How many times do you shy away from possibilities? How often do you bite your tongue for fear of sounding stupid, or let an opportunity pass you by in case you embarrass yourself? How many things do you say no to because you are frightened to say yes?
So many times in our lives, even in our day to day, we make ourselves smaller so as not to upset anyone, do something that others might judge us for or embarrass ourselves. And I've had enough.
I've spent the last however many years ever so slightly ashamed of myself. At times, mostly throughout my teens, I was cripplingly self conscious about my body; I felt overweight and unattractive, awkward in my own skin. I was also embarrassed of my brain (can you imagine such a thing?) I was nervous to speak out, to be true to myself or go out and get what I wanted for fear that other people would look at me and think me to be stupid or ignorant. I was terrified, truly terrified at the idea of making a fool of myself.
Perhaps it was growing up. Perhaps it was leaving school and finding people who actually loved me and let me feel like myself around them, but I seem to have grown out of my 'downer mode', in that now I love my body, actually love it, and adore my brain. I'm passionate about so much and have finally learnt how to vocalise it, I no longer bite my tongue and am not scared of my own opinions.
At some point I made the decision that I am enough.
And that decision was liberating, in so many ways.
The negative thoughts didn't stop. The overwhelming urge to squish myself into a box or cower away from an inflammatory conversation didn't go away. The anxiety that eats away at me didn't leave. But I made a decision. I made the decision to be happy with who I was and to use the negative thoughts as an incentive, an incentive to do better, to make myself proud.
It's not a decision that I can make every day. Confidence doesn't just happen. But confidence is something that comes with practise. It's something that comes with time. It's something that you have to fight for.
So prepare yourself for a fight.
A fight worth fighting.
See this as a challenge. Make self-acceptance and self love the goal. Fuck the gym, fuck the diet you've been thinking about, fuck hoovering under the bed.
Let's create a challenge worth working for: let's teach ourselves to believe that we are enough.
It starts with saying yes:
Yes, I'll do it.
Yes, I'll go after what I want.
Yes, I am enough.
If you would've told me five years ago that one day I would voluntarily upload photos of myself in a bikini onto the internet, I would have located a dead fish to whack you over the head with.
I spent my entire life believing that being proud of your body was something that was only permitted if you sat down and didn't get stomach rolls or if your legs went up to your shoulders. I was the girl that couldn't wear a bikini, and if she did, covered her stomach with her hands at every moment.
I was the one that didn't breath out on holidays. I was the one that wouldn't have photos taken or stand next to skinnier people.
How boring was I?
Do you know how easy it is to start loving yourself when you accept that that is OK? And do you know how good it feels when you do?
I don't want to be boring anymore. I don't want to waste time hating myself and my body. The body that, coincidentally, allows me to live the most amazing life. The body that does incredible things for me every single day. I want to love it. I want to be happy with it.
And it's about time I owned that: I AM WHO I AM. AND I AM ENOUGH.
We constantly feel the need to change. We feel that we are not good enough. We worry that people don't like us. Self doubt is laced in nearly everything that we do. Being a human can at times feel like you're on stage and that the world is staring at you, and judging you.
And you know what? Sometimes, they are.
But it's up to you to decide what you are going to do with that.
It's always up to you.
Are you going to spend your whole life feeling undeserving and embarrassed and guilty and self conscious and judged, or, are you going to realise that you are worth so much more than the opinion of people who either don't know you or don't get you.
Why do I need to change myself to keep other people happy? Where have I got this crazy notion that I'm not good enough from? And what exactly is stopping me from doing exactly what I want to do?
It's the fear of what other people might think.
Other people. Who are these other people?
"Those that care don't matter and those that matter don't care."
God I wish I'd heard that sooner.
You come into this world on your own and ultimately you leave it alone too. That doesn't mean that you don't need other people and it doesn't mean that you should only ever look after yourself. No one man is an island. But it is worth remembering that as you live your life: you're the only one that can make the change. Every decision that you make needs to be made by you and for you. You have to look after number one.
Don't allow self doubt to dull your sparkle. Don't put yourself down. Don't be the reason that you don't reach your full potential.
It's okay to be happy and it's okay to be proud of yourself. And it is imperative that you learn to accept that you are enough.