It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
Take, for instance, this blog. It’s 12:23am on March 15, 2014. I am putting together content and hoping to launch this site in about 2 months. I’m terrified.
It’s a dream that I’ve always had, but never moved forward with it because of an immense fear of what others will think. I fear how people will judge me. Will I come across as pompous? Will my friends think I’m trying to be a know-it-all? Am I sharing too much information? Will it fail? Will it be a waste of my time and (precious little) brain power?
All of these questions have swirled in my mind for years. Until now.
A week and a half ago, I just decided to do something drastic.
I stopped listening.
It’s really simple. I’m deciding to stop being afraid.
Do you have something like this in your life? Is there something that you’ve always wanted to try, or always wanted to accomplish, but your inner voice has told you that you can’t? I have a challenge for you. And it’s really simple. Stop listening. And focus on what you can do.
For me, it’s a matter of finally just putting my foot down. Kinda like when the toddler’s climbed on the dining room table 5 times before noon. My gentle warnings and “please don’ts” eventually become “that’s unacceptable.”
And that’s what I’m saying to the voices who are telling me I can’t.
Hey doubts, fears and insecurities, check this out. You are unacceptable to me. Because you’re wrong. I can.
As moms, it seems we are never who we want to be. Our houses are a mess. Our clothes aren’t ironed. We don’t eat organic. Our kids don’t listen to us. We are too fat. We are not stylish enough. We held onto that baby weight too long (30 years too long). We are too tired. We are too distracted. We are too obsessed with pleasing others, with competing with other moms.
But really, why don’t we take a bold stand, and stop harping on ourselves?
After all, when we critique ourselves, no one wins. There is nothing to gain. No one benefits when we have unrealistic (read: impossible) expectations of ourselves.
So, for me, that means I’m deciding to alter my expectations of myself and let success come from me deciding to do something that I’m passionate about. I’m deciding to embrace all the positive things that can come from me moving forward with this dream. I’m deciding to believe in myself. Because I need to.
And because my kids need me to.
I want to raise children who grow up knowing a strong mama. A woman who is determined, confident and sure. A woman who glows because she has peace from within. I want to raise children who don’t have any reason to question their gut. Because their mom never did. I want to raise children who believe in themselves, because they are worth it.
And so is their mom. Right?
But really, why did it take me so long? Why are we so hard on ourselves?
We are beautiful. And authentic. And real. And we should be proud of those imperfections. Because they’re a sign of our strength.
We’ve got thighs that are scribbled with stretch marks, but they’re perfect for pushing strollers with precious cargo across the sand. We’ve been wearing that barf-stained shirt for the last 2 days because our baby had the flu and a shower didn’t matter. We’ve got pale, doughy, anti-Hollywood stomachs, but they are perfect for when our babies need a soft pillow and a place to close their perfect little innocent eyes. The babies who grew inside of us, who thrived, who were created out of nothing in our warm comfy wombs, for 10 months.
We’re doing the best we can. Why can’t we see ourselves as the gorgeous, unique, worthy-of-God women that we are?
I’ve always considered myself a confident person. But, recently, when I started looking at all of the questions (read: doubts) that I put in my head regarding starting this blog, I had to take a hard look in the mirror. And realize that I was the person standing in the way of my dreams. Because I was letting those fears control me.
I don’t need to doubt myself because I make mistakes. I don’t need to be disappointed in myself because I’m not perfect. I don’t need to second-guess myself because I can’t tell the future. I don’t need to put myself down because I have weaknesses. I don’t need to put pressure on myself because there are millions of “better” blogs out there.
I need to love myself. And know that I am capable.
Because my kids need to see that their mother is worth loving.
It means they are too.
It’s my hope that this post encourages you to push toward the things that scare you. You CAN do it. You just need to believe it.