I knew this young woman a while ago. Her name was Rigidity.
In her own way Ms Rigidity was thoughtful, bright and quite alluring in a simple guileless sort of way. She was one of those ‘try hard’ people – it said so on all her school report cards and if her people-pleasing behaviour was anything to go by, she scored in the highest percentile possible.
The problem with ‘Ms Rigidity’ was that while she wanted to live a successful and genuine life, she chose to keep herself safe and away from being noticed. Sometimes it was through a little well-timed self-sabotage, at others it was her self-doubt that kept her tuning-in to the ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ ticker-tape that had been playing a pre-recorded message since the dawn of time.
Ms Rigidity wasn’t aware of this though – she was too busy being … well – busy.
· Busy making things look good so as people praised her efforts.
· Busy organising things and not letting anyone help so she could continue playing the martyr – (not that she saw this mind you).
· Busy with planning (planning ‘what’ she couldn’t really say – not in a coherent way anyway – but she was busy and sure it’ll come together soon).
· Busy with doing.
· Busy with being the superhero in her own life. Except she wasn’t feeling like a superhero – she felt more like a loser as each day ticked by.
Somehow Rigidity was missing the point. She felt unsatisfied that she wasn’t getting what she wanted out of life. She felt tired. She felt worn out. She felt more and more isolated. She wanted to get off the merry-go-round which showed the same faces, the same places and the same dead-ends.
She often struggled with herself, feeling sad at settling for less and rebuking herself when she saw people getting what they wanted in life while she felt as if she was on a treadmill going nowhere – and she also felt angry with herself for not ‘getting it all together’.
‘Rigidity’ didn’t believe she was particularly ‘rigid’. She thought of herself as flexible and adaptable – she was easy to get along with, always ‘tried’ hard and worked long hours, so it was a bit of a challenge to hear that she may be ‘rigid’ – where was the proof?
Let’s lay out the case against Miss Rigidity right here:
#1 Miss Rigidity stands accused of rigidly refusing to show up whenever she bumps up against a challenging situation and feels that she hasn’t performed as well as she could. She hides because she feels overwhelmed, so she does what anyone who doesn’t want to show up does: she goes to bed for hours, sleeps on the couch or drops through the sheer exhaustion of meeting other people’s expectations.
#2 To cope with life’s challenges, Miss Rigidity retreats to the world of ‘refrigerated comforts’ ie chocolate, alcohol and any nibbly delights she can find. She believes that solace can be found in the solitary confines of her mind – rigidly refusing to seek help – or even believe that help is possible – it’s just a matter of knuckling down and doing what needs to be done.
#3 Miss Rigidity often turns the dial up on her ‘You’re-a-Loser’ self-talk audio and her‘Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are’ punching bag so much that her internal bruises leave her cringing whenever she looks in the mirror. She rigidly refuses to delete the tape or show herself any compassion because she doesn’t believe she’s worth it. And even though she’s tried at times to say positive things to herself, she automatically allows her loser self-talk to mock these frivolous attempts at breaking free.
#4 Miss Rigidity swims in ever-shrinking circles, always falling short of making it to the next level by some last-minute mishap that means she runs out of ‘puff’ before the game is finished, so she withdraws and goes home feeling defeated one more time. She rigidly refuses to believe that any of this is due to her actions, her mindset or her attitude – her belief is that life is tough and wasn’t meant to be easy.
#5 Miss Rigidity likes to please people so much that she never asks for what she wants,allowing her frustration to build up like a sewerage blockage. In other words, she’s a stoically minded person that puts others before herself, even while harbouring rusted-on resentment, self-pity and envy – although she’ll NEVER admit to that either.
The Truth Of The Matter
Miss Rigidity is unable to see that she could be part of the problem. She’s got goals she wants to achieve and she just hasn’t got there … yet. Honestly, she’s not sure how she’d cope with the success anyway – she’s spent so long in this place that it’s become quite comfortable …
Meanwhile she’s feeding a corpse that’s slowly rotting from the inside out.
One that isn’t about to wake from the dead unless she faces the fact that MAKING MISTAKES IS NOT ABOUT FAILING – it’s about learning how to do things differently. And that ‘putting yourself out there’ doesn’t mean that you’re ‘full of yourself’.
The day Miss Rigidity stands up for herself and respects herself will be the day many of her ‘friends’ – the ones who enjoy seeing Miss Rigidity play ‘the loser’ as it always seems to make them look smarter, funnier and more appealing – will see the real depth of Miss Rigidity.
The day Miss Rigidity throws the old tapes out that are playing on a perpetual loop will be the day she begins writing a new one that tells her she’s not just ok, she’s damn great because she’s got the tenacity to keep going!
The day Miss Rigidity sets her sights on her goals and really sees herself achieving them will be the first day of believing in herself – not waiting for another person to tell her that she’s got ‘potential’.
The day Miss Rigidity sees herself as the solution and not the problem will be the day that she begins to inspire others and make a real difference not only to her own life but those who see that change – real change – is possible.
This will be the day that rigidity becomes flexible – and a person of value to herself, her family, her real friends and her colleagues.
So, Will Ms Flexibility Please Stand Up?
If Ms Flexibility could please stand up and embrace her power, then she’s the person I want to meet! Don’t you?
If Miss Rigidity ‘rings a bell’ in you – and you want to break those self-limiting patterns of thinking and be more flexible and successful in your life, then join us by clicking the button below:
How Do I Know So Much About Ms Rigidity?
I knew Ms Rigidity very well – she was part of me before I finally said “ENOUGH” and found a more flexible way to be in how I approached my life, my relationships, my friendships and how I wanted to show up in this world.
And I know that you can too – if you want it.