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“I Changed My Mind” + Magically Taking Control of YOUR Life

I remember the day that I was told, calmly and self-assuredly by a friend that I had made plans with that she was going to have to break her plans, because she had over-extended herself and had changed her mind about wanting to go out.

At first, I was angry. I was all – are you SERIOUS? we had PLANS! I wrote it in my PLANNER. But after reflecting on it for a couple of minutes I realized that yes, I was angry – but I was angry at myself.

At that time in my life, I absolutely did not know how to put myself first. I was full to the brim of shoulds. As in, I should go out even though I am exhausted because I promised that I would. Or I should get up early and exercise, because that’s what all the good people are doing. Or I should blog three times a week and have my copy edited and ready to go for a 7am launch.

Recently, a professor of mine told me that he often tells his clients point blank to stop shoulding all over themselves, and I as I sat back in my chair I had a good hard look at the decisions that I had made in my life.

I’ll give you the abbreviated version: I’ve been doing exactly what I “should” do or what I’ve been told for as long as I remember.

I have never, not one time, stepped back and thought to my self what would I like to do today.

Or, how do I want to live my life?

Or, if I only had one year left to live how might I spend it? What is most important to me?

I probably wouldn’t spend the precious and fantastic moments of my life doing things that didn’t make me feel happy and fulfilled.

I might not eat something that I was supposed to eat, in favor of what I wanted to eat.

I definitely wouldn’t lock myself into a job that permitted me very little movement or creativity, and forgo the financial freedom and business of my OWN that I had been secretly dreaming about since I learned how to dream.

If I only had this one moment, and I might summon up all of my power and tell you that I’ve changed my mind about doing __________, especially if it wasn’t a good fit.

By good fit I mean: things that make you feel gorgeous, lit up, excited, fun, happy, creative, inspired, ecstatic, wild, affluent, fancy or charged with energy.

Suspend your disbelief for just a moment, and consider: if YOU were able to create the life of your dreams – and I’m begging you to THINK BIG, what would that life look like?

17 Comments to “I Changed My Mind” + Magically Taking Control of YOUR Life

  1. January 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Mara, can I, 100 percent, relate! I’ve always been that person who believed that I should do this or that regardless of what I felt, truly thought or wanted. For years, I lived my life rarely asking what I wanted. It’s such a simple question to ask but it rarely dawned on me to consciously ask it. This is such an empowering blog post. Thank you for an incredibly important reminder!!

  2. Sheila's Gravatar Sheila
    January 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I would be a stay at home artist/ mom writing and illustrating books/ novels/ mythologies. My work would be shown across the world, and I would get to raise my baby, instead of having to pay people to… And I wouldn’t struggle…

    • Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
      January 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Shelia – THIS IS AWESOME. I loved hearing this from you. So where are you going to start? ;)

      • Sheila's Gravatar Sheila
        January 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        I guess typing it out was the first step?

        Not being terrified of the change would be #2…..

        And maybe gaining some self confidence.

        Then getting off my butt and making some art!

  3. Jamie English's Gravatar Jamie English
    January 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff! I often say it is rude to should on others, and by all means do NOT should on yourself! I am in the process of getting past shoulding on myself….working towards a private practice as a counselor (oh no! now I said it out loud)! Thanks!!! ;)

  4. Jamie English's Gravatar Jamie English
    January 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff! I often say it is rude to should on others, and by all means do NOT should on yourself! I am in the process of getting past shoulding on myself….working towards a private practice as a counselor (oh no! now I said it out loud)! Thanks!!! ;)

  5. Jamie English's Gravatar Jamie English
    January 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff! I often say it is rude to should on others, and by all means do NOT should on yourself! I am in the process of getting past shoulding on myself….working towards a private practice as a counselor (oh no! now I said it out loud)! Thanks!!! ;)

    • Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
      January 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      That’s awesome! (Glad you said it outloud :)

  6. January 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m the same way! A little better than I used to be, I think. But I still am that girl who thinks, “What? they are bailing on me??” because I look at MYSELF so critically. Therefore, I’m going to look at others that way, too. Now that I am slowly giving myself more permission to do things, I am extending that out to others, too, and it’s great.

  7. January 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m the same way! A little better than I used to be, I think. But I still am that girl who thinks, “What? they are bailing on me??” because I look at MYSELF so critically. Therefore, I’m going to look at others that way, too. Now that I am slowly giving myself more permission to do things, I am extending that out to others, too, and it’s great.

  8. January 26, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I’m the same way! A little better than I used to be, I think. But I still am that girl who thinks, “What? they are bailing on me??” because I look at MYSELF so critically. Therefore, I’m going to look at others that way, too. Now that I am slowly giving myself more permission to do things, I am extending that out to others, too, and it’s great.

    • Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
      January 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Hannah – it can be SO hard not to feel this way! I think that if you are going to employ this line effectively – it has to be conveyed with the sense that it’s not that you are rejecting someone, but rather that you DO want to do something with them, just at a later date. You know? And for some people (myself included) this message has to be delivered pretty blatantly, because I have a tendency towards the self-disparaging.

  9. Guest's Gravatar Guest
    January 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Actually I’d have to say that your friend was just being rude. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you get to dump all over other people. Don’t make social plans if you don’t intend to follow through.

    • Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
      January 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Well, Guest, that is definitely one way of looking at it, and I guarantee you that it crossed my mind. However, eventually in this situation I realized that she had over-committed herself and was taking the space to put her needs first. I do think that this is a fine line, but sometimes we commit to things without realizing how much we’ve taken on. I think that this is a lot different than dumping all over people. I would much rather have her let me know that she couldn’t follow through than have her show up, be exhausted, and be resentful.

      • Guest's Gravatar Guest
        January 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Yes but nobody likes to feel expendable. I understand that sometimes we all bite off more than we can chew, but it’s still hurtful to be on the receiving end of what is STILL basically “sorry, you aren’t worth my time today.” Surely there are other things that can be let go of or put aside for another day besides your friends. Because you know what, when you cancel on a friend you’re messing up THEIR plans too. I still say it’s rude. Take care of yourself sure, but always be mindful of how that reflects on you towards others.

  10. January 27, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad I’ve started following your blog, it’s just what I need at this time in my life!

  11. January 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the shoulds. Such a hard thing to stop doing to ourselves… in all aspects of life. I can totally relate to this post. Thank you for sharing it! :)

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Welcome! I’m Mara.

I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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