Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I often hear from people who come to me for counseling, and also from people in my travels, who are frustrated at not being able to do something they want. They usually have what they consider good reasons for why they can’t do it. It’s either someone else is causing a problem or a situation makes it impossible to do. I know how that feels since I used to be one of those who always had a good excuse for not going forward. It’s so easy to blame other people or circumstance and so hard to take responsibility for not trying.

Sometimes our reasons seem logical. Other times they’re only logical to you. Fear is often a catalyst for letting obstacles stop you. I wanted to be happy and leave DoorMatville BUT—the obstacles looked too big. How would I support myself if I got divorced? Where would I live? And the biggest back then—who would want to be with me??? I thought so poorly of myself that I couldn’t understand why any man would want to be my boyfriend—and in those days I thought I needed a man to complete me. And I worried about not having any friends if I stopped being a people pleaser.

So I stayed for much longer than I wanted to, burdened by the walls I put up in front of my desire to become an empowered woman. They cut off my ability to be happy and kept me stuck inside of them. I looked for what I could blame for being stuck. But ultimately, I did find a happier life by acknowledging that I was responsible for the walls that blocked my path to happiness. Once I did that, I was able to create a satisfying life.

The next time you’re feeling bad about not being able to do something you believe you want, and find yourself making excused for it, remember that you’re only limited by the barriers that YOU put in front of you. No one can stop you if you don’t let them. My biggest obstacle to leaving DoorMatville was I believed everyone should like me. The thought of saying “no” to someone seemed like a good way to alienate people. But I eventually decided freedom from pleasing was more important than being liked by all and I began to turn people down. Although some people called me selfish, or worse, I knew I had to stand up for me. That was one of the best decisions of my life!

I wasted many years being an unhappy DoorMat because I refused to recognize that I put up the barriers I complained about. Taking them down enabled me a happy life. You can get past obstacles and conquers your fears if you don’t let them stop you. You put up the barriers and you can take them down, one at a time, When you stop blaming people or circumstances for not getting what you want, you give yourself the power to go after it. So stop putting up barriers and go after what you want!

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 Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2012 HERE.

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