I was listening to a colleague’s personal story yesterday and it hit me. As a child, I made a bargain to be no trouble, to need as little as possible, and not want anything to earn the love of a difficult and troubled mom. I was really good at being small and not needing much, but it didn’t work. Of course, my actions had nothing to do with her unhappiness. And the bargain became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I asked for nothing and settled for crumbs. Got mad and felt like a martyr. Until I realized that the problem wasn’t everyone else, it was me.

If I wasn’t asking or sharing what I wanted or needed, of course, I wasn’t getting more than the basics. Most people are bad mind readers and busy with their own needs. You have to ask.

Are you being clear about what you want with those who can help you get it?

What childhood bargains are you still keeping?