NOTE: I first published this list two years ago. It was one of the first pieces I wrote that went viral — both here and at The Huffington Post — where I also write.
Since we are just at the beginning of our FREE webinar series, “Requiting Your Dreams,” I thought it would be super-helpful to repost. If you’re curious about the series, you can register here. (We’re recording everything, so no worries if you can’t be there live.)
Women who have unrequited dreams make these mistakes:
1. They are not consistent in their efforts to make changes.
2. They start out too Gung Ho and that pace is not sustainable
3. They doubt themselves when they hit the first roadblock
4. They allow other people’s lack of vision to make them doubt their own.
5. They are unclear about what they really want
6. They don’t know themselves
7. They are not used to investing in themselves.
8. They feel they need permission
9. They do not reach out for support
10. They think they can go it alone
11. They do not take care of themselves
12. They mean to do something for themselves, but if a challenge comes, at the last minute, they will not follow through with their commitment to themselves because they would rather avoid the risk, feel overwhelmed, want to please other people
13. They tell themselves they are happy enough, that the happiness of the people they love is enough for them
14. They don’t know what it really costs to get the help they need and they are so used to “getting by” with meager, ineffective support, they have sticker shock when they finally meet someone who can help.
15. They don’t see a Return on Investment (ROI) between investing in themselves and the improved way they show up in the world.
16. They think they are “less than”
17. They unfairly compare themselves to others.
18. They compare their insides to other people’s outsides.
19. They give up too easily
20. They pretend like their own dreams don’t matter because, if they didn’t, they’d have to deal with the anger they have with themselves and others for their own self-neglect.
21. They allow others to walk all over them
22. They have unhealed losses
23. They think they should be over old hurts by now, but, because they are not, they keep their sadness a secret thus risking embitterment
24. They are still angry about stuff that happened way, way, way in the past
25. They have people they have not forgiven
26. They have not forgiven themselves
27. They sometimes pretend that their relationships are better than they are.
28. They smile even when they don’t mean it. A LOT! (click to tweet)
29. They have been Superwoman for so long, they fear things will really fall apart if they stop since their lives are held together with a wing and a prayer. Plus, there is that f_cking false smiling problem!
30. They have trouble minding their own business, especially with respect to the lives of those closest to them.
31. They spend more time talking about the lives of others than their own.
32. They bristle at the suggestion that what their (nearly) grown children do or don’t do is none of their business. (This might be you if — right now — you are REALLY pissed at me for suggesting such a thing.)
33. They believe it is less painful to focus on the lives of others than their own lives.
34. They sometimes gossip and talk about others to make themselves feel powerful and “with it” in the eyes of others.
35. They don’t remember to love themselves first.
36. They are masters at delayed gratification. Indeed, they wear their self-neglect like a Girl Scout bade for martyrdom, not realizing this is nothing to be too proud of.
37. They enjoy being the person in the group with the least needs
38. They are much better at giving than receiving. They are uncomfortable asking for help.
39. However, when someone else needs help, they are first in line with a casserole, favor, offer of help.
40. They are overly involved in their children’s school lives and friendships. They have trouble allowing their children to “age up” into greater levels of autonomy.
41. They often rescue their children or other family members.
42. When it comes to helping others, they believe that “if they don’t do it, no one else will.”
43. They have difficulty allowing people they care about suffer the consequences of their own choices or non-choices. Because of this, they unwittingly keep others weak and in a perpetual cycle of failure/need for rescue.
44. They sometimes have trouble with money and debt, and yet, they do not feel like their own needs have been met in spite of spending so much money.
45. They wonder why they don’t have more to show for the choices and sacrifices they’ve made in their lives.
Did I miss any? Let me know your favorites below. And don’t worry, we’re gonna work on this list together.
photo: flickr, bigbirdz
P.S. Here’s that link again: Requiting Your Dreams.