Stop giving others the permission to make you feel shitty

Stop giving others the permission to make you feel shitty

One of my girlfriends recently came over for a hang out and as she was leaving, her son asked if they could come back again soon. 

“Of course, I have nothing going on right now and Elle definitely has nothing going on right now,” she said. It was an innocent response. Just some words coming out of someone’s mouth with no meaning aside from the meaning I chose to give them, but of course I allowed those words to make me feel like poo. I spent the rest of the day in a funk feeling like loser of the year.

In that comment I convinced myself that the whole world perceives me as someone who ‘doesn’t have much going on.’  (Because I’m so important the whole world even thinks of me at all right? lol.) I started picking apart everything I was working towards and telling myself I have accomplished nothing of value.

Even though I have an eccomerce shop, it’s just an Etsy shop and not even a very great one.  Even though I’m in school, its only an online diploma.  Even though I write for this blog, it’s nothing more than a hobby.  Even though I work outside of the home, it’s only twenty hours a week.  Even though I’m a mom, I’m not even a mom who keeps up with homeschooling.

And in that moment, everything I had accomplished in my entire life amounted to nothing more than a big pile of doo doo. 

Later that day as I was feeling thoroughly sorry for myself, I headed out to walk the dog with my favorite podcast downloaded.  As the rain started to sprinkle, I pulled a hood over my head and hit play. I don’t know how she does it, but Cathy Heller from the ‘Don’t Keep Your Day Job Podcast’ always has what I need when I need it, and I highly recommend her to every creative mompreneur I know. 

Almost immediately I received the message I needed to hear;

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I snapped right out of my funk.  My friend had simply said some words, it was me who gave those words the permission to ruin my day.  Obviously, we can’t change the way others perceive us, so why worry about it.  There are always going to be people who judge us, or who just don’t get it, but at the end of the day, who really cares?! In reality, no one is actually spending much time thinking about us at all.  Everyone is far too worried about their own lives.  The fleeting judgments others do have only matter if we choose to let them.

There is no way for anyone else to understand our personal experience.  No one else is with us walking in our shoes. Nobody is watching us grind daily, waking up early, staying up late, barely having a moment to catch our breath and still only feeling like we’ve reached some imaginary halfway point. So our opinion of ourselves is the only one that matters. People will think what they want, but allowing those thoughts to affect us in any way… that’s on us.  

And so rather than feeling like loser of the year, I chose to round out that day feeling proud of myself… as we all should. Every. Single. Day. We are exactly where we are supposed to be in our personal journey, so let’s stop wasting time worrying about other peoples opinion and start feeling good about how far we have already come.

We have to stop giving others the permission to make us feel shitty, because we have way too much going on and aint nobody got time for that.

There’s a reason horses race with blinders.

There’s a reason horses race with blinders.

I listen to a lot of podcasts.  Like a L-A-W-T.  They are my favorite form of content.  Easy to consume while I’m walking my doggo, packing up orders, working in the kitchen, or developing new patterns for the shop. 

And I’m not ashamed to admit a huge portion of those podcasts are self helpers.  With everything going on in the world, having that 30- 60 minute injection of positivity into my day is wonderfully therapeutic. 

I have had so many aha moments while I’m on a walk scooping up dog poo, or elbows deep in a kitchen sink that I have lost count, but one quote got stuck so deep in my heart that I wrote it on a piece of paper and posted it up next to my desk. 

“There is a reason horses race with blinders.” Jimmy Lovine

Seriously this one gave me goosebumps because I so needed it.  We all do.   

Why do horses race with blinders? Because, if they worry about what the other horses are doing instead of being focused on their own race, they will lose step, get tripped up and ultimately lose.  As someone who has always been guilty of measuring her own success against the barometers set by other people, this was the aha moments of all aha moments for me.

When I was younger, I would often get dolled up for the night and leave my house feeling super cute and confident. Then inevitably, I would end up on the subway next to some drop dead model looking girl and arrive at my destination feeling like a troll who crawled out from under the bridge. 

When I got a little older and less image obsessed, my insecurities changed.  I remember having dinner at the home of a super corporate girlfriend and feeling deep shame telling the execs in attendance about my etsy shop.  I wouldn’t feel ashamed telling my grandma what I do, or my unemployed cousin, or a hobo down at the bus stop.  So why did I feel so unworthy among this circle of conventionally successful babes? It is the curse of comparisonitis.  I wasn’t wearing my blinders.

Now I remind myself of this on a daily basis. When I struggle to grow an IG following, or see a shop that has nailed down there aesthetic and is killing it. I don’t know the steps they’ve taken to get where they are or if they are even happy in that place so why should I for a single minute let their success slow me down or make me doubt my own journey.  

