I am who I am, not in comparison to others, but held accountable only to myself. (K.Blais)
January has been a tough month for me. It typically feels like the longest month of the year because we hit the after Christmas letdown and time seems to drag on with not much to look forward to. The days are generally very cold and often dark. Add to that the financial stresses of post Christmas, increased costs of just about everything, throw in some lack of sunshine and very cold days and there often seems like there is more negative than there is positive. It’s been a long month and I will admit that I haven’t always felt the most confident.
For anyone who knows me, or is about to get to know me, you will know (or quickly realize) that I am a high achiever. I set goals and aim to accomplish them. I try very hard not to be competitive but I find myself falling into that trap. I try not to play the ‘competition game’: I really detest that yucky, pit-of-the-stomach feeling that I get when I feel envious. I’ve written about envy before (see Battling the Green-Eyed Monster) and I should really practice what I preach, but … my dear readers, it is not always easy. This big, wide world is full of people striving to be their very best and while we applaud the success of others, we often wonder how we can carve a place of our own in a world where so many seem to be breaking trails and achieving things that we want for ourselves.
Another tidbit about me is that I am a people pleaser. (To some of you, this is not new information either – see Singing Soprano in an Alto World.) It is very hard for me to make decisions that I know will displease others. I have a tendency to fly under the radar, to run ideas past others I trust before committing to a decision, and yes, to even inconvenience myself or my own happiness so that others will be content. To be honest, none of those habits are things that leave me feeling good about myself, in fact, just the opposite. They strip my confidence and often lead to more feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. A vicious cycle, shall we say.
So, while January ends and February makes its grand entrance with promises of love and romance on Valentine’s Day (*she says tongue-in-cheek), and we get to celebrate family day together (seriously, yay!), I can’t help but feel that January’s quirks and qualms are not entirely to blame for my funk and simply saying good-bye to the month of January is not going to be the solution.
So, what exactly am I going to do about it?
Self reflection is the key, I believe. Here’s a peek inside the glass house:
I Will Believe In Myself.
That’s the first step. I need to believe that I am exactly who God intended me to be, with all of my flaws. I believe that everything happens for a reason, including my own moments of insecurities. It is my insecurity and my lack of confidence at times that keeps me from being vain and pretentious. It grounds me in the fact that I do not believe that I am any better than anyone else. I question myself daily. I am aware of my abilities but I acknowledge my weaknesses as well. I can be my own worst critic and am harder on myself than I need to be. While it is the human tendency to judge another, I need to be kinder to myself. I need to love myself so that others will too.
The Only Person I Need To Be Better Than Is The Person I Was Yesterday.
I don’t need to compare myself to others. There is no one in the exact same position as I am and I do not walk in anyone else’s shoes, nor do they walk in mine. I’ve also learned that people think about things far less than I think about them, in the sense that the small issues that I’m afraid are a big deal may not have even affected others or crossed their mind at all. I have a tendency to be super sensitive to how others are feeling and at times misjudge that their detachment or preoccupation is because of something related to me (or something that I have done) when often it is not. I cannot measure my success by anyone else’s nor can they measure theirs by mine. Our achievements are our own personal successes in whatever form they may take.
I Was Given This Life Because I Am Strong Enough To Live It.
God will never give me more than I can handle. When He closes a door, He opens a window. I need to always keep my eyes and my heart open for opportunities that are provided. Each day is another opportunity to wake up to new blessings and new beginnings. I was given this life because it was to be mine to live. I need to be thankful for each blessing, each struggle, and each learning opportunity because each, in turn, helps me to grow and become the person who I am.
I AM Are Two Of The Most Important Words I Can Use Because What I Put After Them Shapes My Reality.
In considering this statement I was also empowered by my friend Louise’s mission statement in her blog (check it out 100 Pounds in 2013 : Making It My Mission). In order to believe in myself and be confident in my abilities I have to believe that I AM who I believe I am. A quote that I have always loved, “What you think about, you bring about” (Mary Kay), inspires me to think positively about life even in challenging situations. If I think things are going to go badly, they probably will, but if I think things will turn around and turn out to be positive, then chances are good that they will do just that! Another source of inspiration has been reading Keeping Positive in a Bad-Ass World by my friend Sandy which reminds me that even though things may seem rough, there is always a positive way to look at them.
I Will Take Each Day At A Time.
I recently found a quote which I put on the Writing For The Love of It facebook page that stated, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.” I will focus on taking one step at a time. I will take each day as it comes, and I will be grateful for all that it brings. I will do my best and I will let God do the rest.
In a world that seems more determined to beat one down than to build one up most days, I will remember that I am who I am according to me. I am exactly how I see myself and how I believe myself to be according to my own accountability and no one else’s.
At least, that’s how things look inside this glass house.
(Dear Readers, Thank you for your continued support! Please take a moment to share your thoughts either on this blog post or on our facebook page Writing For The Love of It. Follow me on Twitter at @kim_blais. Be who you are according to you! Always, ~ K ~)