• Allison Garner

Perfect System For Staying Stuck

My biggest fear is how I am judged by others. Sure, I have other fears, like running out of money, being hit by a tornado, or getting in a car accident, but the one that I carry with me each and every day is the one regarding how I'm perceived by others. In fact, I have crafted a perfect system of living in this fear, and I am happy to teach all of you how to do it, too. First, you must be a social chameleon. You have to be able to fit into any crowd regardless of who they are. For example, in my life, I have found my way into liberal and conservative groups, old and young, male and female dominated organizations, rich and poor, white and non-white, religious and atheist, and educated and uneducated. I can shift and contort and twist and bend to pretend to be one of "them". Second, you have to be really good at comparing yourself to others. You must focus on how you rank against people in similar situations, like work, home, parenting, fitness, finances, intelligence, style, humor, zip code, etc. You must measure your worth as a function of how well you are doing compared to the people you think are the best. Finally, you have to be willing to forgo your own values. If your values would somehow get in the way of someone not liking or approving of you, you have to quickly ditch them in favor of whatever values "they" seem to hold dear. This decreases the chances of rejection or confrontation. By knowing my perfect system for focusing on what others think of me, I can bring a little levity to my situation. Also, I can start to challenge the different thoughts that keep me stuck in this mindset. As we all know, behavior change means nothing if my mind hasn't come along for the ride. What is your perfect system?

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