Have you ever had to pause and reflect on your own behavior? It’s so easy for us to point out the flaws and shortcomings of others but looking in the mirror and identifying areas where we need to improve ourselves isn’t as simple…or fun.
I always revisit some advice that one of my good friends gave me about a year or two ago. She told me that I‘m the only person I can ever change. Whenever I find myself in a situation that I don’t like for whatever reason; instead of trying to get the other person (or people) involved to change, I should just change myself. If I change myself, the situation will automatically be different.
For about 3 or 4 months I’ve been giving myself a good look in the mirror and I’ll be honest, I haven’t been very proud of what I’ve seen.
As a woman, I’m not proud of the way I’ve allowed myself to be handled by men. As a business person, I haven’t always stood up for myself the way I needed to. Overall, I haven’t been commanding the respect I deserve…and that’s embarrassing.
I told that same friend, “I’m way too smart to be so dumb about certain things,” and it’s true!
I forgot who I was…who God was molding me to be and who I worked so hard to become. I forgot my worth. I forgot what I deserve. I’d lowered my standards to make other people comfortable. I’d put myself and my feelings on the back burner. I was going backward instead of forward. Then one day, as if Beyonce’ herself told me, “Baby girl you can’t survive like this,” I snapped out of that destructive behavior.
See, life isn’t just about what you’re doing that the world can see. It’s easy to create this image of yourself to persuade the way people think about you (helloooo I’m a PR consultant for a living, I know these things). But what about those things they can’t see? The things that you do that you don’t want anyone to know about? The decisions you make that you aren’t proud of? The low points you get at from time to time because you’re going against what you know in your heart is right…
You have to be real with yourself and my goal is to always, always be the same person on the inside as I am on the outside. I desire to practice what I preach, even if that means I have to make some sacrifices.
I can’t empower women if I’m allowing a man to have me as just one of the women on his list. I can’t inspire young women to be fierce, fabulous, unapologetic entrepreneurs if I’m allowing a client to dictate how I run my business and tell me what my price points should be. I can’t be virtuous on my blog but go against those morals for the sake of companionship or to be liked or accepted by someone. Don’t get me wrong, everything I share on either of my blogs is truthful but I’m not perfect. Even as I grow as an individual and in Christ, I still make mistakes and I have to pause for a moment and get it together as and when I’m convicted about those mistakes.
I can’t be fake. I’m not fake…never have been, never will be, couldn’t be if I tried to be so there was this nagging feeling inside of me…my conscience if you will…telling me that I had to change. I can’t change a womanizing man…I can’t change a cheap, disrespectful client that doesn’t know their place…I can’t change a cheater or a manipulator – but I can change how I respond to them. I can change whether or not I allow them to have my time, or my talent or my attention.
What do you do about things you can control versus the things that you can’t control? Ok…you get my point.
With all that said, the hard part is always sticking to your guns. I have to coach myself daily and remind myself that I’m worthy…that I can look out for myself without being mean and that I don’t have to be in a situation that does anything less than make me happy.
At some point you have to stop trying and start doing.