Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Triumph, one battle at a time

You may not realize from my brilliant posts that I can sometimes (okay, most times) shrink away from conflict. I'm a coward. I don't like confrontation and will, at times, do anything to avoid it, including putting my needs and opinions on the back burner to save someone else's feelings. Hi, my name is Scribe and I am an enabler.

I go with the flow, even though that flow goes against my wishes. I'm often heard saying: "Oh, whatever you want," or being so indecisive, nervous of seeming selfish or greedy. I couldn't understand why others always got what they wanted and my "playing nicely with others" didn't seem to go as far or make me as happy.

Just this past week, I donned new clothes, shrugging on Ralph Waldo Emerson's suit of self-reliance. I quoted him (thanks again, Ange) in one of last week's posts: "My life is not an apology but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. What I must do is all that concerns me. Not what people think." It's been so profound that I've even tacked it up to my cubicle wall for a visual reminder everyday.

The ultimate test, for me, came this past weekend. Without going into details, I went outside of my norm, so out of my comfort zone that I thought I would need a map. I gave someone two choices. One choice was ultimately what I wanted to happen. The other was a less desirable option, specifically less desirable for them. I had to be comfortable with either outcome.

They say the first time is always the hardest, especially when doing something that you've been afraid to tackle in the past. Speaking up for myself and making my needs known has been an albatross around my neck. I was afraid and because of that I rarely did it. I enabled others' bad behaviour because I didn't correct it right away. I let it fester and so did I.

It's triumph, one battle at a time. It may not be an actual battle or confrontation with another person. Often, it's me fighting my inner demons and using all my strength not to go with the status quo, as obviously what did not work before will still NOT work. Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who said "Do the things you think you can not." I think I'm on the right path.


  1. I need to know if your strategy worked, I think women are particularly bad at being clear about their needs - me especially, I am planning to change all that...

  2. I'm glad to see you going down this road. People can only treat you like crap with your permission. And if you stand up for yourself and they treat you badly anyway, that's when you set them on fire! Muahahahahahahaha!

  3. I'm so proud of your Linda. You are doing the right thing and it will be painful but I promise you, it will be soooo worth it in the end.

  4. I am the WORST at conflict, except when it has to do with insignificant picayune things. I am so envious of you having cohones!

  5. Lulu: So far, so good. I took a stand with someone I love very much. It was the hardest thing I have had to do, and so far, no real fall-out, and it's the fall-out that made me so nervous. It's been said that the first time is always the hardest. Since then, I took a stand with someone at work. I felt immediately empowered.

    Peach Tart: Thank you! I get inspiration from the strong women around me and I consider you as strong as they come.

    Anasatan: They no longer have permission to treat me like crap. I just have to stock up on matches! And a fire extinguisher!

    Mim: Thanks for all of your support. I think I'm on the right path too. It was hard and painful, but the benefits will outweigh the pain.

    Libby: I have cohones! Cool! They may be small right now but they're growing with each step. I may not be able to walk properly soon. LOL

  6. Scribe You are amazing!
    Reading you I feel like you've been writing down my thoughts. I spend my time hiding away in my place in the country so I don't have to defend my work! But I grew up with things like 'Self Reliance' and 3 years ago I remembered them, wrote them back up on my walls, and coached myself into doing what you just did. I thought I was going to hear fire and brimstone. I thought I was going to be unloved, rejected and scorned. What happened was that the people I stood up for myself against promtly stood up and followed me. I never cease to be astonished that the same people are now backing me solid (as if they always did).

    I now know where real courage lies (even though I can't muster it up for everything - gonna do a 'red shoes' post on Tuesday with a funny story and you'll understand) but I still have my heart in my mouth every time I quietly and (at least visibly) unwaveringly stand up for myself.

    Good on you girl! We're on your side. Women unite!! That's it - I'm going in for more of those quotes my dad brought me up with! You are more living proof that they work! You're an inspiration to us all!

    Another one for you: DO the THING and you will HAVE THE POWER!