You don’t need other people’s approval – allow yourself to be who you are…
Day before yesterday I went to Michaels and picked up some tulle to make a DIY tulle skirt.
Doing this 30-day mission has allowed me to have a little fun with my days and to start getting back in touch with my creative side. And what has been happening is that as the creative part of me starts re-emerging from the shell in which she’s been hiding for a few years, all other aspects of my life have been improving. And that is because the creative part of me is a huge part of who I am. So when I lock her away to protect her from rejection, I’m locking away the heart and soul of myself.
I’ll talk a little more about that and the topic of allowing yourself to be in a second. But let’s talk about my tulle skirt experiment first. I was going to write a post titled “My Hot Mess of a DIY tulle skirt” but I figured I’d just mention it briefly here instead.
I came across some DIY tulle skirt videos on Youtube and decided to try one. Luckily the tulle spools were only three dollars at Michaels so I picked up a few of them and set about attempting my own DIY tulle skirt. My tulle skirt did come out a little whacky. But the time spent making it was time well spent. I enjoyed the process. And I had fun yesterday trying to get some pictures that I could use in a blog post. And ultimately that is what it’s all about. Having fun!
Are you hiding from your truth or are you allowing yourself to be who you are?
Today while looking for something in my closet I came across one of the many unpublished novels I’ve written over the years. After reading a few pages I got to thinking about the dreams I’ve abandoned over the years. I was very passionate about my dream to be a writer. It was not just a dream to me. I believed it was my life’s purpose. But after years of having everything submitted to publishers rejected, I stopped writing. Well, I guess technically I never stopped writing. After all blogging is a form of writing and I’ve been blogging on one website or another for a number of years. But I abandoned my fictional novel writing, my poetry, my children’s books. And I stopped writing anything new.
My writing isn’t the only thing that I abandoned. There were other dreams that I started pursuing and then quit. I lost what confidence and self belief I possessed. And I pretty much locked away the part of me that had those dreams so she would not have to deal with anymore rejection.
Quitting on your dreams is an unfortunate thing; but far worse than quitting on your dreams is quitting on yourself– not allowing yourself to be.
This month has been a month of re-discovery. Since starting this #30Days mission to live a more fulfilling life I’ve started to become reacquainted with the girl I abandoned for too many years. While I never completely abandoned all of her dreams (I have from time to time set out to start again in pursuit of one or more of her dreams), I never again had the same belief in her that had made me cause her to tell people to remember her name because they were going to hear it again in the future. I know that sounds like someone who’s a bit full of herself; but it wasn’t really a case of her being being full of herself. She just really believed in her talent. She had no doubt that she would achieve her goals. But I allowed that belief to die. And everything she has wanted to do since, if it didn’t become successful by a certain point, I’ve convinced her that she should quit trying because she was just never going to succeed.
Ever feel like nothing you do is ever quite good enough or interesting enough to win even the smallest reward for effort?
I have all too often felt that way. And it is because of this feeling that I’ve quit on pretty much everything I’ve ever attempted. To my credit I have always fought pretty long and pretty hard before I’ve given up. But at the end of the day, it isn’t the fact that you fight hard before you quit that bears relevance. It’s the fact that you quit. And the reason that I end up quitting always comes back to the same point: Other people have no interest in my work. They don’t share my perception of myself and my talent. So I start doubting myself. I stop believing I have talent. I figuratively toss my work in the garbage and crawl into a hole to hide.
Imagine that you don’t allow yourself to be who you are and do the things that you love because you think people won’t like you or your work. They won’t find you (or your work) interesting.
Are you living for people or are you living for yourself?
The novels I’ve written gave me pleasure to write. Writing was such a passion it was all I ever did. I wrote by hand and used up hundreds of sheets of paper. But after I lost my belief in myself it became a struggle to write a single page.
And I lost belief in myself because I started to judge myself based on other people’s lack of interest and enthusiasm.
Maybe I’m not the best writer in the world. But I wasn’t writing because I was trying to be the best writer in the world. I wasn’t even writing for other people when all is said and done. I started writing when I was eleven years old. But at some point I became an adult. And the game changes when you become an adult. You now have to find a way to make money in order to take care of yourself. So what was previously something I did for the sheer joy and pleasure of doing it, became something I was doing to try to earn a living. It required me to start submitting my work to publishers. And with each rejection letter, the joy and pleasure began a steady decline until writing became for me a source of misery and pain.
Always believe in yourself no matter if the whole world doubts you.
I wish I had been able to follow my own advice at the time when it mattered most. But what I have discovered during this 30-day mission, is that it’s really never too late. It might be too late for some things. If I’d wanted to be a successful writer by age 30 for example, that ship sailed. But it’s never too late to change your pattern of self-effacement and get back to doing the things that fill your life with joy and pleasure. It’s not an overnight deal. It’s not even a 30-day deal. The 30 days are just the beginning of you restoring your belief in yourself one day (one activity) at a time.
The key is that you must allow yourself to be who you are and do the things you love to do whether you do them well or not…