I’m learning to ask for what I want. To say how I feel.
I should say, relearning, really.
As a child I it was drilled in me very successfully by my mother that a “closed mouth doesn’t get fed”. But, grown up relationships seem to change the simple, easy lessons that we master as children.
Every other Saturday I sit with my therapist and she helps me find the tools to speak up for myself in personal relationships.. to build boundaries to keep out what’s bad for me and bridges to let in what makes me better. She helps me curb the anxiety of triggering other people’s discomfort.
I’m beginning to take leaps. To let the ideas I share be as big as they are inside my head. And just the act of being authentic and intentional in how I present myself is showing me who people around me truly are as well.
For instance, someone close to me asked me what I want to be doing in 10 years. I answered nonchalantly that I’ll probably be a director of something or running an organization somewhere. The response from her was incredibly surprising… she asked “What makes you think you could do that?”.
“WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN DO THAT?!”
My immediate reaction inside was “Bitch..what?”…but I realized that she wasn’t so much expressing her disbelief in me, but in herself. She didn’t know how I could believe I could do that because she didn’t believe she could do that.
A few weeks later, after writing out a mini career manifesto to my boss about what direction I want my career to go I shared with this same person what I was committing to do. Her response was again a little unexpected. Instead of being supportive and happy for me or believing me or just being proud that I was pushing myself to learn so much more. She asked me a series of questions like “Does your organization NEED that position?” “What if they can’t pay you?”… the what ifs and questions came and I had answers for them all. But at the end of the interaction I just felt drained.
Having the closest people be the most supportive is so important. Asking people in your life to be supportive doesn’t always feel good though. How and why should you have to ask someone who claims that they love you to offer happiness and support in your choices?
But we do have to ask, honestly and clearly.
I never really thought of myself as my own biggest fan before. But now, I’m learning to be my own cheerleader and my own advocate. My support is my responsibility.
MY SUPPORT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY!
It’s my responsibility to ask for what I want and not to take what I don’t. It’s one of the best things I’ve learned in this adult life and I can feel it changing me already.