I decided to title this post ‘Motivation’ because I think I just needed to see the word staring back at me for a little while. It’s 7:30, and I haven’t done anything tonight. Literally, I just sat on my bed, talked to Sophie and watched shows on my iPad. I haven’t even changed out of my scrubs (ew). Every time I thought about getting up and doing something, you know, being productive…I said to myself:


Wow, talk about motivation (or lack thereof, actually). It’s now 8:39 and I’ve written one paragraph. Okay, you with me? Let’s knock this out. Picture me Rocky-style bouncing on my toes to warm up for all this writing that’s about to happen. Yep, any minute now…this post will actually start. I can feel it. I will win this staring contest with my screen. Okay, I just lost the staring contest, but I think it’s because Soph jumped off the bed.

Everyone has an inner motive, maybe some people have many motives. A desire that must be satisfied and is at the root of everything that you do, everything that you say, every relationship that you nurture, every choice you make. Some people want to be right, no matter what. They will do whatever they can, argue about anything, or research any topic just to prove their point. Others want control by manipulating emotions, words, situations, or whatever else it takes to put them at the ‘driver’s wheel of life’, per se.

For me, it’s acceptance. I guess you could call it approval, also. I have this deep, deep-rooted need for people to like me. It’s not that they can’t ever say anything negative to me, or call me out on things, but in the end…I still just want to know that you haven’t given up on me and you’ll still be in my life. Whether you’re family, a friend, a patient, a stranger, my waiter/waitress, phone representative, or whoever…everything I do is motivated by this need for you to approve of me.

It’s sick. I’m not proud of this need, nor do I like for people to realize this about me. yes, I should probably go to see a therapist for it, but blogging is cheaper. I mean, let’s just get into how messed up I am, shall we?

  • I make decisions about what groceries I’m buying because I don’t want the checker to think things about me like, “gosh, she eats that?” or “no wonder she looks like that, she has two pints of ice cream in her cart”. Oh, and if I do make the choice to buy ice cream or something else that’s unhealthy, I WILL wait in the longest line just to get the little old lady to ring me up because I know she won’t judge me. Don’t worry, I’ll still have anxiety the whole time she’s ringing me up…
  • It is a very, very rare sight to see me return food at a restaurant…no matter how bad my order was messed up. And no, it’s not because I just don’t care, that would make it easy. It’s because I’m terrified that they will hate me and talk about me in the kitchen if I ask for my burger to be cooked a little more.
  • I will conform to anyone’s schedule, go along with any plan, and avoid making decisions out of fear that someone will look down on me for thinking a certain way. “Where are we eating?” is my absolute. least. favorite. question. of ALL TIME. If no one EVER asked me that again and just made the decision for me…forever… it would be a great life. (Just no Mexican is all that I ask!) Seriously, deciding what to eat with other people is the bane of my existence.
  • This one’s hard for me to write down because I know just how crazy it sounds: I will actually attempt to act more or less intelligent based on who I’m around, just to make that person feel more comfortable. Causing someone to feel dumb, or that they stick out in any way makes me cringe, and I will do whatever it takes to avoid that feeling. If you wanted to talk about politics and the wars in other countries, I would do my best to make you feel like you were talking to someone that cares about that kind of thing…even though, (shocker) I have no idea what goes on in my own neighborhood, much less another country. But, would I ever tell you that? Nope.
  •  There are many other ridiculous things that I do on a daily basis, but I don’t think you could handle it. I’ll spare you. (And let’s be honest, I think at this point you’d start judging me…and we CAN”T have that, now can we? 🙂 )

I dream of a life where I could use inappropriate hand gestures to the world and say, “It doesn’t matter what you think of me, World, I don’t care!” It would be incredibly freeing. The weight of needing people’s approval… it’s overwhelming at times. I know that there must be people out there like me, people who don’t think I’m crazy. But, for those of you that don’t have this insane need for acceptance, I have two words for you: be nice. Be nice to those of us that have a really difficult time making decisions, remind us that it’s important to have an opinion, be nice when you can see it’s killing us inside that you yelled at the drive-thru lady for taking too long (it’s not always her fault!), and finally, don’t take advantage of us because you know you can get away with it.

Can motives change? Will I have this inner need for acceptance forever? I don’t know. It does have it’s perks: I’d say I’m usually pretty flexible with plans, always up for anything (yes, even Mexican food, if we must). I don’t ask for much, but I’d sacrifice anything for someone. I have great friends, and (I hope) I have very few enemies.


