I’m taking Mel Robbins’s 2018 Spring Power of You course. One week in & I already see a change in myself. It’s truly phenomenal.
Being able to sit with myself & be honest at what’s staring back has been tremendous (& a bit scary if I’m 100% honest).
And that’s why I’m writing this post.
You see, I had a breakthrough Friday when thinking about why I haven’t done the things I would do if I did not have fear. I realized that I don’t want to be perceived as sounding or looking stupid. And the more I think about it, I realize I’m concerned about other people’s judgment of me & it’s holding me back.
And the more I thought about that, I realized it stems back to when I was growing up. As a quiet/introverted & sensitive child I realized quickly that I was not like everyone else around me, that the messages I was receiving said I should be more talkative & less emotional; therefore, I saw myself as flawed. But I also noticed that if I followed directions & did well in school, if I did what was expected of me, then I was perceived as good & relied on the approval of other’s (namely authority figures) to feel good about myself.
I always had to be the best student because I think I was overcompensating for feeling like I didn’t fit in socially. I cared what my teachers thought of me & didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was in the 5th grade when I received my first ‘C’ on my report card & remember the devastation my little 5th grade heart felt. I remember thinking that I was a failure & when my 4th grade teacher asked if I made Honor Roll I couldn’t look her in the eyes as I shook my head no. I was ashamed.
Realizing this fear of wanting people not to think poorly of me comes at the perfect time in my life. I’ve been doing a lot of self-development because I’m tired of being in the same place year after year & not being true to myself. It feels as though everything is starting to come together, like everything I’ve been reading & watching has led me to this point in my life where shit is finally becoming clear.
Reading about Brené Brown’s research on shame & vulnerability coupled with this breakthrough has helped me to see that being perceived as stupid and making mistakes are shame triggers for me. I realize that I developed the habit of needing to be seen as smart because otherwise what was I?
Unpacking all this baggage brings with it a mixture of happy & sad tears: happy because of the clarity hitting me and sad because I’m mourning my younger self because she struggled for so long. I know now that my quietness & sensitive nature are not flaws but now I have to break out of the thought patterns of my younger self.
I know I’m becoming stronger, braver, & the best version of myself. I’m going through this journey to find the beauty that is myself.
Do you also care too much about what people think of you? Mel has advice for you.