There’s nothing that will boost your confidence more than realising that other people are not responsible for making you happy.
Of course, they can add to and enhance your life, but they cannot be the main source. That is an inside job. When we are happy and content within ourselves that will be reflected in how we live and interact with others.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn. Especially since I had brought a lot of fear and insecurity into my marriage. I was looking for someone who would always be there for me and not expect too much in return. This was my naïve thinking so I had a lot to learn about relationships.
Thankfully I was able to listen and learn from others who had come into Al-Anon with the primary focus to fix another person who they felt was impacting their lives. Instead they found their lives had become enriched by taking the focus off the other person and putting it on to themselves. I wanted what they had, so I was willing to do what they had done.
It was suggested that I accept that I cannot control or fix another person, but I could do a lot to help myself. This is what I learned.
LET IT BEGIN WITH YOU
One of the most important relationships you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself . When we are unhappy or dissatisfied with life we can easily blame others as the cause. While there may possibly be a good reason for that, it still doesn’t remove our unhappiness or loneliness. We can still end up looking outside ourselves for a solution. Believing that another person or something else will be better. This is the thinking pattern that I was caught in. So, it was suggested to me to sit down and make a list of what I was looking for in a relationship. Love, acceptance, understanding, a listening ear and to know that I was cared for where my choices.
Rather than expecting other people to provide them for me, I was to practise giving these attributes to others, without expecting anything in return.
So, I gave to others what I wanted to receive. I looked for opportunities where I could show random acts of love and kindness wherever I went. It was difficult at first, as my natural tendency was to look for some acknowledgment. But after a while it didn’t matter. I was becoming more tolerant of myself and others and this had a big impact on my self-confidence. I felt I was in control of my emotions and behaviour, rather than always reacting when things weren’t going my way.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT
This is a great reminder for helping us to keep things in perspective. What may be important to us may not be important to other people. That of course, doesn’t mean that our views or opinions are any lesser. This slogan helped me to understand that we all see life differently. It is up to each of us to respect our differences. Sometimes we may have to agree to disagree about certain things.
I knew that I was growing in confidence when I was able accept that my relationship values were not entirely in line with my husbands, but I could still respect that they were important to him. This helped me to understand why certain things annoyed him while I just saw them as irrelevant. This is a great reminder to choose your battles wisely – somethings in life are just not important losing your head over.
LIVE AND LET LIVE
The most important part of this slogan is to Live. It is easy to get caught up in a pattern of thinking that when we get all our relationship problems solved, then we will start living. That is why keeping the focus on yourself is so important. We cannot force others to change, but we can take simple steps each day to improve and enhance our quality of life. This can help to build resilience and emotional wellbeing.
Before I came to Al-Anon I was blaming others for my unhappiness, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. It was only when I started to take responsibility by changing my attitude and behaviour that I began to take control of my life. I stopped waiting for other people to change and started living “my one wild and precious life”. https://wordsfortheyear.com/2015/06/21/the-summer-day-by-mary-oliver/
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Finally, this simple slogan reminds me to prioritise my emotional wellbeing by making time for daily self-care routines . Having a simple mindfulness practise to start my day helps me to keep the focus on me and to accept that we are all doing the best we can based on what we know.
You may also be interested in this post:https://helenmckillen.com/accepting-what-i-cannot-change/