It’s ok to be me.
That one little sentence may not appear very big on this page, but it has been a massive realisation to me today after a couple of very enlightening conversations.
I struggle with being me and all that entails. I struggle with the concept I might be good at something or that people may find inspiration through my struggles and achievements. For just about my entire life I have never been encouraged to celebrate success or achievement, and usually there was someone there to pick holes in what I had done. Mostly, I was the first to start that process.
I have had many experiences in my life where I have felt that I was not good enough, that I had nothing to offer people. That I simply wasn’t enough by myself. Even when I gave everything I had in a situation it would appear it wasn’t enough and never would have been. I have taken those experiences to heart and I guess have lived a life always trying to prove a point that I was enough. That I was good enough and I didn’t deserve to be left behind. Always angry and seemingly fighting against the world to find a place where I belong. To stand shoulder to shoulder with my peers and not feel like less.
The last 6mths I have definitely felt like that a lot of the time, through a variety of experiences. I question & second guess people’s motives and don’t understand why someone would simply want to get to know me. Or why they should like me. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop when it all comes crashing down as they realise I am not the person they thought I was. I jokingly say to people that ‘I’m not really that nice in person’, but there is an element in that statement that I believe.
The last month has been a challenging wild crazy ride since 12WBT Finale. In fact the last 2 years has been that ride. I’ve had success, then failure and then success and the cycle continued. In that time I have had people say some incredible things to and about me. It’s hard to reconcile that because I don’t see myself the way they do. I don’t feel like that person they see is real. I am constantly amazed and surprised when I find out the impact something I have said or done has had on someone’s life. Even if the gesture, to me, seemed fairly insignificant.
I am by way of my nature a ‘giver’. I will always put others ahead of myself and their needs first. If I can help them reach their goals then that is where I direct my energy. If I can make someone happy or feel supported then I will do all I can for that to happen. To me it’s just trying to be a good person and lead a good life. I’m not perfect by any means and I don’t always get it right, but my intention is to always try.
I look up to people I have in my life that inspire me. I see all they do and the way they go about their life and I use that to help me grow & become more as I work towards being who I want to be. I see qualities that I aspire to. I recognise their success comes through sheer hard work and determination, overcoming challenges and obstacles. However, I certainly don’t rank myself in the same league as them.
I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a colleague, Nick, who has a background in Psychology and I was explaining where my head is at lately and what I am not able to reconcile. During the conversation he asked me why I was uncomfortable with the idea that I may be good at something, that I may have something to offer people. So I went through all of the above. The fact that I think that losing weight does not make me an expert on anything or some self appointed guru who has all the answers. The fact is I feel as though I should never have been in that position in the first place to have had that weight to lose. His opinion was ‘well you were and you lost it, so shouldn’t you recognise the achievement in that?’ Hmmmm
He went on to say that all of those qualities I recognise in the people who inspire me like the commitment to work hard, determination and overcoming obstacles are exactly what I have been displaying through this year to get to this point. It’s not being ‘wanky’ or big headed to acknowledge that yes I did work hard and I achieved a big goal. It’s regcognising my own strength. And that is OK. I am still the same person who acts with integrity and cares deeply about others, and for that matter worries deeply about the perceptions of others. But it is OK to say ‘you know what I did something good, and it was an achievement for me’.
The second conversation that impacted me today was a texting chat back and forth between me and my PT, Tash. Talking about some stuff that has been affecting me and one of her lines really resonated with me & was very much aligned with the conversation I had been having with Nick. It was “All that can change is within. Grow the strength that has to come to light’. It made me think of the earlier conversation about recognising my own strength. If I didn’t have that then I would not have been able to overcome the challenges I have. And it’s ok to recognise that. However in order for me to keep moving forward I need to keep growing that strength and bringing it to the light, and recognising for myself when I have done something good. For me.
I don’t need the world to see it or to be at centre stage. It’s simply about me learning that I see it. I need to make myself centre stage in my own life, even if no one else recognises it. It’s about me seeing me.
For myself, I need to totally believe that I am enough, I do add value, I do contribute in a positive manner and I am strong within myself.
I am not perfect but I am me and that’s ok.