I am currently part of a program that has been really tough regarding self reflection and understanding what we are willing to let go of in order to get to this next chapter in our lives.
One of the exercises involved asking people I know and respect some questions about the way they view me. This was a little scary. I felt awkward asking and a little apprehensive about what I was going to learn.
[In a podcast episode or in a later blog post I will go over these questions and what it brought up for me because I feel it was an eye opening exercise. Something we can all tremendously benefit from.]
A few words that kept coming up were confident, courageous, curious, self deprecating, adventurous, self reliant.
I did a double take.
Really, these adjectives were describing me? All the negative thoughts that I carry around in my head did not align with what people’s perceptions are of me.
So when I started to process these answers, how people viewed me, I realized that they saw someone who takes action, someone who moves forward, someone who tries new things. Someone who is confident and has courage.
This was hard to reconcile for me. I don’t see that same person. I see someone who is constantly doubting herself, constantly making mistakes and then figuring things out.
My brain always seems to be having a fight with itself internally – try this, no don’t try that you might fail. You might mess up. But so what, I’m going to do it anyway.
Thank goodness that mind struggle apparently is only on the inside and can’t be viewed from the outside. Phew.
But I started to think more about this. Even though I have doubts and fears, I still do it anyway. I always have. It might be messy and I might fail. But that means I’m trying.
Taking stock of my life, I can honestly say that I have literally failed myself forward. Taking chances that don’t always work out but have taught me a whole lot.
Over the years I have become less reactionary and make these decisions with purpose and planning. I have learned skills and acquired tools that have helped me move forward and live the life I want in spite of my inner thought battles. Giving myself this power – allowing myself to decide.
Through this exercise I learned that my courage comes from within. I never realized this. I don’t know that I’ve ever given myself this credit, knowing that I can overcome that negative voice in my head by doing.
My tombstone will read ‘I tried’.