Disclaimer: This post is slightly more profound & personal than others.
Today on my drive to work, I was thinking about the usual things: Work & boys.
On my computer screen at work, I have pasted a quote. It says, “We must have the courage to bet on our ideas, to take the calculated risk, and to act. Everyday living requires courage if life is to be effective and bring happiness.”
I have that quote there because I constantly feel terrified at work.
Ok, that was a slight exaggeration. But I often feel uncomfortable and nervous. I often have to read that quote before I push “send” on an email.
I have to write about things I don’t know the first thing about, or make big decisions that millions of people will see on our website, or speak my mind about something I’m still not 100% familiar with in front of lots of people who are VERY familiar with it…especially the higher-ups in the company.
I’m not used to having the final word on things. I often find myself doubting my opinion, and then taking the easy way out by asking for someone else’s approval.
Yesterday, my boss sent me an email that said, “Please feel free to share both your knowledge and opinion. I want you to be seen over time as a leader in this area. And, don’t worry about not agreeing with me or others.”
She had to say that to me because I was holding back. I was holding back because I was afraid.
But, what do I have to be afraid of? Someone will disagree? Someone will say I don’t know what I’m talking about? (often I don’t.)
And I might be wrong sometimes. But what if I’m right? What if I’m dead on? What if I can see this in a way that no one else can and therefore my opinion is really important? That is after all why they hired me.
I can do big things here. The only person stopping me is myself.
That was a pivotal realization for me because I think that spills over into other areas of life as well.
Another quote I’d heard a long time ago, but that never resonated with me until recently is:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I really feel like I’ve been limiting myself in life. I’ve let others convince me I’m less than I am, which made me afraid to be as great as I can be.
I’ve been wondering lately why other people’s opinions are so important. Why do I care what other people think when the only person I have to answer to, ultimately, is me? How much freer could I be if I let my opinion be my only guidepost?
I know this sounds simple and some people probably think they already live their lives this way. But we all still do things just to get social approval, to have people like us, to not be alone.
Because, you know, it would suck to be a hermit.
But I feel like I’ve gotten so caught up in seeing myself through others’ eyes that I’ve lost the trust I should have in myself. And by not trusting myself, I’m limiting myself.
I need to trust myself.
And I need to love myself enough to not worry if what I do scares some people away, or turns them off, or earns their disapproval.
Because that might happen in some cases.
But ultimately, I think that when people are confident in themselves, people end up liking them and wanting to be around them MORE.
I want to be free. I want to answer to my own opinion, my own judgments. No matter what.
I’m still working on it.
I read another quote a while back (which I cannot find) about loving others unconditionally. When you love others, despite their mistakes, set-backs, seemingly wrong choices, etc. and show that you support them no matter what, you give them the courage to be themselves.
I’d like that from others, and I want to pass it on.
It’s with that in mind that I travel this weekend to Las Vegas to show my love and support of a family member.