As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and these habits won’t vanish overnight, but here are five tried-and-true ways to begin ridding yourself of the chill-girl trope and the stifling expectations that accompany it.
Get Comfortable Saying No:
Once a people-pleaser realizes the world won’t crumble into smithereens if she says no or changes her mind, it’s a new day. “I’m not crazy about it.” “I don’t like that.” “I don’t want to go.” “That doesn’t work for me.” “I’m uncomfortable.” “I’m not happy.” “Stop.” “I’m going to pass.” “No, thanks.” “NO.” These are all great responses to start practicing. Your friend won’t hate you for choosing a night in alone over partying. The stranger pestering you at the bar isn’t owed a dissertation or elaborate excuse as to why you won’t be giving them your number or engaging in conversation. And if that work issue still doesn’t sit well with you, broach the topic in a manner appropriate for the setting. Say it with me: “No one’s comfort is more important than my peace of mind and well-being, and I need to stop feeling guilty about that.”
Push Through Imposter Syndrome:
Ever feel like a complete fraud who’s weaseled her way into opportunities she’s undeserving of? And it’s only a matter of time before your contemporaries discover you aren’t supposed to be there? Yeah, that bitchy little nuisance is known as imposter syndrome. It shrouds you in self-doubt and whispers, “You don’t belong,” while undermining your talents. It’s that worrisome feeling of, Okay, but really, do I suck?, no matter how much you manage to accomplish. The remedy responsible for transforming my imposter syndrome from nearly debilitating to Eh, not feeling so hot about any of my abilities today has been constantly reminding myself I’m a mosaic of many things: greatness and inevitable fuckups, doubts and old wounds, unfulfilled potential and to-be-discovered talents. And I, as do you, deserve a seat at the table, flaws and all. While in the midst of the chill girl routine, it’s easy to put on a brave face and avoid interrogating the root of your doubts. Unpack it! Push through while giving yourself as many positive affirmations as you need, and know this too shall pass. Those hiccups along the way aren’t proof you’re a fraud; they’re confirmation you’re human. Keep going.
Get to Know Yourself:
Funnily enough, once I vowed to live in my truth (whatever that happens to be at the moment) and to invest time in figuring out who the heck I am, doing so in turn made me genuinely more chill. Think of it this way: The same way you’re at ease when lounging at home in sweats or whatever your go-to comfy clothes are is the same internal result when you’re your authentic self. You breathe a bit easier and navigate a bit smoother, which translates into everything.
Don’t Apologize for Your Quirks, Embrace Them:
Despite the allure of chill tricking us into thinking otherwise, we don’t have to morph into something disingenuous for the sake of appeasing others. Stop giving apologies you don’t owe. Rightfully take up space. Know you have something of value to add to the conversation. Know when to shush and just listen. Rustle feathers. Do more things that make you nervous. Do that thing people in your life won’t get but ultimately makes you feel fulfilled. Take mental notes of the times you feel comfortable, confident, and happy (more of that!) versus uneasy and panicky (less of that!). Eventually we’ve got to embrace certain eccentricities as character traits. Someone will appreciate them; just make sure you’re the first.
Breathe It Out:
Stop. Take a breath. Life as you know it has likely ended and restarted your fair share of times, and you’re still standing. It’s hurled unimaginable detours, and yet here you are, still breathing, still pushing, still going. You’ve got to give yourself permission to not have the answers, to survive things going amiss, to exert less energy into bullshit, and trust you’ll be okay. This doesn’t mean become stagnant or coast in mediocrity, but find solace in relinquishing the idea of control. Simply do your best, and vow to start anew at the end of a shit day. Friends will let you down. Someone you love will be careless with your heart. Your time won’t always be valued as it should. Your hard work won’t always yield the results you’d hoped. You’ll outgrow things and people you were certain would be around forever. You’ll learn to reckon with a lack of closure and unanswered questions simply being a part of this peculiar, wondrous journey called life. And none of these curveballs will ever require the utmost poise or chill-ness.
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