasure. That doesn’t make for a happy or satisfying life! I hear it from friends and clients:

•    “It’s better than nothing.”
•    “I guess I don’t deserve more.”
•    “I’ve accepted that I can never get beyond this level.”
•    “I don’t want to be alone so I don’t make waves.”

Settling for what you get may be common but it isn’t loving to you! You may get used to it like I did and try to be grateful for the crumbs of happiness. This is especially prevalent in romantic relationships. When you think you need a partner to be complete, settling can seem like a better option than feeling like half of nothing. But it’s not. People complain about abusive relationships and all that’s missing. It creates negative emotions that feel lousy and can make you physically ill.

When I felt lousy about me, I never thought about what I did or didn’t deserve. I was just trying to survive. I wanted to keep my world steady, even if it didn’t bring me joy. As my self-esteem got stronger, the word DESERVE entered my vocabulary. I remember the first time it hit me. I had a boyfriend who was cute and fun, when his problems weren’t making him distant and sometimes mean. When I decided to break up with him, friends pushed me to reconsider.

“At least you have someone, and he’s cute.” I thought about that. He was cute, and I loved being with him when he was in a good mood. But I didn’t love the underlying feeling of being on edge, wondering if that good mood would last and not wanting to do something to annoy him. In the past I’d have hung in with him, taking the sweet crumbs he threw me and tolerating the other stuff. But this time was different. I loved myself enough to know I didn’t want to settle anymore. I told my friends, “I deserve the whole enchilada and won’t settle for less. i want someone who treats me well all the time.”

Self-love motivates you to go for the whole enchilada, not just small bites of joy.

I broke up with the guy and felt empowered, not depressed to be without him. Self-love helps you connect with owning that you deserve the BEST, to not have to settle for anything and to get the whole enchilada in whatever endeavor you go after. Settling for less is unloving. And it makes you unhappy. When your faith is strong and you build your confidence, you’ll be strong enough to wait for circumstances and people who give you the whole enchilada. I never regretted ending my relationship and met someone much better after.

Maureen Dowd “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”

Your standards keep going down once you settle. Conversely, your standards go up when you refuse to. Settling is never worth the price you pay. Instead, work on treating yourself with love. The more you love you, the less you’ll allow yourself to settle and the more you’ll insist on having the whole enchilada. Don’t take the first job you’re offered because you’re scared you won’t get another. Wait for the right one. Don’t keep people around who don’t consistently treat you right to avoid being lonely. Don’t settle for anything! Every time you accept you deserve the whole enchilada and go after it, you say, “I love me!”

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge –a pledge to start your year by doing something kind for yourself for the first 31 days of January–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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