3 Common Speedbumps in "Finding Yourself"
This past year has got to be one of the strangest I’ve experienced thus far. Not necessarily in a bad way but.. “massive” is the only way I can begin to describe it. It feels like all previous years of falling apart time and time again, consistently finding and losing myself and overall just being an emotional wreck - had come to this screeching halt at a brick wall spray painted with the phrase “WHO ARE YOU?”
For the first time it felt extremely important to me to figure out the answer to that question on the wall. Not for anyone else but strictly to be able to look at myself in the mirror and understand my own reflection. I have been a people-pleaser all of my life. I’ve listened to what people have told me to do, I have turned my back on people because the ones close to me had too, I’ve made rash decisions based on other peoples fears and I was simply tired of it. I wanted to figure out who this person really was in this body of mine. I wanted to figure out what I needed in my life to be happy. I really wanted to know what my morals were and what I really believed in and I had to just pick a place to begin. I started out by asking myself one simple question.. “What is one thing about you that you want to build on?” The first thing that came to my mind was that I wanted to be more compassionate and understanding. Finding myself in situations where I had a choice to listen or talk, I listened. In situations where I would normally take someones rude comments/tone personally, I tried to first think that they may be having a bad day or week. It was amazing how quickly I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders when I stopped putting the incredible burden on my shoulders of ‘fixing’ every one/thing around me. So, what was the first lesson I learned about who I am? That it is very possible for me to listen to other peoples problems or struggles and not include myself in the solution. I can take part in being a safe space to come to by being compassionate and kind. And that is enough.
I may write another post in the future on new things I’m finding but for now I’d like to share a few things I ran into along the way that seemed to slow down my inner process. I am nowhere near finished finding myself, but I’m hoping I can help someone even a little bit along to way to finding theirs. ♡
1. “DO THIS.. NOT THAT”
I don’t know about you but I’ve always been the type of person to ask what everyone else thinks. I’ve never trusted my own desires enough to just go for them. Instead I needed to have approval (from at least 2 or 3 people) to tell me I wasn’t crazy. Well.. if there’s one thing I want to say to you and to my old self.. GIRL, YOU AIN’T CRAZY!
There will always be someone to tell you your ideas are too risky or too safe. There will always be someone to tell you that you’re just daydreaming or creating larger problems for yourself. Somebody else will always think they know you better than you do. Don’t let ANY of these people make you feel that their advice carries more weight than your needs. You deserve to go for what you want your life to be.
Discovering that I was letting other peoples advice slow me down was a giant wake up call. Everyone has had and will have a different path in life. It’s up to you to create your own.
Think of your life as a book that you get to write. Do you really want your chapter to end with.. “ I did it because someone told me to”?
2. THE WEIGHT OF JUDGEMENT
OKAY. So now you’ve gone ahead and bought that car without asking your parents opinion.. You’ve decided to switch careers without asking your coworkers. COOL. Now what? What about those people and all of the other people I’m not even slightly close to - are they going to think something of me? Is everyone going to think I’ve made a mistake?!
Guess what? THEY JUST MIGHT. And if they do? That’s okay too!
I couldn’t even count for you how many times someone has told me that I take on too much or that I jump careers too fast. People have actually said the words to me “can’t you just settle down and not have to constantly look for ways to make yourself ecstatic 24/7?” I’m sorry to those people. Not because of anything I did, but because they weren’t born with the desire to BE ecstatic.
I truly believe that part of finding who you are and what you want in life is letting go of the judgement of others. Letting those judgements come onto one shoulder, roll across your neck to the other shoulder and back off again.
An Australian dancer, Thomas Franklin, once said “What other people think of me is none of my business.” Try for a day, then another day and another.. to think about that statement and see how it feels to let those opinions float out of your mind. See where that takes you.
3. FEAR OF THE FUTURE
Have you ever been around a child and watched them mentally process the risks of doing something like jumping in a swimming pool? You can see their gears turning on what might happen if they just jump off the high diving board. They could possibly hit the water really hard - it could hurt. They could try to dive and do a belly flop - embarrassing. OR. They could jump into a perfect swimmers dive - no splash!
At what point in our lives do we stop taking that jump JUST because of our first two fears? Things may hurt and they may be embarrassing somewhere along the way.. but who. cares. If you want to change career paths completely, if you feel that you need to jump out of a relationship because it just doesn’t feel right, if you need to live in a van and travel the countryside -
DO IT. TRUST YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND.
Don’t be afraid of the future! You may run into problems that you won’t have the answer to and you might fail. It’s okay to do that. Or you may make a change that suddenly puts you in the happiest state of your life! And either way.. at the end you can at least say that you TRIED. Worrying about what might happen when you make changes, will not change the outcome. When you are finding yourself, things are going to change. Some diving boards will be higher and some barely off of the surface of the water. You’ve got to trust yourself that you can make that jump at any height if you want to swim badly enough.
Thank you SO much for taking the time to read this. Posts like this feel equally vulnerable and exciting. If you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of or have a neutral sounding board - this is an entirely safe space! One thing I will warn you about is that my answer to most questions will most likely be GO. FOR. IT.
What are you doing to find yourself? Have you stumbled across anything that helps you be patient with yourself through the process? Let me know!