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  • Paula Stiles DPT, OCS, Pn1

Don't wait for the new year for a new you

I am not sure when it happened but I am so glad it did. It is " stopped caring what everyone else thought I should be doing". I have always been a people pleaser. I may not have known that was what it was called, but it was me. I didn't want to be in trouble, I wanted so say what others wanted me to say, not what I was feeling. I wanted EVERYONE to like me. This is a tough thing to be because you will always fail! You will feel not good enough and you will most likely seek out comfort in food or other unhealthy behaviors.

Sometime between childhood and 45 years of age I got the courage to be me. Maybe it was from moving across country and starting a job I hated, maybe it was from all the things I read, maybe it was from being married to an engineer that sees things very black and white, maybe it was from becoming a mom, maybe from starting my own cash based clinic, I don't know the exact moment it happened. But, I do know that I am so much happier and feel a lot less anxiety and stress. Do I still worry yes, but not about pleasing others. I worry about raising a confident caring child, giving back to my family and community, providing an excellent patient experience and about teaching others healthy habits that allow them to become the person they want to be. I don't worry about what a bad dancer I am or how silly I may look trying to learn Taekwondo. I laugh and make funny faces while my son teaches me how to floss.

On my run this morning I said how much I appreciate a friend that will tell you what you need to hear, even if it isn't what you want to hear. This is how we grow and become better versions of ourselves. So I am being that friend now, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BE YOU! Choose today to do one thing that is true to you. Do not be afraid to tell your friend the truth, it can be done with support and kindness. I remember when I became a partner in a physical therapy clinic and 5 owners had to agree on things. Not an easy task. One partner, Nate had the greatest ability to disagree with you without emotion or judgment and I remember thinking how much I admired that. I still strive for that. I am not sure I will achieve it but I am trying.

So do not wait for January 1st to set goals to become what you want. Start today! What can you do today to be a little more like who you choose to be? What is the worst thing that will happen if you disagree? If a one person doesn't like you, find someone who does. Then be the friend that cares enough to tell them the truth. You will both be better people for it!

The dancing koala is just because I have always loved koala bears! Be who you are and find friends that support that person, Do not try to fit into a group that isn't you. Yes it sounds like an after school special title but even into adulthood some still need to hear it. Work on being a new you now!

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