I am sure that I am not alone when I say I have needs. I have the need to be wanted and liked. I’m sure that I am not by myself when I say that I look for acceptance. I look to be validated. Sure. I want approval.
I want to be understood. I want to be heard.
The truth is acceptance and validation should really come from within. And if this doesn’t come from within, then where does it come from? Other people?
Is that right?
I have seen the results of people pleasing. I have seen what happens when I constantly look for someone else to validate or accept me. I have seen what happens when I put everyone and everything in front of my happiness, like a dog that begs for attention.
And what happens?
Well, it’s simple. The harder I try, the further away I seem to be. I can say that I have lost myself on more occasions than I can count. I have placed my investments in the wrong direction. I lost myself in the fallacy that if I invested more, eventually my investments would come around.
By the way, this is what a relationship is. This is an investment and like any investment, there are times when we have to nurture them and times when we have to walk away. There are times when we have to “Cut our losses,” as they say.
Otherwise, we only stand to lose more.
I think back to the time when I learned about The Sunk Cost Fallacy in which the initial investment keeps growing and the sunk cost grows because the idea is if we keep investing, eventually, we can see the results in our return. In which case, the investment becomes emotional. Not strategic.
There are times when we have to walk away. There are times when we have to make very smart business decisions. Otherwise, we only stand to lose more.
There are times when we turn away from the red flags and the warning signs because we want our investments to come true. We want our relationships to work. However, there are times when we find ourselves lost to the idea that perhaps if we give more, eventually, this will all turn around.
Understand something: Personal relationships are more costly than any business deal. I say this wholeheartedly because I know full and well what it’s like to over invest in relationships that only failed to pay me back.
I know what it feels like to be in one-sided relationships that are unreciprocal. I also understand what it’s like to be the one that did not or could not hold up my side of the bargain, which only served to leave me with a film of contempt in my mouth. Then again, this is the the course of lopsided relationships. There is no mutual reciprocity, which only churns the emotional pivot in sour directions.
There comes a time when we have to realize our strongest investment must be within. It is not necessarily selfish to be selfish. I do a lot of things for selfish reasons. I have to live my life this way.
Otherwise, I run the risk of putting myself last. I run the risk of prioritizing myself in a poor direction. And to what avail? To make others happy? Is this what life is supposed to be about? To live for others more than you live for your own self? Plus, if we fail to take care of ourselves; I have learned that when we allow others to do this for us, it only fails in the long run.
I had once said to you that self-care is an essential part of teamwork. Besides, what good are we to anyone if we fail to take care of ourselves anyway?
I say this and yet, I understand what it means to make sacrifices for someone. I understand that love requires this. I understand that love is blind. I get the things we do for love can take us around the world and back again.
There are times when love can be one-sided. There are times when love is more give than take. And there are times when investing more is all we can do. By the way, when I say love, I mean true love. And when I say true love, I mean the boundless kind and not one with a sunk cost and overly invested moments. I mean the reciprocal love. I mean the kind that pays me more because with love comes tragedy. With love comes hard times. With love comes trials and tribulations. I am not saying look at love like Charles Schwab looks at investments.
However, if we invest in others, it pays to invest wisely. It pays to be mindful of our emotional position. We have to be mindful of this the same as we would pay attention to our financial position in a business relationship. I say this because emotions can be very costly to our personal health.
I am not alone when I say I am afraid to be alone.
I know this.
I’m not alone when I say that I just want to be happy. I want to find my way the same as everyone else. Geography is not my answer. Money is not my answer. My investments in others is not the answer either. Nor is people pleasing the answer for me
At some point, we have to realize the smartest investment is selfish.
We have to invest in self before we can healthily invest in anything else.
Otherwise, we find ourselves stuck in the fallacy of investing more and never finding ourselves with the returns we truly deserve.