Last week, we spoke about how necessary change is if we want to move forward. I don’t think many people enjoy changing, and some of us will avoid making the changes we know we need to make because we’re scared.
Change is uncomfortable and staying stuck in our misery sometimes feels easier – even though it’s not always what’s best.
But if we want to move forward and get the best life possible, we have to follow the path that change is leading us toward. If we waited until we no longer felt afraid, we would be waiting forever and never change anything when we needed to. Fear will always be present when we are moving forward.
When I was fighting for my future and left my husband, I was scared every single day. But I knew it was right. I felt total conviction about the decision, but I had a whole lot of facing my fears to do before I could get the best outcome. And for me, that was taking my children away from drugs and alcohol and into a safe and loving home.
But that decision didn’t come easy. At all.
Because when we start to do things differently, we aren’t always thinking of everyone first and instead say, “Now it’s my turn.” When we insist on what we think is best for ourselves and our family, people will react to your new found courage.
Your greatest fans will say, “It’s about time. Well done.” But those people are few and far between. Maybe your mom will congratulate you and your therapist will tell you they’re proud of you.
But don’t expect that from most. If you’re anything like I used to be, my codependency and people-pleasing self used to attract a lot of people who needed me to be self-deprecating. I attracted takers, not givers. The kind of people who would expect me to put self-care last.
And when I started to grow a spine and become my own biggest advocate – those takers did not welcome the change. They wanted me to stay a doormat. They needed me to go along with everything they did or said and not rock the boat. I knew they wanted me to stay small and polite.
But that’s a good thing.
Do you want to know why? Because every time I took a step towards empowerment and respect for my values – I could tell who was toxic and who wasn’t.
And can I tell you one thing… I was shocked at the amount of people who did not support my newfound courage.
When I was finally mastering the skill of standing up for myself, I lost most of my friends and some family members. But they were relationships that were not good for me anyway.
Was it painful? Yes, of course. But toxic relationships are like weights on your ankles in an ocean when you’re treading water. Cut them off and you will be able to swim freely.
So next time you insist on not getting in the car with him after he’s been drinking or you say “No, thank you,” to an event that someone is trying to guilt you into attending – pay attention to their reaction.
If they are not supportive of your decision and they are not giving you the same respect you would give them, cut them off. And have fun swimming.
P.S. If you’re ever looking for support during this time of finding your courage, stop over at MichelleLisaAnderson.com and check out the three programs we offer. They are all do-at-your-own-pace and you’ll have lifetime access, so you’re able to take as long as you need. I know these changes take time. I’m here to support you and cheer you on every step of the way.