I am not a natural born leader. I don’t really feel bad owning up to that, because I tend to be honest with myself. I pretty much know my strengths and weaknesses. I believe that some people are born leaders. Others can learn the characteristics that can help them to lead, but it will never be innate.
Because being a leader is not my natural instinct, I have always been influenced by what other people do and how they think.
I am a total people pleaser. (For more on people pleasers or “guessers” – see wifeylifey’s enlightening post here.)
I have to be really careful, and try to always be true to myself when I make big decisions. Is this what I really want to do, or am I doing it because someone else told me it’s the right thing?
As I enter true adulthood, I feel like this people pleasing thing has been taken up a notch. Let me explain.
When you are young, there is a certain lack of accountability and irresponsibility that allows you to live by the seat of your pants. I remember being influenced by bullies and friends alike, (to wear trendy clothes, to drink alcohol, to smoke, etc.) but I had that “eff the world” attitude, and a young mind and body to back up said attitude. I was also only responsible for myself. If I made a rash decision because someone else told me to do it, the worst that could happen was detention or a botched friendship.
Now that I am older, I still feel that sway from others, but in bigger life decisions. It’s no longer, “Should I smoke that cigarette?” It’s more like, “We need to buy a house.” The keeping up with the Joneses can envelope your life. We are moving into roles like spouse and parent. We are being promoted to new levels at work.
But still the world does not operate much differently from when we were younger. There are still the bullies. There are still the nosy people who are all up in your business. There are still the people who want to tell you your way is the wrong way. There are still those who want to see you fail.
Also, we aren’t just accountable to ourselves anymore. We have spouses, parents, in-laws, coworkers, bosses, and possibly children (eeek!)
I feel like I am questioning myself more than ever these days. I read posts online or I talk to friends or I have lunch with my mother-in-law (haha!), and I am constantly confronted with all the influences and opinions that are swirling around me. Everyone wants to tell me their opinion, and the best way to live my life. (Some influences can definitely be good ones. But I’m not talking about those today.)
It is easy to get lost and be confused. I mean, I was on Twitter the other day, and I was like, “Maybe I should start watching a certain TV show, because everyone watches that show.” Ummm, really?! How high school can I be? And those mommy wars? Kinda like junior high school.
Just as parenting doesn’t come with a manual, neither does marriage nor growing up.
Do you ever find yourself questioning your decisions? Do you ever feel influenced by what you see and hear around you? Is adulthood basically just high school with higher stakes?