For most of my life, I was honestly afraid to show people who I really was.
I got really good at building up walls around myself. In part, to protect myself…..but, also because I was just too afraid of what people would think of me if I was just…..me.
This was often mistaken for bitchiness or being stuck up. At best, because I was shy.
Funny how that was about as far away from the truth as possible.
Okay, maybe I was a little shy….maybe still am…and I’m introverted FOR CERTAIN ~ but I’m not afraid to talk to people and I LOVE social settings and get-togethers and just being around people….so..? (Have you heard me talk about being an outgoing introvert?? 🙂 )
I think shyness is really just an outward appearance of lack of confidence. AND, honestly can just be mistaken. Some people just like to listen more than they do talk and I’m not sure that’s shyness.
But I can tell you, I was not at all confident.
I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.
And, as I just said, I was so afraid of being judged or made fun of for being the real me that I just…..well, I didn’t let people in….I didn’t like to talk about myself….I just wanted to listen to others and not draw too much attention to myself.
So, on this journey of self-discovery, somewhere along the line I just decided to get over myself. (oooooh, yay, a segue to another book suggestion!! Click below!)
I was tired of not showing people who I really was and wanted to just be comfortable enough with myself that I could just….be.
And, so I did….well, for the most part. I’ll admit, I’m still a little guarded and protective of myself. So, it may take me a while to let my guard down sometimes.
Ok, HOW did I do it?
Well, for starters…..
I found three things I absolutely LOVE….Beachbody coaching, writing and being annoyingly(?) positive.
Now, rest assured, I’m not always positive. I have to work at it. And, believe me I vent and work through my fair share of things but I’m aware of it sounding like complaining and I just try not to.
As I started living my life more out of my purpose, the real me found that I LOVE to make people laugh, and I LOVE to try make people just feel better ~ better about themselves, better about life, better about their day….whatever. I just want to be KIND….to everyone. And, I want to have a ministry I share with the world.
So, I actually debated sharing this….mostly because I didn’t wanna give it any more negative energy than I’d already given it this past week….but then I decided it just needed to be said.
I’ve shown a glimpse of the “real” me at work and something happened this week that took the wind out of my sails for a hot minute…
I was at a conference for work in New Orleans last fall and we were at one of our workshops and having round table discussions about ways we could spread a little positivity back at our workplaces. One lady at our table said that she had been hanging motivational sayings in the women’s restrooms at work, and I immediately thought….what a great, simple, fun, free idea. So, I came back to work and started doing it right away.
So, every morning I’m at work I spend a few minutes on Pinterest and I find something funny, motivational or inspirational to hang in the restroom stalls. Just something that speaks to me that day. I would say a fair majority of them are just funny things….things to make people laugh.
But, ever since I started doing it, I had this little fear in the back of my mind that SOMEONE at SOME POINT was gonna find something wrong with it. Yes, that eternal pessimist in me is hard to fully overcome….but unfortunately, sometimes you just know….
That day finally happened this week.
I had hung up this little image on Monday…..
And, when I went to take it down and hang up a new one on Tuesday, someone had taken the time to type, print and hang their own little sign that said, “If you these motivate or inspire you…..Good luck.” I’m assuming they put you in there a few too many times lol. But, I’ll be honest that my first reaction when I saw it was a lump in my throat and I teared up a little. AND, to be even more honest, my first thought was….people suck.
So, here’s the deal. I have no idea who posted it. I’m not even sure the person who did knows that I have been the one posting these….but I DID take it personally at first. My feelings were hurt…..my ego a little damaged. And, I had to stop and think, ok, have I offended someone with something I’ve posted? ‘cuz let me tell you, I will own that shit and apologize if so. But, I can’t apologize if I don’t know….if I don’t know what it was or who it hurt.
Is there such a thing as being TOO positive? Isn’t it ok to just try and make someone laugh a little? Like I said, a lot of the signs I post are just funny things ~ not really even things to motivate or inspire….but just to make the ladies in the office smile and laugh.
I decided not to say anything to anyone at work about it. But I did confide in some of my coach friends, my bestie and my hubby about it.
And, unfortunately, I kinda let it ruin my day.
But, then I decided that I wasn’t going to let it stop me….ha, unless my boss or a manager told me I needed to stop. And, I got a lot of support from my friends and hubby ~ and one of the best things a friend reminded me of was this saying ~ “You’re going to be too much for some people. That’s ok. Those are not your people.”
Being the real me hasn’t necessarily been an easy road. Now, instead of people thinking I’m stuck up (well, heck, maybe people still think that…but at least I haven’t heard it in a long time lol), some think I’m annoyingly positive….some are annoyed with my sweaty selfies….and some think I post on Facebook “too much.”
Maybe some even think what I share on this blog is annoying or shouldn’t be talked about or shared but guess what? This is FINALLY just me being me. And, if anyone is annoyed in the SLIGHTEST, I decided I’m totally okay with that. They can unfriend ~ unfollow ~ never read my blog again ~ AND ignore the silly signs in the restroom. I’m not MAKING anyone read or look at anything I do. But, the freaking cool, awesome thing about it all is that I do have the freedom to do all of this!! And, I don’t just mean because this is America and we all have the freedom of speech…which is an ah-mazing thing in itself. BUT, I more mean that I FINALLY feel like I’m FREE! FREE TO BE ME…..sweaty selfies and inspirational quotes and blog posts that are so hard to share I have to hit publish and walk away from and all. I don’t feel like I have chains around me anymore holding me back from saying what I have on my heart to say. I don’t have walls built up around me anymore. I’m done apologizing to myself and to others for who I really am.
So, all of this really got me thinking. Who else is out there not being who they really want to be? Who else is out there not sharing what’s on their heart to share for fear of being judged or made fun of? Who else is out there not taking chances because they are too afraid they’re going to fail?
I honestly felt like I failed a little this week. I felt judged. I felt made fun of. And, it made me sad.
But, you know what would be more sad? If I let it hold me back. If I let it stop me from posting those signs. If I let it affect me so much that I started to retreat like I have so many times before. I decided that would be WAY more sad than dealing with a bruised ego. I feel like I’ve had enough sadness to last me a lifetime….as I’m sure most of you reading this have. And, ultimately, I decided I’m just gonna keep failing forward. Isn’t that just this thing we call life?
All this also reminded me of an awesome push group I just did with a bunch of coaches on Team Hope. Every day we were challenged to share what we struggle with and have overcome on certain topics….and one of the most resounding fears was a fear of being judged and of failing. One day, after reading several different comments about the fear of being judged holding people back, I shared what my sister shared with me a few years ago ~ We were talking about grace and God and being judged by others, and she said, “We don’t get to judge. Only God gets to judge.” Let that process for a moment. I hope it take some of your fear away. I know it did me.
And, I thought this also fit this post ~
We have a few sayings on our team ~ “You do you.” “Break the mold.” And, I also like this ~ “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
Don’t let anyone else take the wind out of YOUR sails.
Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
Don’t take life too seriously. Laugh a little. Have a little fun. What can it hurt?
Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
AND, like I said above, you’re going to be too much for some people….and that’s ok….because those are not your people.