Let’s say you are having a good day, comfortable and confident, in a productive, happy and sexy mood – that feeling of clicking on all cylinders. The phone rings or an email comes though, however, and it is someone you don’t enjoy. As if mesmerized, you pick it up/open it, and instantly, feel weary. Feeling compelled to respond (energy vampires have a way of making immediacies into emergencies), you are likely to hear a litany of “can you believe how bad things are?” (in the nation, at work, in your neighborhood, or with our family). Or, “we are getting older” (and at that moment, you are aging as they speak). Or, “relationships are impossible: there are no good men (or women) out there!” Everyone currently negative about aging was negative about something else when she or he was younger. And anyone perpetually negative about political conditions or finding love was usually not overwhelmingly positive about life before a down-turn or before his or her dating journey began. I think we can agree that finding a mate is going to be easier if you are generally positive toward the gender you seek and that being backed by supportive, positive points of view is an asset.
A sure route to dissatisfaction is to take on the impossible task of pleasing everyone. (And listening to what you don’t want to hear counts as pleasing.) Their opinions of you are not even your business, let alone your reality. Ask twenty people their opinions about who you are, what you should do, and whom you should date and you are likely to hear twenty different opinions.
Caller ID and the delete button were given to you for a reason – they are the silent version of just say “no.” But, you will have to learn the spoken version of “no” as well – helpful to you now and then you won’t have a future wishing you had said it. Children wish. Adults wish and change.
Personal responsibility for your choices can be frightening. Sometimes letting others stop you is using them as an excuse for not moving ahead into the potentially nerve-racking territory of making up your own mind. Perhaps the most important task in growing up (at any age) is to define your own facts and believe them – with no need to take a vote. In fact, for clients with controlling family or friends, I strongly recommend no introductions until they believe their date is a keeper.
Only if you know your own choices and are willing to act on them, can you choose the right path and the right person for you. This is essential to your mental health and also crucial to love relationships. It is more exciting and more sustainable to be in love with a real person with a genuine personality than to attempt to make love work with two adaptive images that may not be real at all.
Protecting your real self is your right. Is your self-esteem protected? Take this quiz to be sure the self-esteem you’ve built is maintained. Answer yes or no to all eight questions below.
THE PROTECTING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM QUIZ
- Have you identified the people in your life who are esteem killers?
- Do you seek out and spend time with positive people?
- Are you listening to your own instincts and respecting them?
- Do you schedule time each and every day for feel good activities?
- Do you take time to take care of yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally?
- Is smiling often a regular habit?
- Do you put yourself first some of the time?
- Can you give yourself permission to be outrageously happy?
Four or more yes answers means you are fairly well-protected, but be safe – go back and change some habits so that you are on your way to a perfect score.
Ready to go? Then take this next quiz to determine the attitude to bring with you. Thoughtfully answer yes or no to the 8 questions below.
ARE YOU READY TO FEEL FANTASTIC?
- Are you able to say “no” when you want to or need to?
- Are you willing to be completely positive toward yourself and others?
- Are you willing to bust stress in your life?
- Would you to do something everyday to promote feelings of peace and happiness?
- Can you pledge to quit picking on yourself and accept yourself “as is”?
- Can you find and maintain some type of exercise or that you will do regularly?
- Are you willing to be non-judgmental and unconditionally loving?
- Will you agree to follow your instincts and stop living life via committee decision?
If “yes” answers are 7 or above, you are on a winning streak. Any score below 7 means you need to choose one “no” answer and start changing your behavior one “no” at a time.
Life is your movie, and like it or not, you are starring in it. So, you might as well write the script, set the stage, and choose a terrific supporting cast. Your film should have a strong romantic interest and a beautiful long-lasting love story. With you as director, producer, and star, you should be ready to start on the grand adventure of dating and finding love with a positive outlook and high expectations.
To achieve a vibrant finale, your script must have purpose, adventure, strong characters, and abundant life force with sexual sparkle. For your cast, choose optimistic team players who are fun, alert, responsive, challenging when you need it, and supportive without judgment. (It’s your script; no one but you has re-write rights.) Bring the best, “can-do” attitude you’ve got to your life and love story. You deserve it.