Although admittedly mysterious (and also the title of this post), things that we don’t talk about have been on my mind lately. Let me give you a little background on why I think this is, and in turn, a glimpse into some of the things we don’t talk about.
Lately, I’ve become really into journaling. At first it felt like something I had to make myself do–a task on my to-do list. Jotting down my thoughts felt futile and honestly a little childish.
However, with disciplined practice, I’ve come to enjoy journaling so much that I’ve been reaching for my journal instinctively (it helps that I ordered a cute little pink one with my name engraved on the soft leather cover). I’ve been journaling almost everyday for over a week now, and it’s had a huge impact on my daily outlook. I had heard the therapeutic benefits of journaling, but I tend to be one of those people that thinks of self-reflection, whether it be journaling, meditation, or spending time alone without any sort of distractions, as a chore more than anything. It’s alarming how afraid I’ve been be to be alone with my thoughts.
I’ve been working on uncovering why this is. During this process, I’ve found that I tend to care more about what other people think of me than I care about what I think of me, which is why I think it’s so hard for me to trust myself and feel comforted in my own head. It’s as if I want some other entity, spirit, or person to validate every single thought, action, and utterance I make.
I’ve been uncovering the layers of this lackluster perception of myself and come to several conclusions. First, this lack of confidence gives me a lot of anxiety, and in rudimentary terms, does not make me feel good. I think we all aspire to be the person that is totally confident in herself and her abilities. The person who can sit for hours with herself and create beautiful things. The person who enjoys going on solo trips around the world.
But that’s not what I’m striving for right now. Right now, I want to be able to wake up everyday and walk around confidently 95% of the time. I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving for peace. I think that is a big thing we don’t talk about.
I don’t want this desire for confidence to be mistaken with a lack of self-love. That is a whole different and worthy topic to discuss. Some of us know our worth and love ourselves, but it doesn’t translate into how we treat ourselves in our heads. No matter how much potential we think we have, we lack the confidence. It’s almost hard to type that, because in certain facets of my life, I am very confident. For example, I never turn in a project at work and think “Is this good enough? Did I do a good job? Am I good enough?” I’ve always excelled at school and professionally. Therefore, it’s not been something I’ve ever really worried about. I am of the type A class of society that doesn’t need someone to tell me to put my nose to the grindstone.
But in other areas of my life, those areas where there isn’t someone evaluating me, my confidence tends to go down the drain. When I am the evaluator, I do not find myself qualified. This translates into believing that every opinion I have of myself is unqualified, and in turn being riddled with self-doubt.
I do not want to live my life this way. And if you are reading this and can relate, I don’t think you do either.
What I’ve realized on my path to confidence is that believing that you have power, that you have agency, is the best antidote to anxiety and self-doubt. Are you afraid to fly on an airplane? Are you afraid to pursue your passions and find a new job? Are you afraid to put yourself out there, or breakup with a toxic partner? Are you afraid to be left in your own head, a victim of your self-defeating thoughts?
Well, guess what? That can stop RIGHT NOW. Because you are powerful and capable of flying on an airplane. You can quit your job and find a new one that more closely aligns with your passions. You can find someone amazing. You can let go of things that aren’t serving you. RIGHT NOW. No one is going to make you do it. No one is forcing you to leave or stay. But you are strong and are in total control of yourself, and you are capable of writing your own story.
That fear of airplanes? That fear is rooted in your THOUGHTS, not reality. Want to show your thoughts who’s boss? Go fly on an airplane! When you do things you’re afraid of, you show your thoughts who’s really in control.
We often do not realize how powerful we truly are. Everything that we experience, whether outwardly or inwardly, is our choice. Every single day we write the next page in our story. My journal has become the physical manifestation of that.
What will yours be?