Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Stop Living on the Defensive

Do you fight urges to snack or overeat? Do you get crazy when things go wrong that you weren’t expecting? Then you’re on the defensive, trying to fight urges or shore up problems. I’ve found that the best way to counter stuff that’s negative is to live offensively.

Living offensively means being prepared and doing things to prevent what you don’t want.

Unexpected stuff will happen. That’s life. But you can minimize those things by living on the offense.  You can protect yourself from some of life’s potholes by being on the offense with advance maintenance and preparation. Instead of waiting for afternoon cravings to start and rushing for a fix, often junk food, or struggling to fight it, start nibbling on healthy things before the craving gets bad.

A spoonful of chia seeds can give you a feeling of fullness because when they hit your stomach, they absorb liquids and expand. I put some in my cereal in the morning and it holds me longer. Keep nuts on hand to nibble on for when cravings strike. They’re healthy and also fill you up.  Keeping healthy nibbles handy gives you the offense against cravings instead of being on the defense by trying to fight the urge to eat something fattening and feeling bad because of it.

Be vigilant about anything that’s getting old and repair or replace it before bigger problems occur. If your roof has a small leak, get a professional to check it out and either fix everything or get a new one—before the next storm blows and you lose valuables in your home when the roof lets more than a few drips in. Maintain your car regularly to prevent unnecessary breakdowns. Leave 10 minutes earlier to avoid being late to something important, or having an accident from speeding to be on time.

Another aspect of living offensively is making an effort to clear the air between you and anyone you have an issue with. Whether it’s a fight with a friend that left your friendship on hold or pent up anger at someone close to you that you haven’t addressed or a situation at work that you’ve ignored but it makes work unpleasant, find ways to speak up. Don’t let your negative emotions rule the conversation. Be as pleasant as possible while also being straightforward about what bothers you and how you’d like to fix it.

If someone picks on you or puts you down regularly, let them know it’s unacceptable and you’d appreciate them stopping. Have good reasons for saying “no” ready for people who try to take advantage of your good nature by expecting too many favors from you. When you estimate how much time something will take for you to finish, allow more time, just in case. Try to put at least a small amount of money in your savings account each week, so you have a little extra down the road.

Living on the offensive makes life so much smoother than always having to navigate situations from a defensive position. When you prepare for what might happen in situations where you’ve had problems before, you set yourself up for less stress and fewer things that need fixing. That makes for a more contented lifestyle.
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