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A Day in the Life of Self-Loyalty

Frequently I get asked, what is the benefit of having self-loyalty.  So I decided to walk you through the lives of 2 different women: Doubting Donna, who doesn’t trust herself and allows her Monger and shoulds to take over. And Self Loyal Samantha who doesn’t always get it perfect but actively works to tune into what she needs and take care of herself.

Doubting Donna:
Donna stresses the whole way to work, anxiety running through her brain, and her litany of to-dos take over. As she walks into work, her anxiety is at a fever pitch. The new young receptionist greets her. Immediately Donna doubts her clothing and can feel every bit of her 41 years. Her Monger takes over, and by the time she sits down at her computer, she is feeling about 2 inches tall.

Self Loyal Samantha:
Gets into the car, and as she flips on the radio, she starts listing off her to-do list.  Before she can get too far, she recognizes the pattern of ‘hopping herself up’ with her to-do list. She takes three deep breathes, brings herself back into the car, flips on the radio, and starts singing along to one of her favorite songs.  As she walks into work, the new young receptionist greets her. She starts to doubt her clothing and feels every one of her 41 years.  Her Monger chimes in, and before it can nag her too much, Samantha quietly says to herself, “I may not look 20 anymore, but I have wisdom from my 41 years, not listening today, Ms. Monger”.  As she sits down at her computer, she is focused and ready to start the day.

Doubting Donna:
By noon, Donna is ready for a break.  She has fielded several irate customer phone calls and is looking forward to eating her lunch outside alone.  She has decided to start eating healthy and has packed her lunch with some of her favorite foods.  Justin, her annoying co-worker, pops his head in and says the group is headed to the local pub for lunch.  Donna knows she won’t be able to get good healthy food at the pub and will be drained after spending the lunch with co-workers.  However, Donna can’t imagine missing out—what will they think of her if she doesn’t go?  They will think she is a wet blanket and a loner, so Donna puts a fake smile on her face and says, “I would love to go, thanks for asking”  By 2 pm Donna is full of fatty, fried foods and exhausted.

Self Loyal Samantha:
Samantha is looking forward to lunch. Her morning has been spent dealing with angry customer phone calls and is looking forward to eating her lunch outside alone.  She has decided to start eating healthy and has packed her lunch with some of her favorite foods.  Justin, her annoying co-worker, pops his head in and says the group is headed to the local pub for lunch.  Samantha debates it briefly, but she knows that she needs to take care of herself if she is going to be productive this afternoon.  Going to lunch with her co-workers will completely drain her.  So Samantha says, “Thanks so much for the invite, but I am going to pass, I brought my lunch.” Justin pushes a little bit applying the peer pressure he is so gifted at, but Samantha sticks to her needs and says no with a smile.  By 2 pm, Samantha is feeling energized and productive.

Doubting Donna:
At 4:30, Donna’s husband calls to see what she planned for dinner—he is craving Mexican.  At this point, Donna is fried, she would love for her husband to cook dinner or for them to go out, but she feels guilty, he has had a tough day too so why should she ask him to cook. Donna sucks it up once again and tells him Mexican sounds excellent.  On the way home, Donna realizes they don’t have taco shells, so she will have to stop at the store.  By the time she gets home Donna is tired and cranky.  She is pissed off that her husband is so selfish and can’t just make dinner. Why is everything on her!!  They eat dinner in silence, and Donna spends the rest of the night pouting on the couch. Her husband has no idea what is wrong and, after a number of attempts at asking, finally gives up.

Self Loyal Samantha:
At 4:30, Samantha’s husband calls to see what she planned for dinner—he is craving Mexican.  Samantha says, “that sounds good, but I have had a tough day, and we don’t have any taco shells, can we just go out for Mexican?” Her husband says, “That sounds good, but we need to save some money, but if you run to the store for taco shells, I will make dinner.” Samantha is bummed because she was looking forward to going out, but she knows her husband is right. She agrees and, on her way home, stops for taco shells and the ingredients for her special margaritas. Over margaritas and tacos, Samantha and her husband share about their day.  Samantha admits she is tired and wants to spend the evening on the couch watching TV; her husband says he will watch one show, but then he wants to head upstairs and read his new book.  They spend the rest of the evening regrouping and re-energizing in their unique ways.

Being loyal to yourself changes everything.  When you have self-loyalty, you don’t get caught up in what everyone else is thinking. You know your needs and are comfortable in speaking them.  You can set healthy boundaries and lovingly show your Mongers to the door. Being loyal to yourself doesn’t guarantee peace; it doesn’t guarantee an anxiety-free existence.  It does ensure that when anxiety and doubt show up, you will know lovingly and respectfully handle it.  You will have resilience for dealing with the Mongers, insecurity, and doubt that can plague our lives.