Today I want to start by saying: FIND YOURSELF!
Why do we lose ourselves? Why do we let someone else’s version of what they view as “success” dictate how we feel about our own personal accomplishments and successes? Your journey isn’t ever going to look or be exactly like someone else’s and that is perfectly fine. You have to remember that just because you don’t look perfect, make the most money, have perfect kids, a perfect house, a dream car or dream job, it does NOT mean that you are failing. What is “perfect” anyway? You are just on your own journey. Does that mean we should just stop trying? Absolutely not. We should never stop trying to improve our lives or continue to grow in some way to be the best version of ourselves. Growth is healthy. Setting new goals and completing them is empowering. The key is to remember that it is okay to accept and embrace our “flaws” (I say that in air quotes because who really says what a flaw is or isn’t?) because those are the things that make us and our journeys unique.
We have to stop looking at what we haven’t experienced (yet) or don’t have (yet) as a failure. Some of the best things in life are worth waiting for. It’s worth waiting a little longer and working harder to find the right job, the right spouse, the right house, the right church, etc. Those are all parts of our physical environment and we are a product of our environment. Why not spend a little more time focusing on and working on creating the RIGHT physical environment for ourselves and our future? Why not work on learning to appreciate and love where we are at currently and focus on being a better version of ourselves so that we can add positivity to the world?
There are so many studies out there that basically say that social media is a contributing factor into why we are unhappy. We continually compare our reality to virtual reality/everyone else’s virtual version of what they WANT people to see when they look into their lives. Why do we care so much about what other people think? It comes down to acceptance. I know, as a female in a wheelchair, that there are times that I feel like I have to work 100 times harder than anyone else around me just to keep up with everyone else just be perceived as… *gag*… “normal”. I have a self-imposed/media/society imposed idea that I *have* to keep my hair, my nails, my makeup, house, marriage, workouts, job, etc., etc. etc., looking perfect to people on the outside or I leave myself susceptible to criticism. The reality is that no matter how hard I work or how “put together” I look, there will still be someone out there who will look at me, feel sorry for me, or consider me “less than” solely based on the fact that I use a wheelchair and THEY view that as a “flaw”. The reality is that there will always be people who want to find fault in what you do, what you look like, how you raise your kids, how you spend your money or how you live your life. That is their “flaw” though. Not yours. Criticism comes from THEIR discomfort, lack of understanding or insecurity of how you live your life compared to their own.
Two of the scariest things I have ever honestly faced in my life so far was starting this blog website and sharing it with people AND when I started my YouTube channel a couple of months ago. I was confident in my reasons why I was starting these projects, but I was still worried about what I looked like, what I sounded like, if people would support or care about what I am doing, if I stumbled over words or made a typo, if I was in the perfect lighting to look skinnier or prettier, whether I was funny, if I was too boring, blah blah blah… I finally just shut the “what if’s” out. I finally reminded myself of the reasons WHY I decided I wanted to start each of the projects and goals I set out to accomplish, which are: I wanted a fun, new project, I wanted to help and reach people, I wanted to become a better speaker, I wanted to grow, I wanted to put my fear of judgement aside and I wanted something that I could point back to and say “I did this and I am really happy with the results of my hard work.” The problem arises when we let those fears of failure and what other people think hold us back from creating the type of success and life we want.
Are there people who have had criticism of my projects? Absolutely! Do I care that there has been criticism on what I am doing? A little bit. Do I let fear hold me back? Not for very long. Does it mean I’m a failure just because someone disagrees with me or what I am doing? Absolutely not. Does it mean I am failing just because I go at a slower pace to get to the next phase or goal? No, no, no! Does it mean that what I am doing isn’t important or meaningful? Absolutely not! Does it mean that what I am doing isn’t helping people just because ONE jerky internet troll said something a little bit critical? Absolutely not! Am guilty of letting one comment ruin my entire day? Absolutely! I am human. It happens. The important part is to NOT let that one piece of criticism, that one bad day, that one flaw, or that one person’s negative comment define who we are, whether or not we should pursue our crazy dream, or whether we are proud of where we are in life or not. We have to stop letting those things change our path or our perspective of ourselves. We will never truly find happiness if we continue doing that. You are allowed to create a life that makes YOU happy. After all, you’re the one that ultimately has to live with the results of your decisions. When we let other people’s opinions or actions dictate how we are living our own life, we are losing control of our happiness. We are losing sight of what fulfills us and we start creating a false version of ourselves. We start to lose ourselves in the process too. You’re allowed to have bad days. You’re allowed to openly celebrate the good days too though. Without the bad days, how will you ever grow and create better days for yourself? How will you ever learn to appreciate the good days if you never experience a really, really hard day every now and then? Every single day, we are taking steps toward creating OUR version of happiness and a life that we are proud of… or we aren’t. Either way, we are making decisions that create our future.
If you get nothing else out of this, please remember this:
You are MEANT to be on YOUR journey. It is yours for a reason. Your job is to forget the trolls, the haters, and the negative forces in your life, but never forget to let the negativity help you create positivity in its place. Create healthy, productive experiences, relationships and environments for your life. Continue creating YOUR version of happiness and positivity. Most importantly: Find Yourself! Never lose yourself in the fear of what others might think. Don’t stay in relationships or friendships that make you doubt yourself. If you are going to invite other people along for your journey, make sure you are surrounding yourself with relationships that nurture and accept who you are inside and out, instead of allowing them to be a flat tire in your journey. Focus on continuing to be the best, happiest, healthiest version of yourself that you are MEANT TO BE.