Letting go of self-doubt
Something I have struggled with my entire life is insecurity and self-doubt. Why? There could be a lot of reasons... Probably the biggest contributing factor - I grew up in an abusive household, where my self-esteem was cut down so low, that for many, many years I hated myself and felt as though I was worthless and would never amount to anything. It really affected my psyche, and even though I have spent years trying to reverse those thoughts by constant self-affirmations, those voices and words that are engrained deep into my brain still pop up from time to time. It is a constant effort to push myself forward, and try and overcome the damage that was caused by experiencing that constantly throughout all of my developmental years. I am in no way trying to blame all of my failures on my past, or my parents, or whatever... I am solely responsible for my future and what I do in life. I do believe anyone can overcome all of that, but I think it just takes more effort to succeed because not only do you have to focus on the steps needed to reach a goal, but you also have to fight down those demons inside of you... and it can be exhausting.
I think everyone has self-doubt from time to time, because there isn't anybody who is great at everything they do... especially at first. So, being a little apprehensive to try new things is normal, I guess... But what happens when insecurities and self-doubt become so overwhelming it prevents you from even attempting to achieve our full potential in life, love, relationships, careers, etc.? That's where I stand. I am scared to put myself out there, and let people see the "real me"... not that I'm fake - because I'm not. I just don't open up and let people see who I really am inside. I'm afraid to try things that scare me because 1) I am afraid of failure, and 2) I'm afraid that people will think I'm stupid or make fun of me for trying them... Why should I care? What other people think of me is their business... not mine. It doesn't define me. It defines them, and who they really are and the insecurities they have about themselves. Logically, I know that, but I am human and as much as I like to say I don't really give a shit what anyone thinks of me... I do want to present myself as someone I'm proud of. I used to try to make myself "fit in" with the people that I viewed were superior to me... for whatever reason. Maybe they were prettier than me, smarter than me, funnier than me, had more money than me... whatever. I think that's a pretty common phenomenon in adolescence and early adulthood years. I finally got tired of trying to be this person I thought everyone would like, because although I wasn't being completely fake... I also wasn't being completely me. For example, I was mean to a lot of people for no other reason than it was what I thought I needed to do to "fit in", or because of my own insecurities... I'm not proud of myself for that, but I can't change my past, so I have to forgive myself, learn from my past, and not repeat those same actions... and I think I do that pretty well. I realized that I really am a nice person. Yes, I can be selfish at times (everyone can), but I really do love to do things for other people... even if it is something so small they don't even know I'm doing it for them... I do it because it makes me happy. Not for recognition. (and no, I'm not trying to get any recognition or "atta girl(s)"... I'm just rambling in my thoughts.) Even though I am staying truer to myself in actions like that, I still struggle with speaking my mind, doing what I want to do in life, and really putting myself out there. One of my biggest achievements in letting go of self-doubt for me was competing, because it was something I had wanted to do for many years, but I never pursued it because people had told me I wouldn't be able to do it - and I believed them. I finally let that all go and went for it. Some may look at me and say "She's just trying to get attention.", but honestly that's not the case... Yes, it is an ego boost to have people compliment you for how you look, or your dedication to something, or whatever, but it really wasn't about getting outside approval. Honestly, it was REALLY difficult for me to admit publicly that I was attempting that goal, because I was afraid of what people would say or think of me, and I was afraid I would look like a fool if I failed. It was months before I told anyone outside of my immediate family or circle of friends what I was doing. To my surprise the support I got was overwhelming and motivating to me. I was now accountable, so in my mind I HAD to complete this goal... and I did... and I am proud of myself for that, because that was really the first time in my life I ever really put myself out there to be "judged" by society, and luckily for me it was a positive experience.
Because of these experiences and what I've learned, I don't constantly try to fit myself into any type of mold anymore. I really try to focus on being the real me, and that's great... but what I have found myself doing is I tend to latch on and only surround myself to people similar as myself... that fit into my "mold". Because it's safe. The problem with this is it really limits my experiences in life. I never really put myself out there to meet new people in other circles outside my own. By doing this I miss out on a big world that I could learn from. It's not only obstacles and struggles we overcome that help us grow in life, but it's also new experiences that teach us new things and help us realize new ways to grow as a person... and I always want to be a person of constant evolution... I never want to stop growing, learning, or experiencing life... and I want to show my daughter life outside the 4 walls of our house. Because I know first hand from growing up in a house of dysfunction and secrets behind closed doors, that the "world" we each live in is not the only "world" out there, and sometimes there ARE better, healthier, happier worlds to be experienced, and we are able to create whatever world we want to live in. Not that we shouldn't be grateful for what we have - we should. Absolutely. But I think you can be grateful (even for bad experiences because those are the ones that force us grow), while still wanting to know more about the "worlds" around us.
So moving forward... Blogging is one of the new things I am attempting to do to grow as a person. I have written blogs before, but they are very "on the surface" topics about fitness, motivation, etc... Good reading for someone looking for some "fluff" to stimulate some motivation or whatever... but throughout the trials and tribulations I have experienced over the past few years, I have found writing to be cathartic for me. It's a healthy outlet for me to work through stressful times. When things were really falling apart in my life, I started writing to just get the constant thoughts out of my head, so I could move forward. Most of the time I would write something then just delete it, because it was solely for my benefit to help me figure things out. Putting it out there publicly seemed very self-indulgent, but because of my experience of putting myself out there through competing, and my desire of wanting to push through that self-doubt, this is my first step to doing just that... I am going to actually publish some of the more vulnerable thoughts that go through this noggin of mine from time to time... because maybe someon