Why letting other people run your life and make your decisions for you may make them happy, but it will only make you miserable in the long run and cause you to hate your life, as well as find very little enjoyment in it.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who was living with his girlfriend on the West coast of the U.S. His problem is, he’s always trying to live his life according to the expectations of other people. He’s a people pleaser. His parents want him to live where they do and live his life and perform his career duties according to their expectations. After constant badgering from his parents he decided he needed to do what they wanted in order to please them. Therefore, he moved away from his girlfriend and back to the city where his parents lived, and started doing what they wanted.
This obviously pissed his girlfriend off, who is now his ex-girlfriend. Now that he’s doing what his parents want, he’s miserable. He wants to be with his ex-girlfriend again, but she’s non-committal on getting back together if he moves back to where she lives, so he’s vacillating back and forth between pleasing his parents and pleasing his ex-girlfriend, but completely ignoring what he wants. He asks my opinion on what the right decision for him should be.
I am completely melting down. I’ve written you a few times, but I’m in a bad place mentally and emotionally. Here’s my story: I moved to the West coast with my girlfriend in January 2012, and couldn’t have been any happier. At that point in time, we were dating for about 1 1/2 years. She was a knock out and it was love at first sight for me.
After living there for a few months, I grew incredibly home sick because I missed my family back East. My family was doing its best to guilt me into moving home, and my girlfriend was doing her best to keep me on the west coast with her. Long story short, I felt like I was in the middle of a tug-of-war, and I would feel like a large part of me would be missing regardless of the choice I made. (What about what’s important to you? You can’t feel free when you’re living your life according to other people’s expectations, and the goals and dreams they’ve set for you.) I became so stressed out that it was difficult for me to even speak about what was going through my head. Mentally, I essentially shut down and was unable to even think. I’ve never been so stressed out in my life. (You need to focus on what makes YOU happy, and creating a compelling life.)
In hindsight, I made the WRONG choice. I told my girlfriend I needed to go back to the East coast for a month or two in order to get things straightened out with my family, and that I’d return to the West coast soon thereafter. Unfortunately, she was hesitant to have me move back to the West coast. (She could tell you weren’t living your life according to what you wanted to do.) She always had commitment issues with other men she dated, and it took me over a year for her to consider us exclusive “boyfriend-girlfriend” material. (This is his way of trying to absolve himself from any responsibility. Any good woman would want you to make your own decisions, but if you don’t act like a leader, they’re not going to trust your masculine core enough to back off, and let you be a leader.) She would often send me text messages and emails about how much she missed me, especially during Christmas and other holidays, but she would always say to me, “If you move back here, you need to do it because you want to do it for yourself — not because of me”. (She doesn’t want to be with a man who’s unhappy and who’s not strong enough to make himself happy because he won’t have anything left over for her. You’re making yourself look weak.) What’s so bizarre is that she asked me if I would take her home state’s bar exam for her, which I did, and immediately after I passed the exam she said that she was going to focus exclusively on her own business. It’s like she wanted me to move back without blatantly asking me to do so. I was so confused and frustrated over this. (She wanted you to make up your own mind. You’re acting like a little boy waiting for others to tell you what to do.)
Unfortunately, my ex-girlfriend and I have been stuck in this rut for quite some time. Sometimes she will reach out to me via text and say that she thought of me because something triggered a happy memory we had, but her actions are not aligned with her words. (Because you are not congruent with your words, and you’re not acting like a man.) I know her incredibly well, and I believe that she is afraid to have me move back only for her because it would stress her out. She said 2 weeks ago that if I moved back, it would be like we’d have to start all over — which I completely agree with! If I moved back, I’d follow your routine of hanging out, having fun, and hooking up with no references to a relationship, being exclusive, etc. (If you really wanted to live there, you would get up off your ass and move there.) We’ve been broken up for over a year and I’ve made huge sacrifices for her over that period of time, but I simply can’t let her go mentally. I’m so mind-fucked. (At some point you need to make a stand. Stand up to your parents and tell them to either support you, or you don’t want to hear about it.)