If life is a horse race it’s the most rigged race in the word.  None of us have the exact same starting point and none of us will have the exact same finish.  We all come into this world with unique opportunities, challenges, and end goals.  There is literally no sense measuring our own success against people who are running a completely different race.

It doesn’t matter if Deb has more followers than you or if Brenda has a bigger bank balance.  It just doesn’t matter. 

Ask yourself these three questions…. 

Are you growing?

Are you learning?

Are you a better person than you were last year?

If you answered yes, then you are winning your race. Don’t let yourself, let anyone else, make you feel otherwise.  Put those blinders and get running!   

Sometimes good things come in bad packages – my house selling fiasco

yellow concrete house
Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

Life can have a weird way of working itself out. I’m reminded of this very lesson in my current life as I go through the tumultuous process of selling my house.

It would seem to the outside observer, everything that could go wrong so far, has.

Initially we listed without an agent, after three months with only five showings we threw in the towel and decided to ante up and re list with a realtor in the spring.

This ended up working in our favour as over the spring our dead market thawed a bit and we were pummelled with showings right out the gate.

We were quickly easing our way towards a sale (I could feel it) when one night as I was vacuuming my basement to prepare for a viewing, I stepped in something wet and smelly. It turns out we had a sewage back up. We had to cancel all upcoming showings and put our listing on hold. At the time I thought, this is the worst possible thing that could happen, but then I got the insurance cheque.

Let’s just say everything was well taken care of, including a fluffy new basement carpet and a good chunk leftover because we did a lot of the work ourselves. Disaster averted.

And then, a week later we got an offer.  After a few shenanigans (including some insulting low balls and writing a bunch of our personal possessions into the offer) we were able to agree on a price. It was less than I had hoped but something I could live with, and it was an offer!

I was sure things were looking up, until I awoke one morning shivering and could almost see my breath hanging in the air. Our furnace had died during an unusual cold patch.

I could hardly believe our luck.

Again, we got an insurance cheque and my husbands friend was able to install a high efficiency furnace that he had refurbished for a fraction of what it would normally cost. He told us our old furnace would have never passed inspection and I realised, this had all once again been a blessing in disguise.

As our closing day approached, we went house hunting and found an adorable place across from a park on a huge lot. I paid the deposit and spent a few glorious days visualising how it would look with our updates and furniture. I had a place worked out for my studio, and big plans for the backyard, and then we got the call. Our buyers financing had fallen through, and they had waited until the very last moment to tell us.

Now here we are again, showing our house almost daily and waiting for the silver lining in all this to reveal itself (as I’m sure it eventually will).

When things seem to be going awry, I’m reminded of a Chinese parable that was told to me as a little girl and has stuck with me throughout my life.

To paraphrase:  A poor famer diligently saves money to purchase a fine horse, but soon after the purchase, the horse runs away. A neighbour offers his condolences saying, ‘sorry to hear about your horse, that is some bad luck,’ to which the farmer replies, ‘bad luck good luck, who can say?’
The neighbour thinks the man is crazy, of course the loss of an expensive horse could be nothing but bad luck, but he is given pause when days later, the farmers horse returns and has brought another fine horse with it.
So, the farmer gives the second horse to his son, but his son is thrown from the horse and badly breaks his leg.
‘Sorry about your sons bad luck’ says the concerned neighbour again upon hearing of the accident, but the farmer calmly replies, ‘bad luck good luck, who can say?’
A week later the emperor comes to the village and takes every able-bodied young man to fight in a gruesome war, because of the broken leg, the farmers son is spared.

The parable goes on but I digress, sometimes things don’t work out, and for good reason. That failed relationship that left you feeling like your heart had been stomped by stilettos may have needed to end to open the door for your soulmate. That job you lost (and hated) finally freed you up to find the career of your dreams.

There are stories of people who have missed flights that have later crashed. I even remember hearing about a woman who worked at the world trade centre sleeping through her alarm for the first time ever on the morning of 9/11.

In my own life, learning of my first pregnancy as a broke, unmarried, 23 year old seemed like a full blown disaster. When those two lines appeared on a pregnancy test a second time, with a barely three month old baby, I basically considered my life to be over. Now at 33 with two amazing sons and a PCOS diagnosis I am so very thankful for both of those successful pregnancies and never does a day pass when I take them for granted.

My entire autoimmune diagnosis has actually ended up transforming my life in so many ways and I am actually healthier in my body and mind than I ever was pre-diagnosis.
Whatever you may be going through at the moment, give it time. It’s hard to see the whole picture when you’re standing in it, but at some point in the future it will all make sense.

Sometimes life hands us lemons, and have you guys seen the prices of lemons lately?

(Have you ever had a tumultuous house selling experience that worked out in the end? Tell me!)