We spend a lot of our lives trying to unlearn what we were told we deserved. So much time is spent trying to figure out where we fit, what we can have, and how far we can fly. It’s an exhausting journey fraught with pitfalls and detours, and sometimes it results in the occasional dead-end.
As women – and women who don’t fit into the conventional path society set out for most – the battle to get ahead in life can be particularly difficult. It’s why we need to stick together. It’s why we need to learn from each other. There’s something terrifying yet beautiful about a woman who knows exactly what she deserves – no matter how long it takes her to get there.
1. You don’t deserve to have friends who don’t treat you well.
Friendship is meant to be a mutual exchange of respect, conversations, and support. You aren’t meant to feel as though you have to hold the other person up, or that they’re using you for their emotional baggage. That’s not friendship, that’s a therapist-client situation, and if you aren’t billing for your precious time, that’s not an arrangement to continue. And it isn’t a matter of waiting out the friendship, either.
It’s a matter of choosing to look at how you feel when you hang out with your friend and making the choice of whether they deserve to make you feel less than when you leave.
And – let’s not forget, any friend who decides you’re someone to throw under the bus to others, stopped being a friend the day they were okay doing so.
2. You don’t deserve to feel ashamed for your life choices.
Over and over again, I’ve seen those around me fall victim to the judgment of others, caving into external pressures to conform and be this or that way. Years ago, I was in the very same position, told to conform to a specific way if I was to be seen as a “leader.” Visibly wavering in my decision to remain myself, I was consequently stripped of any “leadership” roles. It took time to come back from that. Time to come back from the fact that I’d sought external validation – and in failing, been forced to the outskirts.
[bctt tweet=”That’s not friendship, that’s a therapist-client situation.” username=”wearethetempest”]
It’s in the moments that you demand and protect your space, your autonomy, and your choices, that the need for external validation will fade away and you’ll be left with (begrudging) respect from those around you.
3. You don’t deserve to be mistreated by your boss.
I’m not sure where in life we’re taught that a job, especially jobs for millennials, is a space for you to be treated less than by your supervisor and coworkers.
Maybe it’s in the dozens of ridiculous think pieces about us, but a job that is toxic and emotionally exhausting is a job you don’t need and don’t deserve to have. Employers don’t have the right to push you past your comfort zone, make snide comments about your life choices, force you into situations that compromise emotional, mental or physical health, or make you feel guilty for setting boundaries between work and personal life.
It’s when you start setting boundaries and stick to them that your supervisor will begin to fully respect you – until then, they’re simply taking advantage of you.
4. You don’t deserve to have your time wasted and abused.
I wish someone told me this years ago. It’s a skill I’m still perfecting, and in the meantime, my email inbox now has almost three hundred “important” emails to tackle. There are countless articles teaching us how to get our inboxes down to “inbox zero,” but there’s a question that comes with that lesson: how much of your time are you going to put into getting there?
Time that you’ll never get back, responding to (mostly) useless emails that can be more quickly resolved in a phone conversation or text? In a world where the time of most is treated as disposable, we lose track of just how precious time truly is.
[bctt tweet=”I wish someone told me this years ago.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Your time is gold. The more you hold that to be the case, the less you’ll find yourself having to compromise your life.
5. You don’t deserve to end up with someone that doesn’t support you.
To say that this is anything less than crucial is still an understatement. You do not need to settle. You do not have to be with someone who considers your life and decisions secondary to theirs. You do not deserve to feel unsupported. You do not deserve to be anything less than supported and respected – happiness status set aside – throughout your relationship. How many women have I encountered that are living a life that’s pale in comparison to the dreams they’d once had? Too many.
Blaming it on this or that factor doesn’t take away from the fact that their partner just doesn’t show up when they need to be there.
Yeah, sure – there are ups and downs – but if that support and respect aren’t there, you’ll find yourself living less than what you are. And that’s a true loss.
6. You don’t deserve to have your ambitions shot down by those you trust.
In life, we stumble across people – people we call family, friends, lovers, acquaintances – that have, at some time or another, given up on their own dreams and ambitions in favor of something less terrifying. What does that mean for you? You’re probably familiar with the phrase, hurt people hurt people, and that’s exactly what happens here.
[bctt tweet=”Your time is gold. The more you hold that to be true, the less you’ll compromise your life. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
Expressing your ambitions to someone too afraid of pursuing their own anymore causes an emotional reaction, one in which they’ll fight hard to bring your dreams down – even if they purport to be supportive.
There’s no world in which that’s okay.
7. You don’t deserve being boxed in by those who don’t understand you.
You don’t owe anyone anything, but you owe yourself everything. It’s a nature of people to put others in neat little boxes, each carefully wrapped with a label in the shape of a bow. But that’s not a reality you need to adhere to. It’s never a reality you need to abide by, and the moment you decide to define yourself is the moment you choose your future.
[bctt tweet=”To say that this is anything less than crucial, is still an understatement.” username=”wearethetempest”]
How many people have you seen whose entire lives are determined by the perceptions of those around them? And how many of those people are truly happy?
I can count on my fingers the number of people who say that they are happy living life like that – but that’s a shallow reality.
8. They don’t want you to eat brunch.
Treat yourself. You deserve it.