When I Let Go Of Who I Thought I Had To Be + Embraced Who I am
Growing up I was pretty shy but once I got to know someone then I felt free to show myself. Unfortunately, I had no clue how to use my own voice, say no or create boundaries. I thought I had to be popular to "fit in" as most kids do.
I found myself doing things that weren't really "me" like smoking, drinking and getting into trouble every now and then. I was trying to do like so many kids do, fit in. That continued on through my 20's too, at times I found myself binge drinking and a few times smoking pot.
I wanted to feel like I belonged so bad and at the time said yes to things I'd never say yes to now; certain types of boys, friendships or actions. I didn't know where I fit, I was a young single mom struggling to get by and while other people were going to college, traveling and partying, I was being a mom. Other than my parents I didn't have a great support system, my son's father was on and off for four years and friends didn't really want anything to do with my mommy life.
My parents tried helping me have a somewhat normal life, (thank god for their love and support) so they'd help me with babysitting. Once he was in bed I was free to go out with friends on the weekends. I'm not proud of some of those moments, being hung over in the morning while trying to take care of my little boy but I was doing the best I could at the time with the tools I had.
I had no clue how to get my own needs met.
I love how I"ve grown and where I'm at now. I've figured out that I don't need people to like me, I don't need them to approve. I just need to find my tribe and love them to pieces. I'm learning to embrace who I am, the adorkable parts and all. The part of me that loves Disneyland and will still wear mouse ears!
Now I surround myself with like minded people who challenge me to grow and who love and support me on this beautiful journey called life!
When you stop trying to be what others want you to be or what you think you should be and embrace who you are, that's true freedom. It requires courage and vulnerability but freedom is never free.
EXERCISES TO TRY:
In this week's email, I'm talking about expectations. Expectations we've got for ourselves. Are you a perfectionist? Do you try to control everything in your world? Do you think you have to get it all done? What do you expect of yourself?
What is it costing you? How does it make you feel? I encourage you to take some time to journal and reflect on the ways you might be expecting too much of yourself. What would your life look like if you could embrace who you are?