Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

When I was a DoorMat, I went in circles around what I wanted to do. Of course I wanted to leave DoorMatville, and vowed often to do it, but I stayed for years after. Every time someone pushed me too far, I knew I had to take more control over my life. But knowing what you want to do and doing it are two very different things. I’d get determined, actually say “no” to someone, but then got guilted back to being a people pleaser. I was desperate for a career I loved where I could use my creative mind but was too scared to apply for something.

It took me many years to realize that if I wanted to grow as a person and get to a better place in life, I had to make a commitment to do so. Making a commitment to grow takes several things:

•    Desire: You have to want it more than you want to not rock the boat. You have to want it more than you want to please everyone around you. You have to want it more than you want to not have to deal with the fear you have of moving forward. You have to want it more than you want to maintain what you might perceive as the security of remaining where you are. You have to want it more than you want to keep your old habits.

For example, many people want to improve their bodies but few accomplish it because their desire to continue their poor eating habits and laziness about exercising is stronger than the desire to get into shape. You have to want the change more than you want what you have now. If you want to grow into a more fabulous, happy person, you have to want it more than you don’t want to face your fears.

•    Some sort of a plan: To have the best chance of improving yourself and your life you need to have some kind of actionable plan. Things don’t just change because you want them to. There’s no wish fairy to make you lose weight or to love yourself or build your confidence. You need to figure out things you can do to get it. If you can’t, it probably won’t happen. Write down your intention on a paper that you can see often.

If you want to lose weight, figure out how to change your eating habits and plan times for exercise. If you want to love yourself more, make time to be loving to you. If you want to build your confidence and feel more powerful, decide who drains your time and how you can stop pleasing everyone. Even if you plan for one teeny baby step at a time, it can get you closer to your desires.

•    Action: If you sit around all day wishing and hoping for a way to get to where you want to go, you may still be where you are years form you. You have to do something. You have to take a small step and then another behind it. You have to say “no” to at least one person, do at least one kind thing for yourself. You have to change one thing you’re in the habit of doing that you know hinders you from reaching your desire.

It took years from the time I wanted to leave DoorMatville to get to a place where I wanted it badly enough to stop pleasing everyone. I had to build my self-love slowly in order to have the strength to move to the next phase. Building self-love fueled my desire enough to want to empower myself more that I wanted to please and be liked by everyone. Then I made a plan for slowly cutting back on what I did for others. Each time I said “no” to a request, I noticed nothing terrible happened and I was able to do it more. It was hard to make the first change in how I handled people but my commitment to be more empowered pushed me to do it.

By committing to get myself out of DoorMatville, I was able to exit that place of unhappiness. The further away I got, the more I felt motivated to take more action. But it was deliberately committing to getting on the train out that allowed me to do it. No matter what you want to change that will improve your life in some way in order to grow as a person, make a real, serious commitment to do it. That’s a good first step to make it happen!
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Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2012 HERE.

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