So, now it’s 9:12, and I have officially done one thing tonight: write a blog post. I’m going to consider that a success. Take that, motivation!

4 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. Oh I am so glad you wrote this…..I TOTALLY KNOW THE FEELING! I like to refer to myself as a “people pleaser” I would rather sacrifice my own happiness to make others around me happy. I’ve tried to “grow a backbone” but that my dear is MUCH easier said than done. Thanks for writing this awesome blog!!! You rock!!! 🙂

  2. Ok Ashley, you are a mini me. I love your writings because they remind me of many of my thoughts and you have such a way with words. I have always been a pleaser, but I don’t care what I buy at the grocery store because I probably won’t see them again. Age has a way of putting some of that into perspective. Keep posting and by the way, you look great.

  3. Hey girl! I felt the need to comment on this post and let you know you ARE NOT ALONE. So many people – especially girls – have the same acceptance problem as you. I see you have hope in getting past it so I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned in going through the same problem as you! I hope it helps!

    1. Confidence in yourself – In order to not care about needing acceptance or approval from everyone including people you know and/or strangers, you HAVE to have confidence in yourself. Having confidence in yourself will naturally make you not care what other people think about you because you know that you are doing what you need to do for yourself. And those people that you care so much about will see this confidence and want to have what you have! (From reading your blog posts, I SEE that progression in confidence, and I only pray that it continues to strengthen.)

    2. Confidence in the people you surround yourself with – if you fear the people who are your friends will judge you and not like you because of your lack of world knowledge or because you bought two gallons of ice cream, then you need to NOT surround yourself with them. People CAN be judgmental, but that doesn’t mean everyone is. I encourage you to find those friends who aren’t – trust me it will make a world of a difference.

    You need to have confidence in yourself, to be yourself 100% of the time, but you ALSO need to know you CAN be yourself 100% of the time with the people you love. People who love you FOR YOU will love you regardless of the decisions you make in your life. And if you are around people that don’t, then find yourself some new friends. If you continue to change yourself for others, at what point are you ever being Ashley Jenkins? Who actually knows YOU for YOU? Might you forget who you are too?

    3. People are selfish and self-focused – Is that bad? No. We need to do what is best for ourselves. When we care about ourselves we are making sure ourselves are healthy in all capacities and our family and friends, etc. Outside of that when is there time to care about the random stranger at the grocery store? And does my brain really have room to remember what the stranger had in their grocery cart? No. People might judge your cart for 10 seconds, but who cares? With the confidence you have, and the confidence you have in the people you love, there’s no more room to care about the random strangers at the grocery store.

    4. Changing your judgmental attitude – Now, I’m not calling you judgmental. I’m speaking from experience and from total transparency. I believe I am probably not alone in this. Most of the things I am insecure about in myself or that I think strangers or friends and family will judge me for is because I JUDGE OTHERS FOR THOSE VERY THINGS. And so naturally, because I judge others for how their makeup looks, or how many likes they have on their Facebook posts, or what type of church they go to, or the kind of car they drive, I then ASSUME others judge me for that too. And they might. But, what I need to realize is if I want to be 100% free from this “acceptance problem” and part of that is associating myself with non judgmental people who care for me REGARDLESS of what my makeup looks like or how many likes I have on Facebook or if I go to church or the kind of car I drive, then I MUST FIRST change MY attitude. And release any judgment. And instead ACCEPT everyone for themselves and LOVE THEM unconditionally. Until I do that, I cannot expect others to love me without judgment.

    I would love to share with you my progress in overcoming this acceptance issue. But, I’ve run out of space. If you ever want to hear someone else’s story and the road I’m on to help encourage and motivate, I would love to share it with you. I am by no means free of it, but I’m getting there.

    And I want to end with this. I haven’t talked to you since college, but I know, like your guy friends have told you, YOU DO HAVE A LOT TO OFFER. Don’t ever forget that. But first be yourself. Love yourself. Don’t ever let someone encourage you to be someone else. God made Ashley Jenkins for a reason. Let that reason shine.

    Love you!


    • Wow! Thank you! I know it must have taken some time to write that, and it means a lot. I love what you said…confidence is key. Thank you, again, and I hope your enjoying the blog! Miss you, and congrats on the upcoming wedding!

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