I told a friend recently about my decision to remove an abusive family member from my life.
She looked at me and said, “I cut my mom out last year and it’s been hard. But I ask myself every day: what would the mom you NEED tell you? And then I tell myself THAT.”
And that advice stuck with me because sometimes, people can’t be who we need them to be—no matter how badly we want it. In those moments, you have to step up and be for yourself what no one else can.
This isn’t just great advice for people who’ve recently removed toxicity from their life, it’s advice if you…
- Recently went through a breakup
- Lost a friend
- Don’t talk to a parent
- Are estranged from a sibling
- Feel there’s no one you can lean on or trust
- Want to be resilient and self-sufficient
If any of that sounds like you, keep reading. Because in 2020, we don’t have time to waste on wishing people would change. It’s time to take your power back and become the person you need. Here’s how:
Determine What You Need
Everyone needs different things, and our needs change as we grow through different phases of life. The first step in taking your power back is determining exactly what you need, right here, right now.
For instance, maybe you need…
to feel safe
to feel wanted
to feel important
to be challenged
to be trusted
to be believed
Ask yourself, “What do I need right now to be the best me and feel good?” Once you have an answer, it’s time to evaluate the people around you.
Evaluate Who’s Stepping Up
It might feel like there’s no one in your life who cares, but odds are that’s not true. Spend some time evaluating your circle and see if there’s anyone you’ve overlooked whose been there, ready to step up.
Sometimes, when there’s lots of shit flying our way, it’s easy to feel like everything is shit. But it might just be time to dig a little deeper.
Side note: I’m not suggesting anyone in your life should be responsible for providing you everything you need. I’m simply saying, just because ONE person isn’t filling their role, doesn’t mean everyone else sucks too.
Decide To Fill The Gaps And Be Who You Need
Here’s the hard part (but also the most important!): Step up and be who you need.
Not talking to your mom right now? Make sure to ask yourself the “mom questions” and give the “mom instructions”: “Did you eat today?” “Make sure to wash your sheets twice a month!” “What’s bothering you right now and how can I help?”
Just went through a bad breakup? Take yourself to dinner. Buy yourself flowers. Cry it out and lean into the suck.
Wish someone would stand up for you? Advocate for yourself–hard and loud.
Waiting for an apology? Decide it doesn’t matter and you’re moving on no matter what.
2020 CAN be your best year yet–but it’s going to take some work. It’s going to require you to learn how to be for yourself what no one else can or will. Fill those gaps. Step up. Speak out. Show yourself extra love and care. Give yourself grace. And know that the only thing you’re in control of is your words, actions, and reactions–and that has to be enough.