My birthday is one month away which has got me thinking about where I am in my life compared to a few years ago. I was so concerned about what people thought about me during high school, and college, that I really struggled to come out of my shell. I was so scared that people wouldn’t like who I was, so I tried to change how I acted around people depending on their mood or personality. I thought changing would make me likeable and allow me to keep people around. If only I knew that being myself would attract the right people into my life. Pretending to be someone I wasn’t was so exhausting and I was really just lying to myself and the people around me. I realized half the things we do or say don’t get remembered by people so why does it matter what they think of us?
When we go about creating ourselves it really is an uphill battle. We are so much harder on ourselves than we need to be, we focus on people’s lives more than we should, and we allow ourselves to be put into limiting boxes people have made for us. Let’s not even get started about the people who want to keep us down! There is hope! When we pause and look back we can see the changes and the life we have built for ourselves thus far. It really is an amazing feeling to know that you have made it this far so you know you can definitely make it farther.
Everyone is so much harder on themselves than we are on each other. When we start to overthink something, the other person has already moved on and started to worry about their own life. That’s when I learned that people will always have something to say, or have a different opinion, so why get hung up on something that is so fleeting? If we were to shift our focus on what we want and who we want to become we would see forward movement. Deciding to let go of what people think is freeing because it allows you to own who you are. When you stop being so hard on yourself you can clear your head from unnecessary commentary and do things that make you feel good rather than putting energy in trying to please people who probably don’t care. What’s important is for you to decide what you want. Who do you want to be, what do you want your life to look like, and then start doing the things that will help you get there. This really just takes time, be patient with yourself and you will see that you don’t need to put yourself down so much.
I am in a place in my life where I am proud of what I have built and yet I sometimes do find myself struggling to keep my mental blinders on. As teenagers we put most of our energy in having the cutest clothes, boyfriend, or phone and when we get older I realized that doesn’t really change, it just gets more expensive. People try to keep up with each other to live in the best neighborhood, have the nicest house, newest car, be caught up with the latest fashion and technology, and so on. We do all this just to impress each other! Do we want all these things because we truly want them, and have worked hard, or because we want to be accepted by the people around us. There’s a difference. For example, last year I spent quite a bit of money on new clothes. I wanted a wardrobe update and it was something that I had wanted to do for years. I felt like I had outgrown the clothes that I had and I wanted a new look for the current me. Every time I went through my closet I had such a hard time picking out an outfit, I felt like I had nothing to wear and I no longer felt confident in those clothes. So, I decided to come up with some extra money to buy myself a new fall and winter wardrobe. I picked out clothes that represented me. Now, everyday when I fish through my closet my only problem is that I have too many options. Whenever I am in a hurry I can easily throw something on because every piece of clothing has been chosen for a reason. When people compliment me about my clothes I feel happy and proud. It was something I had invested in for myself. That is just a simple example. My point is to do what makes you happy because people are always going to make judgements about you. You think everyone likes my sense of style? Probably not, but all that matters is that I do.
In a conversation, Eric reminded me that I don’t like it when people try to put my personality in a box. I don’t appreciate it when people try to tell me who I am. I think we try to compartmentalize people because we want to make sense of ourselves. We are all complicated beings, capable of being surprised, capable of growth and change if we desire it. Let people’s feedback be just that. Take in what you need and let go of the rest. Unfortunately, the people who try to tell you who you are and what you are capable of are often the people closest to you, your loved ones.The way to break free from their judgments is by deciding who you want to be and break the boundaries that are holding you back. Let yourself explore and find what you do or don’t like. Break out of the boxes people have made for you because you don’t belong in them. We are capable of so much, we just need to let go of all those unnecessary commentaries. Live your life based on your own standards.
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Until next time.