“It’s not who you are that holds you back but who you think you are not. Judging yourself is not the same as being honest with yourself. You are capable of great things.”
A friend posted this quote on her page today. I can’t stop thinking about it. Oh, how guilty I am of this transgression against myself. I all too often judge myself harshly in the name of being honest with myself. I am a person who learned early on that it’s better to prepare for the worst so you’re not disappointed than to hope for the best and fall flat. It’s such a sick, self-defeating attitude, one I’m sure that has kept me from stretching outside my comfort zone and achieving more for myself on occasion.
I had a conversation with a friend recently that bothered me. We’ve known each other a long time and, as with most long-term friendships, we’ve both changed over the years. I realized as we were talking that my friend was somewhat disappointed in me because I have made choices that have kept me from becoming what I had sworn when I was younger I would become. In his mind, I’ve settled and am not living up to my full potential. (Sorry. I sounded like an episode of Lego Ninjago, there.) I first felt insulted, then angry at him for judging me, and then sad because there is a definite part of me that knows on some level he is right.
I have spent many years selling myself short. When people would ask me what I do I would tell them I’m a stay-at-home mom. I would say it apologetically, convinced that my position made me unworthy of interest. When they then reacted according to my own boredom with my situation, I’d become indignant and hurt that they were not interested in me. But, honestly, how could they be interested in my life when even I wasn’t? I was judging myself for my own perceived failure to achieve a successful career, and then I was projecting my frustration onto them. They were simply following my lead. Staying at home with my sons was a choice, a choice I would make again because I like knowing that I am their go-to person. I don’t think I could have handed them over to anyone else. I don’t think it’s in my nature. I am where I am because I chose this path. So, why do I expend so much energy feeling bad about what I am not and what I have not achieved in terms of a career?
Instead of feeling bad about not having a paying career right now, I need to look at things differently. I have the freedom to stay home and work on the book I always hoped I would write someday. “Someday” just became today. And, instead of depressing myself with the enormity of the task of writing and publishing a book, I’m going to put on my best Tony Robbins and imagine myself on a book tour, signing copies of my story. Why not? Stranger things have happened. Hell… my husband, who has had infinite faith in me from the very beginning, has already started discussing what we should do when the royalties start coming in. Now, that’s the kind of positivity I should get behind. 😉