Now, it may feel weird to read an article by a New York State Psychologist that tells you to have fun while being called “crazy,” but bear with me here. The type of “crazy” I’m talking about is when you’re doing something because you know it is right, but the consequence of your decision is propelling you way out of your comfort zone.
Now, this could be something that you say or do that has you quaking with excitement inside, as everyone around you is, well, shocked. They think that you’ve lost it and are crazy.
Have you ever said “no” when you’re offered a table in the middle of the restaurant when you made a reservation for a table outside?
Or spoke out at a meeting when your boss talked over you and said, “Yes, that’s exactly the point I made about 10 minutes ago. Thanks for agreeing with me.”
Or even worn your tiny bikini on vacation even though you’ve gained 20 pounds during the last year?
Do you want to be this good type of crazy, as in, “I’m comfortable with me?”
It’s time to take being called crazy as a compliment.
Believe it or not, there are opportunities every day where you may surprise yourself and others by not conforming to societal standards.
Please note, I’m not arguing that there be no standards. No, that would turn life into chaos.
Rather, what I’m suggesting is that you enjoy it. Yes, as in have fun poking at those standards which don’t serve you, standards which are tying you down, belittling you, making you feel less than.
Beware, challenging these may make you wonder why you’ve been tied down by societal judgment for so long.
And breaking free from them may make others think you’re crazy to risk being so noticeable, so reckless, so vulnerable.
Begin with taking up space in your own life.
Determining what’s right for you may not be easy. But, unfortunately, we all grow up in a life full of shoulds.
“You should do this, not do that, or else, there’s a high price to pay.” And no one wants to pay a high price.
It’s decision time now. Do you want to stay where you are? Stuck? Or are you willing to try something a little crazy to create the life you need and deserve?
If so, get ready to be visible, not only to others but also to yourself.
Investing in yourself will take space, time, and energy, all focused on your needs.
I know… a radical concept!
To accomplish this means allowing yourself to know what you need, to embrace what is best for you, without being so focused on the external judgment that you lost sight of yourself.
No, you’re not being selfish — you’re ranking yourself higher.
What you do with this information is the next step.
Let’s take the example of how most women are programmed to take care of others: your mother, your child, your boss, your best friend, or even your boyfriend. In short, everyone you care about.
While this is maybe commendable, showing how sensitive and loving you are, it needs to be balanced by factoring in your own needs. This equates to not ranking yourself last.
Self-care may look crazy to others.
I find people become uncomfortable when they sense something they have done is so out of the ordinary.
This doesn’t have to be you. You can push back by sticking to your truth.
So if a friend says, “What, you’re going to the gym instead of meeting that gorgeous guy for dinner? Are you nuts?”
You can turn and smile and say, “Maybe, but I’m doing what I need to do for me.”
If you’re going to take up space in your own life, you’ll be changing your actions.
People close to you will notice. They may act unpleasantly, cutting you a sideways glance and rolling their eyes when you speak.
The important question to ask yourself is, “Whose problem is this?”
If they have a problem with you taking care of yourself, make it their problem.
Don’t take responsibility for their reactions and making this your fault. Instead, you can be sympathetic to their discomfort without feeling guilty.
Take their reactions as feedback that you’re changing in noticeable ways, even if they don’t understand why. But you do.
Seize your power — you’re more than your compassion for others.
Taking control of your emotions in any situation is an important strategy I’ve taught my patients.
Your emotions are part of your response to a situation. But, your emotions don’t provide a full picture.
You also have your logic and experience to draw upon. Use these parts of you to support the crazy changes that you’ve determined you need to make.
You can manage being called crazy.
Now, when you hear, “She’s crazy!” whispered behind your back or even said right to your face, don’t take it on as your problem.
Free yourself from stopping what you’re doing and feeling caught.
Instead, just smile and say, “Thanks for noticing!”