I work on myself, I go to the gym almost every day, I’m working at a great job with great people, but I feel completely unhappy. I am doing what I thought I always wanted to do since I was 8 years old, and I feel completely depressed because I fucked up my relationship with my ex. My ex and I are both in the same profession, which adds to the deep bond we have because we both went to school together, but I don’t want to look back on my life in 30 years and totally regret not moving back to the West coast to see if I could re-attract her. (This is the wrong mindset. Make a decision for yourself.) I want to give her the alpha male that she hasn’t seen in over a year. (If you want to be an alpha male you have to act like an alpha male and get off the fence.) I want her to see how confident, strong, focused, and witty I’ve become around women, but it’s nearly impossible to do this from across the country. (That is an approval-seeking statement. You don’t need anyone else’s approval. Alpha males let their work and their deeds speak for themselves.)
I’ve been trying to re-attract her from long-distance from the East coast, but it’s been too hard. Distance is the only thing that is getting in the way of me successfully re-attracting her. When we lived together, we NEVER fought. Whenever space was between us, things have gone downhill. (The reason it went down hill is because you didn’t act like a man.)
Now, I can’t get her out of my head, I’m an emotional wreck, I feel like I’m not living my purpose, and I don’t even know WTF I’m going to do tomorrow. I’m miserable.
As a side note, I am going out on the weekends, girls approach me at bars, and I don’t sit at home like a little pussy on the weekends feeling sorry for myself. But, at the same time, I am completely miserable. I feel like I’m rotting inside. Each of us only have a finite amount of time on this Earth, and I don’t want to waste another second. (Forget about the ex-girlfriend who may or may not come back into your life, you need to think about what’s most important to you — the most emotionally compelling things that you can think of. Make choices that are aligned with your heart. Also, reach out and make Skype dates with your girl. You need to be hanging out and having fun to get it rekindled. Get off the fence, and start moving forward.)
Please help Coach,
My email to him:
Your problem is that you do not live your life for what you want. You are a pussy. You don’t act like a man. You act like a little boy who waits on his family to tell him what to do to seek their approval. Now you wait on your ex girlfriend to tell you what to do, again seeking her approval. You need to grow a set of balls, be your own man, and make decisions based upon what you want. Your ex even told you this much. It should be obvious to you by now that when you do what other people want instead of what you want, you make yourself fucking miserable. Staying where you are for your family has made you miserable, and being with your ex-girlfriend also made you miserable. There is a third option you are not considering. That third option is deep down doing what you really want to do. If you wanted to be where she was, you would have moved there. You have not. You already lived there and left anyway. Going back will make you miserable again. You need to tell your family that you are an adult and to stop interfering in what you want for yourself. If they can’t support you for who you are and what you want, then they kindly need to keep their fucking mouths shut. If they aren’t supportive and loving of what you want, keep it to themselves. They need to live their own lives and stop trying to live yours for you. If you aren’t happy where you are or what you are doing then move to where you really want to be. Once you are happy there, then invite your ex to visit. Stop all calling, texting and pursuing of her. That is getting you nowhere. If she reaches out, assume she wants to see you and make a Skype video date. Then during the date, invite her to come see you. If she does not want to do that, then there is no sense in the two of you talking anymore. She needs to make the effort to see you. You can’t be happy with another person if you are not already happy with yourself. You are not. If you need further help with this, book a phone session.
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“You can’t live your life according to other people’s expectations. If you live your life by constantly trying to please others and do what they think is best for you, you will only make yourself miserable in the process. Being happy and fulfilled in life requires you to be able to spend your time in your own way. That means working in a job, career, or business that you love, and spending your time with the kind of people you love and enjoy. Without the freedom to be who you are and to create the life and lifestyle you want, you will never allow yourself to truly enjoy your life.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne