I came across this article on the Huffington Post today and I had to share. It is excellent. I have copied and added my commentary to the points that struck me the most and what I will, from this day forward, make a pledge to stop.
1. Apologizing all the time. Research has shown that women actually do say “sorry” more often than men. We’re all for taking responsibility when you make a mistake — but constantly apologizing for having your waiter split the check or asking a date to hang out on a different night or telling a friend about your problems, does more harm than good. There’s no need to qualify everything you do. Own your preferences and decisions.
I JUST did this today with a coworker! I apologized for not understanding a not so clear explanation of a federal regulation that I have not background on. Come ON, right?! And that is just one instance. In the past week, I have apologized for becoming overwhelmed with emotion, for taking time off work to grieve, for not being “on” 100% of the time… really, for being human. How ridiculous.
3. Saying “no” to yourself. A lot of women spend a whole lot of time deciding what we can’t do or shouldn’t do or aren’t good enough to do. Don’t allow your insecurities and anxieties to make your decisions for you — you’ll only end up missing out on worthwhile experiences. So go talk to that group of people you think you won’t fit in with, stay out late against your better judgment every once in awhile and treat yourself to that blowout even if you don’t really need it.
Today, instead of going to Hot yoga on my lunch hour, I treated myself to a much needed and well deserved pedicure. And I do not feel guilty. Ok, I do actually a little bit… but why? Why can’t I just get over it!?!
4. Viewing food as the enemy. Women often receive the message that our ultimate worth lies in our looks. Our hair should be smoothed or perfectly curled, our makeup on at all times — but natural-looking — and our bodies bangin’ (read: thin). In the quest to achieve these impossible standards, it’s easy to see food as something to contend with rather than to enjoy. Be cognizant of what you put in your body — after all, it’s the only one you have — but try to do away with the guilt. Savor every bite of that gnocchi with gorgonzola or that Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream or those fresh cherry tomatoes. Food should not come with regrets. As Nora Ephron wrote, “I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”
I can’t explain this one. But I do it. Unless it’s a salad or a meal I make myself where I can obsessively conjure up the calories (or lack there of…), I freak out as I pour over restaurant menus and calculate how many calories I’ve burned in a day and what I truly “deserve” to eat… again, pure ridiculousness.
10. Wearing heels every day. Look at this terrifying infographic and then tell me why it’s a good idea to force your poor feet into stilettos on a daily basis. We love a gorgeous pair of pumps, but embracing comfort (most of the time) will not only make your commute a whole lot more pleasant, but your feet a whole lot happier for years to come. Plus, flat shoes can be super stylish.
Ugh. AMEN! 🙂
15. WebMD-ing everything. Your glands may have been swollen for a week but it does not automatically mean that you have a massive tumor in your neck. Step away from the Internet doctor and go see a real one if you’re truly worried.
Yes. I’m convinced I have cancer or a tumor every time I don’t feel well. Of course, this is backed by the research I find on… you named it… WebMD. In fact, a year ago, I put off seeing a GI specialist because my symptoms were exactly those of colon cancer. Smart, right?
19. Not taking advantage of your vacation days. More Americans than ever are forgoing their (already meager) paid vacation days — despite the fact that we know that people who take time off are more likely to be healthy, happy and productive workers. We swear, no one will die if you turn off your cell phone and head to the mountains for a long weekend.
Ok, I’m reposting this one, because REALLY?!? WHO does this? This is most definitely NOT me. In fact, I leave tomorrow for Brazil 🙂 YOLO everyone!
22. Being embarrassed about your interests. “I want to be a f**king feminist and wear a f**king Peter Pan collar. So f**king what?,” said Zooey Deschanel in Glamour magazine’s February 2013 issue. Take a cue from the actress and stop caring what you “should” look like/care about/talk about. If you love girly things, love girly things. If you don’t, don’t. Embrace your lack of knowledge about music, your hockey obsession and your weakness for both “Breaking Bad” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” And if there’s a particular subject area you don’t know about but you encounter someone who does? Take the opportunity to ask questions.
Did I already say AMEN?! For too many years of my life I felt I needed to apologize for who I am and hide what I like. Like I said when I started this blog, I am unashamedly girly girl :).
23. Setting deadlines for major life events. Don’t try to meticulously plan out when you should find love or have babies or get that dream job or buy that amazing brownstone. Enjoy the uncertainty of life and allow yourself to be overjoyed when you hit those milestones or pleasantly surprised when you realize you want to skip out on some of them altogether.
And again, I say AMEN! PHEW! I am 34 years old. Divorced. Engaged. I am not a mom. I am NOT where I saw myself 15 or even 10 years ago. I am DEFINITELY not where I saw myself when I imagined my life as a little girl. But, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I know who I am. I know what my future holds. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. The rest, well, it’ll all fall into place as it should… according to God’s plan, not mine.