Raise your hand if you are your own biggest critic? I feel ya friend.
I have struggled with being too hard on myself, pushing myself to my absolute limit, comparing myself to others, and doubting myself for as long as I can remember. It is something I have to constantly be cognizant of and work on, especially in the social media space. Is this you too?
One of my favorite books, Daring Greatly by the wonderful Brene Brown, discusses the concepts of vulnerability and courage. Of being all-in despite the critics. Of shining a light on vulnerability through courage and just plain being real and authentic. (For a more in-depth review of the book, see my previous post on it here)
Easier said than done though, right?
Boy do critics love vulnerability. Especially mine (and probably yours too).
Those close to me and those that follow my blog know that I’ve been struggling with pursuing a different career path for more than a few years now. I am a CPA and successful accountant who is very good at her job, but I want something more. I want to wake up every day loving what I do and feeling like I make a difference in the world.
So a few years ago I acted on my passion for health and wellness and took a course to become a certified health coach. I had all these dreams of starting my own business and thought that this was finally my ticket out. But I had so much doubt. So much fear. So many second thoughts. And while I did get my health coaching degree and started a business, it never took off.
Friends and family still ask me to this day how my health coaching is going and I have nothing to say except that I’m not doing it anymore. And I feel a lot of shame in admitting that. Of admitting defeat and feeling like I just threw in the towel. That I somehow wasn’t good enough or just didn’t try hard enough.
But the truth is, I still don’t really know what I want to do. I have so many interests - essential oils, herbalism, yoga teaching, even photography. So instead of putting myself down about my “failure”, I tell myself that I just wasn’t the right time. That if I keep on trying and learning and growing the right path will come to me when it’s meant to. I believe in that.
Is it just another excuse for not acting? Maybe. But I choose to believe that it’s not. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and has helped bring me to where I am today. I became an accountant for a reason. I got my dog, moved to San Francisco for 2 years before coming back home, and fell in love all for a reason. And if I choose to be my authentic self and believe every single day that I will find a way, it will come to me someday.
I watched a speech by Brene Brown the other day about the critics in life and she said something that really blew my mind.
“When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection.
When we become defined by what people think, we lose our capacity to be vulnerable.”
The point is not to shut people out and completely ignore what they think. And it is also important not to let every little hurtful thing someone says get to us and cause us not to act. Because let’s face it, there will always be haters in this world.
My brain will probably always try and make me feel doubt, and shame, and scarcity, and want me to compare myself to others. That’s just how I’m wired. But it’s time to rise above and dare to be great. To acknowledge these feelings but not let them define me.
Instead, I’ll respond:
I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to show up and do this anyway.
Repeat this mantra when you start doubting myself, comparing yourself to others, and making yourself feel less than because of what your mind or someone else has told you.