What I’ve Learned From Some Of My Biggest Mistakes In Life — Womanhood Unwrapped

Side note: There is a significant difference between listening and learning versus being paralyzed by fear or insecurity. There comes the point in any relationship where you know. Remember, people (and companies) are 40% what they say and 60% what they do. Believe them the first time they show their true feelings.

I have to be honest, I’m still learning the lesson on this one, and I probably will be for the rest of my life! I prefer to think of myself as a person who knows what they want and goes for it, but from the outside looking in, I can see how my quick decision-making has negatively and positively affected my life. If you love slot machines, then you, like me, are cool with this unconventional approach to life, but generally speaking, I’ve learned the hard way that making decisions in haste only leads to regret.

Here’s a quick test you can take to make sure you’ve thought through your choice, whether it be a job, relationship, or life change.

  1. Do you have a choice? Some decisions or life changes are out of your control. Don’t try and control the uncontrollable.
  2. Have you discussed it with three trusted people? Whatever it is, make sure the people in your life who love you unconditionally and will call you on your bullshit are supportive.
  3. Are you okay with all possible outcomes? I almost put, “are you comfortable with…”, but the truth is, in life, there will be times you need to do the uncomfortable thing because it’s the right thing to do. I think “okay with…” is a better thing to ask yourself.
  4. Will, you hurt anyone? And is it worth it, or is it the right thing to do? Again, if you try to go through life not hurting anyone, you will not be living. The real question is, “is it worth it.”
  5. What will you gain? It’s easy to think only of the negative, but what’s the positive side of your decision?

Man, I am such a “need to be right-er.” It’s hard for me to even put this one down here. But we all have a blind spot, and this one is mine FOR SURE. I have had to learn time and again that being right doesn’t make you happy or whole. In fact, much of the time, it leaves you alone, angry and confused.

It’s okay to want to be right if you’re playing checkers or Scrabble, but when it comes to relationships, “right” is most often depends on whose eyes you’re looking through.

Set your boundaries, but remember that every story has two sides to it.

If you’re rolling your eyes at this, I totally feel you! I mean, how many times have you heard, “just ignore it,” or “it only hurts you if you let it.” I’ll be honest, I’m someone who feels A LOT. I hate making people unhappy, I hate hurting anyone, and I hate being judged. Especially when I feel misunderstood. Just like you, I, too, hate the things that formal advice tells you to ignore — those things are judgment and toxic positivity.

So I’ve stopped. I’ve stopped trying to feel hurt when someone hurts me. I’ve stopped trying to be someone who cannot be fixed. I’ve stopped trying to say, “It’s okay.” Sometimes it’s just not.

But one thing is for damned sure. In stopping succumbing to the “head in the sand approach,” I’ve found that I have also been able to also stop letting those individuals and situations rule my life. I let myself feel the feelings, and then I lift my head up high and carry on.

Here’s a thing: There’s a big difference between knowing when to let go and giving in or up because you lack support or confidence. The cliche saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” is annoying but true. The things you want for yourself, your future, your relationships, or your family will likely take some time, energy, and effort. Inevitably, if you’re a driven and goal-oriented person, there will be some (or many) naysayers along the way. Don’t let them get in the way of your dreams.

Real friends and honest kind-hearted advice will be clear and able to define, and not everyone should get a seat at your mental table. Choose who you give your energy and time to along the way wisely.

We all change over time. Sometimes the change comes from a developed maturity around life lessons. Maybe it’s a reactive change to life trauma or situations. These types of emotional evolutions are part of who we are and what makes each of us unique.

You can live with it because the shift was driven by you, your shortcoming, or your growth or desires. The changes and adaptions and adjustments that become hard to stomach over time are made to please others. Whether it be a partner, a friend, a boss, or a family member. Be wary of adapting or changing for the sole purpose of pleasing others. In the end, you’ll be festering with resentment, which isn’t good for anyone.

I am a people-pleaser by nature, and I used to fluctuate from being a total doormat to being completely inflexible. The sweet spot is in between those two extremes.

Are you going to need to compromise in life? Absolutely! Relationships are constantly evolving. They need compromise and flexibility to survive, but compromise is not the same as giving up the essence of who you are. The hazardous relationships and people are the ones who expect you to become someone different than you are.

Word to wise: don’t.

Anyone who loves you will love you for ALL of you, not just the convenient or pretty parts.

Originally published at https://womanhoodunwrapped.com on April 20, 2021.

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Founder of the the Womanhood Unwrapped blog. A platform where women can find content that related to their lives and tell their stories.

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Elisabeth Thomas

Elisabeth Thomas

Founder of the the Womanhood Unwrapped blog. A platform where women can find content that related to their lives and tell their stories.