Warning: This post is likely to tick you off.
Really, I'm not kidding. Please don't shoot the messenger, though. I am not speaking down to you from any "Holier Than Thou" Hilltop. I've made EVERY ONE of these mistakes myself -- REPEATEDLY -- and they are the main reasons why it took me 20 YEARS to make my biggest Unrequited Dream a reality.
Today, I work with women who have the same problem now that I did then: They don't know where to start, and they can't afford another Do-Over.
After you read the list -- and then catch your breath -- please let us inside your beautiful truth and share know your "favorite" mistake in the comments section below. (I think #28 is mine.)
Grab your tissues, and take a Deep Breath.
Here are some of the most common mistakes women with Unrequited Dreams make:
1. They are not consistent in their efforts to make changes.
2. They start out too gung ho and that pace is not sustainable.
3. They doubt themselves when they hit the first roadblock.
4. They allow other people's lack of vision to make them doubt their own.
5. They are unclear about what they really want.
6. They don't know themselves.
7. They are not used to investing in themselves.
8. They feel they need permission.
9. They do not reach out for support.
10. They think they can go it alone.
11. They do not take care of themselves.
12. They mean to do something for themselves, but if a challenge comes, at the last minute, they will not follow through with their commitment to themselves because they would rather avoid the risk, feel overwhelmed and want to please other people.
13. They tell themselves they are happy enough, that the happiness of the people they love is enough for them.
14. They don't know what it really costs to get the help they need and they are so used to "getting by" with meager, ineffective support, they have sticker shock when they finally meet someone who can help.
15. They don't see a Return on Investment (ROI) between investing in themselves and the improved way they show up in the world.
16. They think they are "lesser than."
17. They unfairly compare themselves to others.
18. They compare their insides to other people's outsides.
19. They give up too easily.
20. They pretend like their own dreams don't matter because, if they didn't, they'd have to deal with the anger they have with themselves and others for their own self-neglect.
21. They allow others to walk all over them.
22. They have unhealed losses.
23. They think they should be over old hurts by now, but, because they are not, they keep their sadness a secret thus risking embitterment.
24. They are still angry about stuff that happened way, way, way in the past.
25. They have people they have not forgiven.
26. They have not forgiven themselves.
27. They sometimes pretend that their relationships are better than they are.
28. They smile even when they don't mean it. A LOT!
29. They have been Superwoman for so long, they fear things will really fall apart if they stop since their lives are held together with a wing and a prayer. Plus, there is that darned false smiling problem!
30. They have trouble minding their own business, especially with respect to the lives of those closest to them.
31. They spend more time talking about the lives of others than their own.
32. They bristle at the suggestion that what their (nearly) grown children do or don't do is none of their business. (This might be you if -- right now -- you are REALLY pissed at me for suggesting such a thing.)
33. They believe it is less painful to focus on the lives of others than their own lives.
34. They sometimes gossip and talk about others to make themselves feel powerful and "with it" in the eyes of others.
35. They don't remember to love themselves first.
36. They are masters at delayed gratification. Indeed, they wear their self-neglect like a Girl Scout bade for martyrdom, not realizing this is nothing to be too proud of.
37. They enjoy being the person in the group with the least needs.
38. They are much better at giving than receiving. They are uncomfortable asking for help.
39. However, when someone else needs help, they are first in line with a casserole, favor, offer of help.
40. They are overly involved in their children's school lives and friendships. They have trouble allowing their children to "age up" into greater levels of autonomy.
41. They often rescue their children or other family members.
42. When it comes to helping others, they believe that "if they don't do it, no one else will."
43. They have difficulty allowing people they care about to suffer the consequences of their own choices or non-choices. Because of this, they unwittingly keep others weak and in a perpetual cycle of failure/need for rescue.
44. They sometimes have trouble with money and debt, and yet, they do not feel like their own needs have been met in spite of spending so much money.
45. They wonder why they don't have more to show for the choices and sacrifices they've made in their lives.
Okay, deep breath in. Deep breath out. Pick your "favorite" and share it below. Or, tell us one that's missing.
Follow Jennifer Boykin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Jennifer_Boykin