#1. Stop comparing yourself to other women.
I used to do this so often that I didn’t even notice it, especially when I was in my super-focused fitness mode. I would wish that I had Halle Berry’s boobs, Beyonce’s hips and butt, Kelly Rowland’s abs, and Michelle Obama’s arms. It was like I was some Frankenchick. But I realized that I have Tara’s boobs and Tara’s butt and Tara’s abs, and yes, Tara’s arms. My body is how I was meant to look. I can admire other women, yes, but I don’t have to wish I had what they had.
2) Stop thinking of comebacks way after the fact.
I can never get my brain to be all snappy and witty when I’m in the middle of a conversation gone bad. Some idiot will approach me with my kids and say something stupid like, “Aren’t you a little young to have kids?” and I’ll stand there in a stupor, amazed that someone can be so dumb and so bold about it. They’ll walk away and I’ll spend the rest of the day thinking of comebacks. “Aw, man, I should have said, “˜Aren’t you a little old to be so stupid?’” But in the moment, I should have simply said, “How is that any of your business?” and kept on walking. My point here is to say something true about how you feel. That’s the best comeback and you don’t have to rack your brain trying to think of something.
3) Stop denying yourself the pleasure of your company.
If I do say so myself, I’m kind of cool. I’m caring and considerate and I make a mean lemonade pound cake (from scratch, no recipe, thankyouverymuch). And on those days when my husband is doing something and my kids are with their Nana and Pop, I find myself alone with no clue what to do. I resist going to the movies or out to dinner because who wants to go by themselves? But you know what? I’m awesome and I can have fun by myself. I always have a running dialogue in my head anyway, so I’m pretty entertaining.
4) Stop making excuses for why something won’t work.
It could be anything””why your new budget is unrealistic or why you just will never get along with your boss. Thinking about the “won’t work”s robs you of the chance to think about the “what if”s. Think positive. Expect positive results.
5) Stop putting yourself so far down the list that you have to flip the paper over to find your name.
I can write this because it’s me. I’ve been there. I’m still there. I’ve gone months without shaving my legs or plucking my eyebrows or bothering to paint my nails. I regularly get three to four fewer hours of sleep than I need to function and about four days a week, I forget to eat breakfast”…and lunch. How much does my body hate me? A lot, I think. But right now, I’m taking this youth for granted and it’s not fair. My body is not going to be able to take this abuse much longer. I need to get a regular exercise routine. Do something about these three gray hairs (yes, gray hairs”…but that’s another post). Get to bed on time at least once each week. Treat Tara right for the simple fact that I’m all I have. Yes, I have other people who care about me, but at the same time, I’m the only one who has complete control over what I do and how I treat myself.
#6 Stop getting overly frustrated when you are faced with things you can control and the things you can’t. When I have a problem to solve, I feel anxious, even when the solution is fairly straightforward. And this must stop. And when I don’t have the solution or I’m not the one who can solve the problem? I need to be stressed about it even less. Think about it. Stress is your body’s response to things outside your control. If you can fix it, fix it. But if you have no control in the situation (which can be horrible for a control freak like me), then your job is to sit back and wait for clarity.
#7 Stop holding grudges from more than three months ago. Early in my marriage, I would hold grudges forever. For years, even. Heck, just last week I caught myself getting angry at my husband for not getting up at night when the kids were newborns and our youngest is now three. Yes, I realize how crazy that makes me sound. And I realized that my husband instinctively figured I was mad at him about something when he came home every day. It didn’t make sense for him to keep having to bear the brunt of my frustrations when he figured we had moved on. And by holding on to past arguments and past hurts, it made it harder for me to enjoy my marriage. So now I’m done with all that and my love life has never been better.
#8 Stop taking your health for granted. Last year I pushed myself beyond the scope of what I could physically accomplish. I was editing books and writing posts and going to school and handling too many clients. But I figured, I’m young, I have to hustle hard to make sure this business gets off the ground. But then I started having this burning sensation in my chest every time a deadline approached. My skin no longer glowed but looked pale and splotchy. My hair was breaking off. Stress was manifesting itself everywhere. So I had to take a step back and prioritize my health instead of my wealth. Now my workload is much more manageable and my body is thanking me for it.
#9 Stop being afraid to be you. My insecurities are legendary. I just started singing along to the radio in front of my husband a couple months ago, because for a long time I was afraid he would judge me ’cause I can’t sing like Adele. And what kind of sense does that make? None. I used to, um, engage in intimate activities with my clothes on, because my squishy belly embarrassed me. But it shouldn’t. And it doesn’t, not anymore. I am who I am, off-key singing and belly pooch and all. #10 Stop being scared. This is your life. You get one shot at it. You don’t want to spend it on the sidelines, wishing “What If.” Go for what you dream about. Take a step that scares you. Get a little uncomfortable from time to time. Do any of these resonate with you? What would you add to the list?