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It’s probably pretty obvious that I’m doing some soul-searching and trying to find some deep answers to changing my life. I’m not always as aware as I’d like to be, but sometimes, like today I am. Something that happened earlier today seemed to fit so well with what I’ve been thinking, and I feel like I need to write about it.
Someone I know has gotten into crafting. Bless them, they’re excelling at something I’m really not good at. I’d like to be, but I just can’t get it. They, however, picked it up and flew, like they’d known how for ages. It’s pretty cool. Today they asked me if I thought that what they were doing was a good idea. Was it a worthy way to spend time? They were looking to the outside for approval, rather than inside.
I asked if it would matter if I didn’t approve. Would they stop? They said they’d strongly consider it. So one comment from one outside source has the power to make them stop doing something that they enjoy and are talented at. That’s not good at all. I encouraged them to have more faith in their work and the value of it. I told them to enjoy how good they are and how good it makes them feel. If I say it’s stupid (which I never would) it shouldn’t matter. I have no place to be the sole determiner of someone else’s life path.
I can remember when I was like that. All the time. I wanted outside approval, and every time someone said I was doing something wrong or that what I wanted couldn’t possibly work, I thought about quitting. I actually did quit many things over the years. I changed tactics based on the never-agreeing opinions of other people. I was adrift in the wind, basing my life on the whims and desires of others. I was seriously unhappy.
Over time I have worked to get back to the place I once resided in, not physically, but mentally. It was a wonderful place where I took advice and asked for help but never let myself be swayed by the negativity of others. I laughed at those who thought I was sure to fail. I smiled broadly when I proved myself right. I was a creative dynamo, living for my time at the work table, celebrating every sale, having unwavering faith in myself. I loved my life, even though in many ways it was far from the best. My confidence and love of my work was all I really needed.
Somewhere along the line I lost that. So many people said I’d fail, or that I had to do things a certain way. Hardly anyone had faith in me, and negativity abounded not just toward me, but to everyone. It was like a global shift from a world of support and encouragement to one of competition and pessimism. It became so prevalent that I lost my faith in myself and my work. I thought I had to be doing what someone else said was right.
What I really needed then, and need now, is to remember that I’m going after my passion, my dreams for work and life. I’m damn good at what I do too. I have everything I need to be a success, no one can take that from me unless I let them. My worth and ability don’t come from someone else’s belief in what I’m doing, they come from my own. The great wall that separates me from my beautiful future isn’t failing to please someone else or living the way others want, it’s in not holding to that unwavering belief that I can be and do anything, no matter the odds.
Don’t let anyone else’s opinions or ideas determine what you do or don’t do. Live your own life. Find your passions and follow them. What other think people doesn’t matter if you’re happy. Remind other people of that too. Even today I had to turn to friends for some cheerleading, to help me regain that lost faith and drive. It’s a work in progress, but I do believe we can all achieve our dreams, we just have to believe in ourselves enough to do it.