Ask For The Cocont Chips - or - The Power Of Valuing Your Own Desires
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I made a very interesting discovery a few weeks ago. I realized that whenever I was with other people, I would try to accommodate their needs and desires while paying little to no attention to my own.
Have you experienced the same? Maybe you aren’t even aware of it. As I said, up until that point a few weeks back I didn’t even realize what I was doing.
Valuing your own desires and asking for them is very important, so that’s what I want to talk about today.
I never asked for the coconut chips
For multiple months now I’ve been living with my boyfriend, and I have to say right off the bat that I’m very lucky that we share an almost identical taste palette, which makes shopping a breeze.
However, there are some things I love that he just isn’t that into, for example, the coconut chips I’m talking about in this article.
Whenever I went shopping, I bought the foods we both like and the foods he likes that I’m not a big fan of.
It never crossed my mind to ask for coconut chips. Even though I love them, my mind said “Oh, he doesn’t like them so I guess we don’t need them.”
Until one day it hit me: why wasn’t my love for coconut chips reason enough to buy them?
This opened up a rabbit hole that I couldn’t dismiss anymore. I realized the coconut chips weren’t an exception.
- In the car with friends, I’d put on the music they like, not really thinking about putting on my own because they might not like it.
- Going out to dinner with people I’d ask them about where they wanted to go and not really mention what I really wanted to eat that day.
- When watching a movie I’d settle for whatever everyone else wanted.
You get the picture.
I realized that everyone else’s desires were more valid to me than my own.
Do you recognize your own patterns here?
This ties in heavily with people-pleasing, but that’s a topic I want to dive into more deeply in a future post.
What I want to focus on today is the fact that so often our own desires aren’t reason enough for us to do what we want.
Your desires are just as valid as anyone else’s
This is an important realization to have.
Your desires, preferences, and needs are just as valid as everyone else’s.
Don’t get me wrong here, compromise is an important part of life and oftentimes we will have to meet others halfway.
That’s not what I’m trying to talk about here, though.
I am talking to all the people who are not compromising but instead meeting everyone else’s desires instead of their own every single time.
Never treating themselves just for the sake of it, because their own enjoyment wasn’t a good enough reason to do something.
It sounds like such a silly thing, buying coconut chips because I like them - there shouldn’t be any second thoughts about that, right?
And yet, for some reason, I saw no issue buying the lemonade I don’t like that my boyfriend loves while hesitating to add the chips to the list.
It’s about valuing yourself as a person
The issue here is not with the coconut chips, they merely opened my eyes to the bigger problem at hand:
I did not value myself enough to realize that all my desires are valid.
For you, it might not be the coconut chips, but there is a good chance that there is an area in your life where you’re ignoring your own desires completely because a part of you feels you aren’t worth it.
I invite you to think about this and explore where there might be a lack of self-value in your life.
This habit of neglecting your own needs and desires stems from low self-esteem, self-denial, and a fear of abandonment and rejection.
What can you do to work on this?
There will be more in-depth information on people-pleasing soon, but for now, try to do these few exercises in your day-to-day, and I promise, your perception of self will almost instantly shift a bit.
Before I tell you what these exercises are, let me just mention that they may sound very simple, but they aren’t necessarily easy, especially when people-pleasing has been programmed into you for years, or even decades.
Take it easy on yourself and if anything, just get curious at the beginning, not necessarily changing your entire behavior, and instead just noticing when you neglect your own desires.
Awareness is the first and most important step to healing, after all.
Here are things you can try:
- When someone asks you what to do/eat/etc don’t say “I don’t care, whatever you want” and instead think about what YOU really want
- Buy something you like without any other reason than your desire for it (this can be food, clothes, a gadget, or anything else!)
- Put on your favorite song in the car without worrying about the other people not being into it
- Say no to things you aren’t feeling at the moment
Essentially, do whatever would have felt very “selfish” in the past.
For people-pleasers, the scale of selfishness has very much shifted over years of neglecting their own desires.
So much so, that a simple thing like buying coconut chips can feel selfish. Guess what? It’s not and you are worth fulfilling your desires, even if nobody else benefits from it other than you.
The mere fact that you benefit from it should be reason enough to do it.
These little acts can shift your mindset into believing that you are worthy and that all of your desires are valid and worth fulfilling.
Breaking out of patterns like people-pleasing can be a very long journey, but it is worth it.
This post is only a short introduction to rediscovering your own worth, but it is a great start.
You deserve the world and it is time you go and act like it, even if just from time to time.
Our thoughts influence our actions and vice versa. If you start to act like your desires are important, you will start to internalize that truth.
In the beginning, this can feel weird, but it’s also very exciting. You get to explore what it is you like.
Sometimes, people that have neglected their own desires for years don’t even know themselves very well anymore.
They aren’t sure what it is they like because they never entertained the idea of doing or buying things solely for their own enjoyment.
Have fun with this process, you might discover aspects of yourself you’ve hidden away for a long time.
Good luck, you got this!