I was talking the other day with my friend Meret about how so many of us are able to be kind and compassionate to others, but not to ourselves. We see the best in our friends, acquaintances, strangers, both in terms of looks and accomplishments, but struggle to find something pleasant to say to ourselves. Or we look around at the work that others are doing and admire it, but cannot find the value in our own endeavors.
I’ve been struggling with the latter recently. Since finishing our book, and now working on getting the word out, I find myself plagued by doubts on a daily basis. I have three half-written blog posts because I get something started and then go out and find that someone else has done it better. Or I look at another website and it’s all splashy and pretty, but this one is like me – simple and straightforward. And in comparison I feel … less. Not worthy.
But at the same time, I’m NOT splashy and glittery, it’s not who I am and even when I try it just feels wrong. So I’m holding myself up to a standard of comparison that I can never attain. And so I find myself lacking motivation, lacking purpose, just lacking.
I suck at social media. I’m an introvert, I have never ever been comfortable in the limelight, I don’t brag about my accomplishments (because most of the time I don’t feel they’re particularly special), I’m never ever good enough. For me. Everyone else seems to be impressed, but I always find what’s wrong, what I could or should have done better.
I don’t know how to fix this. I have gotten past caring what other people think about how I personally look – everyone I know is way more wrapped up in their life than to give two hoots about whether I’m a size 2 or a size 10, whether my eyebrows are perfectly plucked or not (generally not LOL), whether my hair is beautifully coiffed or thrown back in a pony tail (again, almost always the latter)… and if they do notice, so what? Really, no effect on my life at all if someone notices that my hair is a little greasy because I haven’t showered since yesterday. Or the day before. Or maybe even the day before that (when I get to the point when I can’t remember the last time I showered that’s a good sign I do actually need to). So my physical appearance, I’m good. I’m done with buying into the myth that I need to live up to some beauty ideal.
But. I cannot apply that same principle and wisdom to my work. Because it matters so much more to me that people like and appreciate what I DO, because that is what defines me. I am so passionate about helping other women to likewise let go of the strictures of our society as far as appearance goes, letting go of the rules that we’re supposed to follow about what to eat and not to eat, how much to exercise, that the “epitome of health” comes in a pre-pubescent-looking package. But I am really struggling with how to share that passion because of all the doubt I feel about “not doing it right.” I am totally new to anything more than facebook and I feel lost as to the etiquette. That makes me feel really tentative and scared and like I’m doing everything wrong and I’m going to be ostracized.
I think I just have to forget about potentially being perceived as too self-promoting, and be more like I am with my appearance – just say what I feel like saying and hey, if you don’t like it, go somewhere else. But if you have any tips, I’m all ears!!
I’d also love to know if you have similar thoughts and feelings. And how do you encourage yourself to just keep pushing through?