Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 361: Two Truths and a BIG Truth, Part 5.1

Happy "Hump Day" Everyone!  I hope my fifth (and FINAL) "Two Truths and a BIG Truth" list helps you pass some time at work, so you can "get over the hump" and be closer to this coming weekend than you were to the last.

***Note: this post started getting REALLY LOOOONG, so I've opted to build suspense and post my FINAL BIG TRUTH tomorrow.  It's worth the wait, I promise!***

Truth #9 Ask for Help, and Accept it When Offered.
I am an independent woman.  Like, really independent.  As a wee child in daycare, when instructed to choose and hold hands with a partner for a playtime game, I promptly clasped my own hands together and announced "I be my OWN partner!"  (Oh yes I did!)   Independence does have it's benefits.  As a magnet hanging on my parents' fridge explains, "It's nice to be your own best friend because you're always there when you need you!"  But there are a few important drawbacks.  For one, independence can be lonely.  More importantly, stubborn self-sufficiency is sometimes a symptom of perfectionistic neuroticism that edges on self-centeredness.  (Try saying that three times fast!)  At our worst, we independent ladies can become sadly self-important ("Nobody can do this as well as I can!") or even mistrustful martyrs ("I HAVE to do this because I can't trust anybody else to do it to my standards!").  These are not admirable traits.

Further, it's impossible to maintain healthy relationships with friends or romantic partners if you refuse to let them see you when you're vulnerable or needy, or (gasp!) accept help in those times.  Saying "Thanks, but I don't need you," is a horrible message to send your confidants.  Not only because (duh) you DO need help from other people, but even more so because allowing other people to help out is a way of letting them know, "you're important, and your problem-solving/hand-holding/hugging skills are immensely valuable."  So, ask for help when you need it, and accept it when offered.  You'll do yourself - and your relationships - a service.  (Speaking of which, THANK YOU to everyone who has pointed out my myriad mirror-free faux-pas over the past 12 months... I have desperately needed your help!)

Truth #10 Fake it 'til you make it.
I've written on this topic 99 days ago, on Day 262, so I'm re-posting my previous comments (with some revisions to be more to the point!).

(Actually, it should be "Fake it 'til you make it!" but who's checking...)
This may seem like an odd "truth" to select, since my no-mirrors project is at least partially a quest for greater authenticity.  Is it possible to fake your way into authenticity?  Certainly not in the most literal sense.  Yet, I know from past experience that I often have to change my behavior first, and then wait for my mind to catch up.  In fact, my decision to shun mirrors relies on this logic: I wanted to stop caring so much about my looks, so I stopped looking at myself.  It wasn't instantaneous, but guess what?  Despite some minor self-esteem relapses, avoiding mirrors has been an overwhelming success.  All the other interesting things in my life - my goals, passions, friends, family, favorite hobbies, etc. - have attracted the energy and attention I used to give to my looks.  My changed behaviors had to precede my mind.

Sometimes you have to"fake it" to a healthier and happier place.  Your behaviors can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.  For example, research shows that smiling improves happiness (not the other way around).  Another example: a few months ago I got rid of all of the clothes in my closet that didn't make me feel BOTH stylish and sexy.  Now I only own clothes that make me stand tall and proud (and walk with swaying hips!).  Next up was an attitude adjustment, along with a continued commitment to eat healthfully and stay active, even though I've sometimes felt like wallowing on the couch with a bag of chips... and cookies, and cheese, and wine.   I've found that the best way to get my shit together is to act like it already is. 

For those of you who may think that "fake it 'til you make it" is a lame "truth," consider this: Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see in the world."   I certainly don't consider myself to be as wise, eloquent, or world-changing as Ghandhi, but this "truth" and his famous quote are rooted in the same spirit.  Think about it!  :)

Okay, I'm signing off here for now.  Tomorrow, I will bequeath you with a delicious BIG TRUTH regarding the relationship between hotness and happiness.  Any guesses as to what my FINAL BIG TRUTH will be??  (Or, do YOU have any truths on the topic worth sharing?!?)  


  1. Fake it 'til you make it has always been one of my mantras and it has served me well. I've never actually looked at it in any depth, though, because it's always worked for me so I didn't have to. You explained it in such a great way!

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