I don't know about you, but I'm always bracing myself for the worst. "Expect the worst, but hope for the best," as they say. That's been my life motto.
There could be an event coming up that I'm super excited about, but I force myself to remember that something could go wrong or it could turn out to be not as fun as I'm wanting it to be. I force myself to not get so excited.
It's my defense mechanism. I don't like to be disappointed or hurt. Who does? So in order to protect myself from that, I don't let myself get too excited about something until I see how it plays out.
Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised. Sometimes whatever it is actually does turn out to be fun and nothing goes wrong.
But other times I know I create what I fear. Thoughts become things. Our thoughts create our realities. This I believe.
So, then, the obvious conclusion is that I'm creating unhappy experiences for myself. Or at the very least, I'm creating experiences that are less blissful than they could be. All because of my fear.
I do this all the time in relationships and dating too. I go on dates that I convince myself won't work out before I even get there. If I meet someone who I think is great, I convince myself that they probably don't like me. Also, I believe that everyone will leave eventually, every relationship will end. So that is precisely what I have created.
Here's the thing. I know even if I get disappointed about something, that I'll be just fine. I've commented in a post before that I tend to bounce back well. I cope well. So why am I so scared to let myself experiece off-the-charts happiness?
The answer that jumps to my mind, as I type, is I don't think I deserve it.
I know, I know, I've been saying that a lot lately. So I won't go into it in depth again. I know I do deserve true happiness. So it's time to drop the old-hat defense mechanisms and false beliefs already!
I also keep myself and my feelings in check so I'm not too vulnerable. So if it doesn't work out, I don't look like a fool for getting super excited about it in the first place.
So what? So what if I do look like a fool? Would I rather be open to amazing experiences, or be closed off and not even give myself a chance at awesomeness? All for the sake of appearances? All in the name of remaining calm, cool, and collected?
The fear behind this is screaming at me right now. I honestly hadn't realized just how much I was living in fear until now. Sounds crazy, but it's true.
I also didn't realize I cared so much what other people thought. I really didn't think I did care all that much about what other people thought about what I do.
But I see now that I do care about who they think I am.
[Man, the stuff this blog brings up is amazing to me. This is another revelation.]
I don't care what people think about what I do, but I care what they think about who I am.
You might be saying, "What you do IS who you are." But it's not really. There's a difference.
It's the whole perfectionist thing. And 100% based in fear.
I feel like I have to be this perfect person, or people will think less of me. People won't like me, love me, or want to be around me.
Well, what's "perfect?"
I've built up this persona that I "am." "Persona" is a strong word because it implies that I'm being fake. I don't believe I'm being fake, but I do hold back. I'm being myself, but a small part of myself. I'm being the "me" that I think people expect and want me to be.
I've also written about this in past blogs. About how I don't want to come across as a hypocrite. One area of my life that I've noticed this is in regards to what I eat. I've been a proud vegan for about three years now, and it's become my "persona" to everyone I know. In the past few months I've shifted from being 100% vegan, to about 90%. I struggled with this greatly because of "what people will think." I'm no longer this "perfect vegan" that I believe they see me as.
The thing is, I'm not in other people's heads. I have no idea what they really think of me. And it doesn't matter anyway!
I profess all the time about being you and living your best life. I thought I was doing that, but I realize that I wasn't entirely.
There's a whole other level of happiness and of "me" that I haven't been allowing myself to get to.
It's time to let my light shine brightly, to be my true self, and experience all that life has to offer!
Stop limiting myself.
Stop keeping myself in this little box, in an attempt to protect myself. Protecting my "persona."
I'll be fine. No, I'll be better than fine. I'll be amazing!