By: Ashley Drummonds, Regular Contributor
My friend and I were recently talking about a new guy she is dating (as most girls do) and her frustrations about how she wanted to make the relationship exclusive, but he was not as interested in that idea her. The guy seemed to have a lot of female friends and would come and go in communication. Naturally my friend was frustrated as her heart and emotions became more involved and he was not following suit. They would go out on a date, have a great time, and then she would not hear from him for a few days. She watched her phone waiting and wondering if she did or didn’t do something to make him less interested all the while feeling frustrated because she wanted the relationship to be so much more than just a casual encounter. Shortly after she told me this she said something that sounded so familiar, but for some reason I questioned her why she would say this thing when I have never questioned it myself:
I really like the guy and want so much more with him, but he does not seem to be as interested in being exclusive and it frustrates me. I know I SHOULDN’T care and this “SHOULDN’T” bother me….
I immediately stopped her and said, “Wait…whoa! Who says you shouldn’t feel a certain way? Why shouldn’t you? If you feel that way then you feel that way.”
Then I thought about it: how often do we “should” on ourselves? Every day we act, feel, and do things that feel right for us then question them because these things go against the course of what others feel and think. We love a certain type of music, yet if it is not the most popular kind we immediately start off with “I know it’s stupid, but I just love this band.” Our favorite past time is sitting outside reading a good book instead of partying all night so we immediately start our sentence with “I know I am a dork and it is so weird, but I actually love just reading and being outdoors.” Or, we fall head over heels in love with someone who does not necessarily reciprocate those feelings so instead of showing our vulnerability and allowing ourselves to give love even when it is not returned, as if that is not ok, we say “I know I shouldn’t feel this way towards the and I am trying not too….” We constantly deny our true feelings and thoughts out of pure acceptance from what the so called “norm” is, which ends up leaving us feeling confused and frustrated as to why we do feel a certain way or do certain things when we “should” feel different. We end up feeling insecure because we have convinced ourselves that it is not ok to feel whatever we feel instead of just letting go of the idea that we must handle each scenario in life exactly as everyone else does. Or we hold to the notion that we must like and do things exactly as others instead of realizing that we have our own voice and feelings that are purposeful to life as a whole.
Part of the ABS Transformation program I have ladies go through is to simply teach you to build your self-esteem from the inside out and to accept yourself completely (body, mind, soul, feelings and all). Life is about loving what you do and loving the journey of it. This means no more “should-ing” on yourself. Allow yourself to be who you are freely without any expectations of what you “should” and “shouldn’t” be. You are perfect as you are!! If you would like to participate in the ABS Transformation you can check it out at www.ashleydrummonds.com . In the mean time, cut yourself some slack and know you are exactly who and where you are supposed to be!
The pressure to conform, fit in, or follow what's popular can be intense!
- What is freeing about owning your originality? About not being self-conscious about doing your own thing?
- Think of a time when you downplayed a hobby or activity or joy just to fit in. How did you feel? What did you learn from it?
- Find 3 people you admire who are true to themselves and their own interests. What can you learn from them?
I AM Ashley Drummonds. I am a health and fitness expert and use my own journey in fitness to empower women to embrace both their inner and outer strength through ABS (Authentic Beauty and Strength). I have a passion for connecting, educating, and helping women all over the world to build strong bodies, create healthy lifestyles, and fall in love with their own beautiful body! www.ashleydrummonds.com