/ˈmɑrtər/ Show Spelled[mahr-ter]
A person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
/ˈhɪəroʊ/ Show Spelled[heer-oh]
A person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her/his brave deeds and noble qualities.
Which do you want to be for yourself? Are you sacrificing for some belief? Or are you courageously facing what is and acting in your own best interest? I'm working on being my own hero. It's a process. I'm one of those people they need to constantly remind: "put on your own air mask before assisting others."
Not sure how to be a HERO to yourself? Here are tips from a recovering martyr:
1. Find a hero guardian and model after them. This is someone who has your best interests in mind and shares your values. Use them as a thermometer when making a decision if you feel yourself weakening to your martyr devices. If you're like me, and easily sacrifice because "you can handle it" - usually the hero guardian reminds you you're on crack if you're about to agree to X. This is often my parents or closest girlfriends. Sometimes we naturally avoid our hero guardians because we don't want to face the truth. For example, if a boyfriend was acting up, my hero guardians might be the last to know because I didn't want confirmation that yes, indeed, John Doe is an asshole.
2. Don't try to be a Super Hero. A super hero is a martyr in disguise. Why? Because you're taking on too much. Being a hero takes courage and lots of self control. Self control is like a muscle - which can be fatigued. Studies show that we actually have a finite amount of self control. So if you want to create a change in your life, start with just one. Don't go on a diet and try to quit smoking all at once or you'll burn out.
3. Own + Forgive. Being your own hero means standing up for yourself even when you did something you wish you didn't. This takes two steps: 1)take responsibility for something you did that you would have done differently 2)forgive yourself for any mistakes. Remember, you are worth protecting and that involves whatever it takes to get you into a safe and positive place to move forward. So take the steps you need to own and forgive so you can move onto what makes you happy.