“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Henry Ford
I know you’ve heard variations on the “words are powerful” bit. You undoubtedly have heard it many places. Most famously, the Bible says words are sharper than a double edged sword. Meaning they can cut going in and cut going out. I’m not going to focus on the going in portion today. The whole “sticks and stones” phrase we know isn’t true. Words hurt when others target us. But let’s talk about words going out, about us, from us.
Are you a negative self-talker? Do you find yourself verbalizing the negative thoughts that swim around your head? I know I do. My problem is this: there are a lot of things I “can’t” do, only because I have told myself, time and again, “I can’t do that”. It’s not that I’m lazy. I would consider myself a rather hard-working individual. When it’s for other people. But when it comes to pursuing something for me- a business idea, a passion, a dream, a relationship, a goal- I shut down. I pull the covers up over my head, hoping the monster of anxiety will remain at bay just one more day. But it doesn’t. It never does. So I have to face a major question- what am I going to do about it? For years my answer has been shrink down, take every swing, every blow. From others, from myself- I’ve lost all desire to even duck, much less defend myself. Until now. I have to decide that these things I “can’t” do, are only impeding my progress because I let them. I’ve been housing the monsters of guilt and regret inside with no rent. They give nothing, but they take everything. They take my confidence, security, pride, joy…
What about you? Are you housing fears, regrets, anger and insecurity too? Other things? Are those things keeping you from having the will to do something? Anything? If you are like me, people can tell you for days, months, years that your only roadblock is you, you need to get out of your own head, you need to man up, pull up your big girl panties, whatever. Whatever it is, it won’t change you until YOU decide to change you. And I don’t say it like it’s easy. It’s not. You know it’s not. I know it’s not. Here I am, 26 years old, and I am sitting here telling you I have finally gotten the gumption to feel better about myself and do better for myself. For others. Because the truth is, you are not the only one who suffers when you hide behind your anxieties and fears. Not only are the suffering you and those close to you, but those who don’t even know you. Because you have a story to tell and you’re not telling it. You have masterpieces to create, images to engage, whatever it is you have inside of you- you hiding behind this mound of insecurities is stripping the world of the unique color that is you. How much longer will you wait? What will it take to make you realize you are better than you think? Better than you speak of yourself? For me it took 26 years. These are not rhetorical questions. I am asking you these hard questions. From one introverted, insecure ball of fear to another. Write them down, ask yourself what is holding you back from fully being you? Why? What would you lose if you showed yourself and chased your dreams? What would you gain?
If you can sit down and answer those questions you are one step close in the process to loving you. If you can’t yet that’s okay too. Just because I have finally started the process doesn’t mean I will get there over night. It doesn’t make me an expert. But it does put me right there beside you. And that’s exactly where I want to be. I want to encourage you. If you have time and want to share your story or any of those answers with me, write me. I’d love to share in your journey with you.