Monday, September 13, 2010

Inner Mean Girl Challenge Week 3: Obligations Suck


This is my forth post in the "Inner Mean Girl" Series. Now, over 9000 women across the country are taking the Inner Mean Girl (IMG) Cleanse to stop the 6 toxic behaviors that allow your inner mean girl to take over your life.

The first toxic behavior focus for week 1 was on Gossip.

The second toxic behavior focus for week 2 was on Comparison.

The third toxic behavior focus for week 3 is on Obligation. Back when my son was 4 years old, I started finding lots of free events to go to in Detroit. We started going everywhere - museums, swimming, character meet-and-greets, event openings.  I would find so many events that we would do them back-to-back, sometimes three in the row. I remember one Saturday before Easter. We went to take free photos with the Easter bunny, then drove down the street to a free Easter festival and then on to a wonderful free Easter Bunny puppet show at the library. We were having a ball. It was all wonderful and new. We went to so many events that my friends and family joked that every time my son left the house, he thought he should come home with his face painted and a gift bag in this little hand.

Fast forward six years. Between my work, my son's school work, my son's sports, and other things, going to even more event now sometimes seem like a chore.  The superwoman act that I have doing for years is now getting old. I'm getting tired and slowing down. I think one of the reasons that I like blogging is because I can do it at home in my pajamas. Even my son sometimes just wants to stay home and do nothing.

I figured out that the difference between an anticipated opportunity and a dreaded obligation is really how tired I feel at the moment. So I stopped doing some things and started staying home more. At times I feel guilty about it, but I also feel more rested and that is what's important.

Sometimes we run so hard for so long that the thought of doing one more thing loses it's appeal. Most of our schedules are so overloaded that we are dead tired.  We need to take a break and rest.  But knowing you should take a break is easier than actually doing it. Obligations suck, but how do we get off the treadmill?

The Inner Mean Girl Cleanse teaches there are two things we should do to stop taking on more and more tasks that you really don't want. The first is to just say NO. I don't know what it is about the word no, but most people are afraid to use it. But I'm getting better and better with using it lately. The second thing the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse teaches is to evaluate the task based on what is really important to you. If the task serves no real importance to the things you care about, don't do it.

Then start viewing the things you really want to do in a new light. Instead of talking about the things you "HAVE TO DO", start talking about the things you "GET TO DO". The one word change takes the task from a negative to a positive. With less on our schedule, the things my son and I GET TO DO now are more fun - even if no face painting and gift bag is included.

My next blog post will deal with one of the three remaining toxic behaviors of Judgment, Expectations or Fear. If you want to follow along with the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse, go to

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Disclosure: I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Click here to read all the posts in the Inner Mean Girl Series
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