Confidence is a tricky thing. I always believed I could do something - but up until recently, I didn't trust that belief.
That difference has been key to a change that is happening in my life. I think there are a ton of different factors that have gotten me to this point and they have all lined up to get me here.
Since trusting that I am the best person to take care of my life, things have just gotten better. I mean, I'm not rolling in dough nor is my bucket list completely checked off; but the amount of worry and anxiety in my life has gone WAY down.
I think the best way I can explain what is happening is to list the things I no longer put energy behind.
1) What others think about what I say, what I wear or what I do.
I know, this is what every "how to gain confidence" post on the internet talks about. I'm not here to tell you how to do it, I'm just sharing that since trusting in myself, not caring about these things is something that happens.
This has been the most liberating thing that has happened. I have always been opinionated and shared those opinions, but there was a time in my life where I ran those opinions through a "how can I say this so I don't upset anyone" filter. That filter sucked - it sucked energy from me and it just plain sucked. So now, I say what I need to say (with as much polish as I can) and leave it all on the table. It's up to everyone else to mind their emotional response - not my worry anymore.
Oh and, I have like 5 things I rotate through my work wardrobe and I don't care if someone sees me in the same outfit twice in two weeks. Also, makeup, you cost too much and I'll wear you when I want, not when society tells me to.
See - something is happening.
2) Not seeing the latest movie.
I just don't have time. And that's okay. That's why there's Netflix.
3) My relationship status.
Would you believe me if I told you that I used to think that I was on a lower level of society because I was not in a relationship? I used to think there was something wrong with me because my longest relationship went up in flames. I used to be okay with things that I was not okay with to make myself more "attractive" to someone (this was true in friendships too). No longer. It's a waste of my time to be anything more than my authentic self. Take me or leave me, I'm fine either way.
NOTE: Do I want to share my life with someone - yes! But I want that person to want to share their lives with me too and that will only happen if I'm the real me all of the time.
4) Shopping at Whole Foods.
I love Whole Foods. I really do. My bank account, not so much. Now, I just buy the best food that I can for the week and that's that. Sometimes, that's at Whole Foods. Sometimes, that at my local co-op. Sometimes that's at the grocery store. My main concern is that I have food that is best for me. I love the mission of Whole Foods, so I find other ways to live the Whole Food lifestyle without my draining my bank account.
5) How many likes something gets.
I used to post something and know how many likes it would probably get. This was not healthy. And what is a like really? Does it mean that the person actually cares? Does it mean that I can call that person if I need something? I was putting too much value on the number of likes on my posts and not the quality of the people in my life. Not anymore.
6) If people text me back.
I don't even want to tell you how much time I spent checking my phone to see if someone texted me back.
It was a lot.
No more. I've done what I can do, the rest is up to them.
7) How I could change the past.
I know this is impossible, but I spent a lot of time reviewing past situations to see if there was something I could have done differently. I rationalized it as me trying to learn about how I could grow from the situation. And while there is value in that, it is not valuable to review the same situation over 50 times over the course of years.
Now my eyes are focused forward.
8) Pleasing other people.
I used to think that being kind and empathetic meant ignoring my own needs and putting others ahead of myself. Since trusting myself, this doesn't happen as much. I want other people to be happy and I will do what I can to help them, but not if that means I am not happy as a result.
I also found that when I put others needs ahead of my own, there was no one to take care of me. And sometimes I would expect other people to take care of those needs for me and they couldn't - nor should they. It was a toxic cycle. So I'm glad that's ending.
9) What other people do or what they have.
Social media can be the worst. I used to go through my feeds and see what other people are doing or what they have in their lives and make a value judgment about my own life. For example, I'm not married nor do I have any kids. I would say that 98% of my Facebook feed is full of photos of my friends that have families of their own. I used to say to myself, "Marissa, you're so far behind, you'll never catch up." Now, I'm just like yay for them, I'm going to do my thing.
10) Not checking off all of the things on my to do list.
I did the best I could and I know that I did. That's all that matters to me now.
So yeah, that's what's happening. I'm kind of excited to see where this new alignment takes me. For years, I've heard people tell me that I have so many skills, I could do anything and more. It's kind awesome to finally trust that I can.
If I can ever figure out how to tell you how I got to the point where I trust myself, I'll let you know. Until then, I hope you find your own way and see how your life changes in the wake.