My dear friends,
If there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that our time on this earth is finite. We are all only here for a short time, and if you’re reading this blog, you likely want to make sure your time here is well-spent.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware and discerning of the people, places, and situations that are truly worth my energy, another precious and finite resource. I’m someone who considers myself a recovering people pleaser, so it’s a natural tendency to give away my energy freely, lacking discernment. As we all know, giving too much, without intentional, purposeful care to refill your own cup, leads to exhaustion, overwhelm, and lower sense of self.
This week, I wanted to share with you five things that I’ve determined are not a good use of my time and energy. Since actively trying to release these five from my life, I’ve noticed a myriad of benefits, and I just feel so much better. Like with so many things, this is a practice, I work on it every day, but any practice is always worth it. I hope this helps you, too, if you find yourself in your own energy deficits.
- Trying to change other people. What I’ve learned for certain is that it’s not my job to change anyone else. I can’t force someone to change their behavior or to act a certain way, so this one goes at the top of my list as one of my biggest energy drains. In relationships where I do wish to see change in order to make it healthy and functional, I can consciously communicate my desires, but I know that I must leave everything else up to the other person.
- Worrying about things I can’t control. There is so much in life that we can’t control. Actually, the only thing we really can control is our reactions and responses to life as it happens. Knowing this to be true, it’s always in my best interest to release the need to white knuckle life and try to force or manipulate things to happen. All I can do is show up for life, every day, and do my best, knowing that this is always enough.
- Seeking to be perfect. I don’t always consider myself a perfectionist in the traditional sense, but I do notice I tend to hold myself to a high standard. Meaning, I have the highest expectations with not a ton of grace when I don’t live up to them, which obviously leads to many difficult emotions. What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is perfection isn’t real and it isn’t possible. People won’t like me or respect me more if I were “perfect”. People are drawn to authenticity, vulnerability, and the messiness that comes along with it. Embrace who you are rather than trying to be something that isn’t even possible.
- Living to obtain acceptance from other people. Not everyone will like you or understand you, and I used to think I could change that. Now I know that I don’t have to live my life for other people, I don’t need to seek external approval or acceptance of other people. I know that my life will be well-lived if I have felt that deep love, care, and acceptance for myself.
- Striving to understand rather than cultivating acceptance. Whenever something challenging happens in my life, I’ve always sought to understand why. Why did this person act this way? Why did this certain situation happen? Why? I’ve spent countless hours searching for the “why’s” rather than leaning into acceptance for what is. I’ve learned that I may never know why things happen or why people behave as they do, and I can’t spend my life trying to find it. I can, however, spend my life embracing acceptance, understanding my own feelings, and acting accordingly.
I hope these help you this week! Let me know if you have areas in your life that you are relinquishing your energy from!