On Being Awesome

 

It might be true that Barney Stinson is a womanizing and absurd fictional character, but he has a point.

How often do you put yourself down? How often to you make yourself feel worthless for this, that and the other reason? A lot, right?

Well, stop it.

There’s something to be said where knowing where your faults lie. It can come in handy in all sorts of situations: from the workplace to the impending zombie apocalypse (“I’m not skilled in jamming an axe into a person’s head.. you do that …and maybe I should loot that HoHo factory instead.. win win”) It’s our tendency to dwell in those faults and shortcomings and can be the problem.

Why do we focus on the negative?

To be honest, I don’t have the answer to that question. The true answer to that probably differs slightly from person to person but I have a feeling it centers around the idea of unrealistic expectations for ourselves and inaccurate views of others. I’m willing to do bet everything I own that there is not a single person in this world that has it all figured out. I think the closest you can get to having it all figured out is realizing that you will never have it all figured out and accepting where you are at any given point in life. But rather than realizing this, we look at others and see something going well for them and instantly we think “this person… they know what they are doing.. their life must be perfect.. why can’t my life be perfect”. And in our endless pursuit of “the perfect life” we get some bumps and bruises (literally and figuratively). But when we try with all our might and we still can’t reach perfection… we blame ourselves.

Let’s be fair. There are instances where you should blame yourself for things…. like if you try to commit fraud and then get pissy because you end up in jail. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when you feel like you are a waste of space because of whatever reason. I’m talking about when you feel like you don’t matter. I’m talking about when you feel like giving up because you aren’t perfect. I think we focus on these things because we don’t know what else to focus on. Our thought is that if we can’t blame someone else… we have to blame ourselves.

You don’t have to be perfect

The truth is… it’s silly to blame yourself for not being perfect. No one is perfectThe sooner you can accept the fact that you will never become some sort of outlandish example of perfection, the better off you will be.

Are you working towards bettering yourself? If you are, then good. You’re on the right path. If you’re not…. now seems like a great time to start. Because that is all we can do…. work each day to better ourselves both mentally and physically. So you might mess up from time to time. The world is not going to end because you screwed up. I promise you.. it won’t. All you have to do is pick yourself up and keep trying. And if you do that.. you are the closest thing that I can think of to being perfect: willing to acknowledge mistakes, learning from them, and working towards a better life.

Now… back to Barney Stinson

You might be asking yourself at this point: how can I possibly continue to pick myself up after each failure? after each humiliation? after each let down? The answer is because you are awesome… and awesome people don’t let the world stand in their way. So when something happens to you that is less than “perfect”… be awesome and allow yourself to move past it. It might take some time. It might be painful to keep going… but no one said being awesome was easy.

Dealing With Those Pesky Inner Demons: Fear

“fear kills everything. Your mind, your heart, your imagination.” 
― Cornelia FunkeInkheart

Fear is one of those things that is just always around. It lurks in corners in the form a spider. It towers above you in the form of the skyscraper you are afraid to enter. It smothers you until your can’t breathe. Everyone has different fears and everyone handles them differently. But the important thing to note is that everyone has something they are afraid of, whether they are willing to admit it or not.

Fears can come in two forms: rational and irrational. Our rational fears, such as the fear of bodily harm, are hardwired into us as a means for survival. The fight or flight response is the body’s response to rational fears. It protects us from things that could harm us both mentally and physically.

Irrational fears, clinically called phobias, are generally fears of objects or situations where the fear is disproportionate to the danger posed by them. Some of them can be entertaining to onlookers (stories about my fear of bugs to follow) while others can be completely debilitating to a person. However, sometimes our seemingly rational fears can get out of control we become sapped of our life force.

So now it’s story time:

When I was in second grade I attended a Catholic school that my father taught music at. One day for gym class we were playing some sort of game where you throw a ball back and forth between two groups. I know it wasn’t dodgeball… but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. It’s irrelevant though.. all that matters is that it was one of those rubbery bouncy balls. Well, that might not even matter.  Anyway, I didn’t really participate too much; I was well on my way to becoming a young Daria Morgandorffer, but more on apathy later. It occurs to me now that there was a more than an aversion to ball games preventing me from making an effort. I was afraid. It’s not that I didn’t want to play, I just don’t really like embarrassing myself. I wasn’t good at sports. I played t-ball for exactly one season in which I continuously got yelled at because I’m left-handed and when I would let go of the bat to run I would accidently swing it so it slid down the third base line… which is apparently a bad thing. So if I had tried to catch the ball and missed, or gotten hit in the face I would have been mortified. It was just better to stand in the back corner of the playing court and feign interest. But then my moment came. The ball flew over the heads of all of my team mates and landed in a pile of folding chairs directly behind me. It was my chance to actually play whatever asinine game we were playing, and I knew it was my chance because I was the only one on my team anywhere near the pile of chairs. I eagerly trotted over the the pile and chairs and picked up the ball, but before I could even turn around the throw it a boy from my class, let’s call him Scott (because I have no clue what his name actually was), snatches it out of my hands and yells “Give me the ball, Catherine. I’m better than you!”

It’s not that I’m scarred for life by that story (or perhaps I am), but it sort of informs something that I struggle with on a daily basis: my biggest fear is that I will never be good enough. I have a tendency to correlate my self-worth with what people say and think about me. During high school I was dating an abusive guy, both mentally and physically. He constantly told me that I was ugly, fat, worthless, stupid, etc. I got so use to hearing it that I must have believed it to be true.

Now, for some reason, I assume that people have to be paying attention to me for me to matter. So if I haven’t talked to one of my friends for a while, or Husband doesn’t notice that I made my hair look nice, my brain automatically goes to “you don’t matter to them, and why would you?”

I feel like because of this, I had become my own Scott… telling myself I’m not good enough for anything. I’m not good enough to become a decent writer. I’m not cool enough to have friends. Im obviously the only one that things my personal style when it comes to home decor and dressing it neat. I’m not strong or determined enough to live the healthy lifestyle I want. I could go on forever.

You probably see a neat picture… I see roughly ten things I’m doing wrong

This fear stops me in my tracks when I think about doing something. From the time I stopped dancing four years ago until roughly 6 months ago, all I wanted to do was dance again. But I wouldn’t because I was afraid I wouldn’t be good at it anymore. It use to come so naturally, and things are different now. And I would rather not dance at all than try and fail. Or worse.. try and be average.

So rather than dealing with these emotions. I retreat so the world can’t hurt me. Even though deep down I know I’m only hurting myself.

 

 

 

Part of my journey to a healthy mind is to be mindful of my overwhelming fears, accept them for what they are, and find ways to over come them. All of this things will help achieve the inner peace I’ve be desperately seeking for years. I have a feeling I’ll struggle with the fear and not being good enough (as well as the fear of bugs) for years to come. But I’m working on it.

But fear isn’t all bad. Without fear there would be no courage. And courage….succinctly put… is awesome.

What are some of your fears? And how to they hold you back?