When something challenges me to get outside of my comfort zone or when someone challenges me, I get a knot in my stomach, or a bit above it. A solar plexus knot. I’m not talking about challenges like “chug a liter of milk” or “run a marathon”. I’m talking about the challenges where I have to prove what I’m capable of doing. Like going for a new job, taking on a new task and I have to put in a piece of me into a project.
That feeling has made me crumble, more than once. My inner critic tells me that I will crumble, that I won’t be able to perform and that I’m not good enough at what I do. I have doubt.
I then realize, that I’m actually so much better than I portray myself. I keep making myself smaller than I am, to fit in. I talk myself down because I think that it’s classy to know your faults and to be aware of what you aren’t good at. And it probably is good to know what you need to work on, but when I focus too much on what I need to work on I start to only see what I’m lacking. I totally miss what I’m actually brilliant at. I forget what an asset I can be, and I feel insecure. I feel safe when I know that people know that I already know what I’m not brilliant at. And I’m scared that they won’t see what I see the things that I’m good at. I’m scared that people will think that I’m stupid. Really, that’s it.
So often I hear people say, “don’t care about what other people think of you” and I think and believe that I actually don’t care. I am loud, and I am honest, I say what I think without trying to please others constantly, I can laugh at myself and I am rarely ashamed of making mistakes. But just then I realized that there are other areas where I care so much that I’m scared to act. Like creating things for others, creating experiences for others, committing to something at work and believing that I can actually do this and talk confidently to what I’m doing and why I’m doing this. I care what others think of me so much I prefer not to do them. Because I’m scared. Scared of being looked upon as stupid.
But seriously, fuck them. I’m not going to get anywhere in life if I keep making myself smaller, talk myself down and being scared of failing. Who cares if someone were to actually think that I’m stupid? It wouldn’t actually make any difference to my life at all. It actually doesn’t matter. I’m tall, fun and smart, I’m good at what I’m interested in and I have a lot to give. No matter what other people think I am still going to be the same. It doesn’t change anything. So I’m going to do what I do with my head up high and with the confidence I owe myself and deserve. Because seriously, stupid would be not to.