Last week, I was minding my own business, scrolling Facebook, looking to find memes that I could twist around in order to support my major life decisions, when I came across one that made me … THINK. I know, I know, those of you who know me by now are shocked that I might read an internet meme and start thinking about it.
But, you guys—it IS so weird. We form our opinions about people based on maybe one thing-something we observed, or even something someone told us! And our perspective is definitely shaped by other things as well.
I know that I think WAY too much about what others think about me. I’m always trying to be that person that everyone likes. And I’m pretty sure by now that we all know that when you’re trying super hard to BE something, you almost always fail.
That leaves me being my authentic self, and here is where that gets complicated. I’m not just ONE thing. I’m not just ONE way. We are all such complicated versions of ourselves, multi-faceted and full of layers.
I (and trust me, I know this is strange) like to think a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as a human being. You know how there are some (incredible) people who are so committed to exercise/health that they are constantly thinking about how to be healthier? This is me, except I’m fat and instead I’m constantly thinking about how to be a better person instead of meal prepping and tread-milling.
I read this, though, and something clicked for me. Something I definitely already KNEW, but didn’t know-know.
No matter how hard I try to use my words to build others up, I will mess up and I will say something horrible and mean accidentally.
No matter how hard I try to be flexible, someone will think I’m spineless or can’t stick to a decision.
No matter how hard I try to be compassionate, someone will think I only care about myself.
No matter how hard I try to be understanding, I’ll miss something and someone will think that I can’t put myself in anyone else’s shoes.
That even though I remind people all the time that even though I may seem outgoing, I have almost-crippling social anxiety and I panic when I see people I know, especially people that I know dislike me (like you, who may be reading this, even though you unfriended me on Facebook long ago for a reason that I’m not quite sure of, but spent a while wondering, and then just decided that you hate me). So if I seem like I’m making a beeline to get away from you— yeah, I totally am. Because I don’t know what to say and I hate that feeling!
So, let’s face it: it is OFFICIALLY time for me to STOP worrying about what everyone else thinks of me.
Except … I’ve said that before. And I haven’t done it. So, now it’s time to make an action plan!
I know the feeling that I get when I feel that someone else is making negative assumptions about me. It’s shame, it’s wondering if they are actually correct, it’s berating myself for whatever I did to make them come to that conclusion.
When I start to get that feeling, I will:
- Tell it to get the EFF away from me
- Write down 5 things I love about myself
- Write down 5 things I’m grateful for
I’ve got to let go of trying to live up to this idea that I can be the person that everyone loves, that can see right deep into my heart, that only brings joy and doesn’t ever make anyone mad. I have got to realize that even when I think I’ve proven to others that I have the best intentions, they will draw their own conclusions.
I have GOT to remember that even though I overthink and go around and around and around, I STILL MISS THINGS. I still say hurtful things. I still make (plenty of) mistakes, because …
Wait for it, yo …
I am HUMAN. (Hint: so are you!)
So, I’m going to revel in the fact that I can be different versions of myself to different people, and that if it helps someone else to make me their villain or their hero, that’s pretty cool. And I’m gonna tell that horrible judgy feeling to GET. LOST.