Self doubt. My life-coach is helping me work though my self-doubt and I know some of y'all are interested in what that looks like. Not just relating to what I'm personally working on but the actual process so that maybe it can benefit you as well. Writing down my thoughts brings so much more clarity for me than just talking. Many times I blurt things out and my life-coach responds, "what do you mean by that" or "explain that" or "how does that make you feel" and I'm usually not sure right away. My homework each week is to journal what we discussed. I need time to be introspective. That happens for me in the quietness of 5am (I know right, I'm now the crazy 5am lady) in front of my computer where I can sit and drink coffee and write and re-write and organize my thoughts. I've decided to share a bit of what I wrote this morning.
I spend a lot of time collecting proof that I'm not good enough.
I made up my mind when I was 11 that ultimately I wasn't enough (whatever that means) and I should stop trying to be. Middle school sucks for so many and I'm no different. Schoolwork gets hard. Friendship gets hard. I stopped earning easy A's around the same time that the group that I desperately wanted to be a part of made it clear that they were in and I was out. "Stop following us around; we don't want you here." I know shocking talk for a seventh grader. But for 20 for years no amount of encouragement and support from strangers or loved ones could change my mind about that statement. Neither could the fact that by 8th grade I was in, at least for awhile. I decided in middle school that other people had the power to decide my worth and I never thought to challenge that. So each time a friendship fizzles or I don't connect with someone new or a stranger says something mean or I don't get a job I want or I'm not invited to a moms night out or playdate or someone doesn't comment on a post I use it as proof of why the entire world doesn't want me around. Yes, the entire planet. Because that makes so much sense, right.
This is why written word is so powerful. I can think something in my head and accept it for years but one morning of writing it down and I find myself laughing as I read it. Dang. I'm a thoughtful and accomplished grown woman and I've been letting the behavior of a few tweens from the 90's affect my world view. Tweens that I probably didn't even have anything in common with other than the same homeroom teacher.
Yet so many of us do this. I'm not smart. I'm not funny. I'm not pretty. I'm not athletic. I'm not enough. I'm fat. I'm not good at art or music or language. I'm not a good writer. I'm not enough. We allow ourselves to believe it. For me it's people don't like me so maybe I shouldn't like me. But just because I think it doesn't mean it's true.
Overall, I'm actually pretty confident and content but this certain area has the ability to throw my whole attitude under the bus. Think for a minute, what words or actions hurt you the most and which ones easily roll off? The ones that hurt are the ones you think are true. Just because someone thinks it doesn't make it true.
Self-Acceptance. Not every one needs to be your people. I actually embrace this gift of uniqueness and appreciate it's ability to create a wonderfully diverse world. I grant that grace to every person I encounter. Why then do I get hung up in thinking that everyone needs to understand and appreciate me and if they don't then no one can, not even myself? That's ridiculous. It's time to start being kinder to myself.
One of my favorite sayings of all time comes from our sorority rush (recruitment was the PC term we had to use); "her star shines brighter elsewhere." It means that the girl you took through the house just isn't a good fit and you don't want to invite her back for the next round. Many times my star shines brighter elsewhere. And that's okay. That doesn't mean my light is broken or doesn't work. It doesn't mean I have no light at all. Maybe it's too bright for this room or not bright enough. Or shining the wrong color or too many colors or not enough color. Or maybe that room just isn't looking for any more stars right now. Find where my light shines best. Find where my kind of star is needed to light up a room. Those are my people. Maybe my people is one person. Maybe that one person is me. Start there.