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Updated: Aug 11, 2019

I worry about what others think far too much. I am not sure where it started, but I know it has been omnipresent throughout my life. It has created so much angst throughout my life and still does. Even as I write this blog, I find myself sharing my writing with people to get their approval before I post. I place more emphasis on what others think and approve of over what I think and believe. It is as if I am sitting in the backseat of the car that is my life. There are significant consequences associated with this type of belief system and way of living. I ride the highs and lows of other people’s opinions, and I create a high level of anxiety in myself as I wait impatiently for the approval of someone. I am my own worst enemy because I give away my worth and value to other people. It leaves me feeling depleted, unworthy, and creates a world that relies on extrinsic praise to fill my bucket. External recognition is, of course, is fleeting and fickle.

Jen Sincero says, “Most people are living an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.” Somewhere along the way, I developed a belief that I was not good enough. I stopped trusting my gut and stopped valuing myself. It is a tough pill to swallow as I think about how I have violated myself for so long. It has been an incredible awakening for me. I have watched my thoughts and how destructive my internal monologue is daily. I would never want this type of negativity and toxic thinking to enter the minds of my children or the people I care about, so why is it okay to do to myself? I have been trying to change my thought patterns and thinking, and you would be surprised at the impact. I find myself feeling guilty for shifting my thinking to recognize myself positively. I have unearthed how deeply embedded my unworthy beliefs go. It is terrifying and invigorating.

I am astounded at how careless I am about destroying myself with my inner monologue. It is just as if it is “all in a day’s work.” These thoughts are ritualized in my mind and flow effortlessly through my stream of consciousness. I have programmed myself to believe that this is normal, and I deserve this type of treatment. It is genuinely abuse, and it is at the hands of myself. I would never remain in a relationship with someone who treated me like this, but for 45 years, I have stuck with myself. I have taken every lick, and I have stuck around for more. Even more, frightening is I believed I deserved it. It makes me want to vomit as I write this.

It isn’t all bad, though. There is a beautiful and exciting part of all of this realization, as it is a new beginning. To recognize how destructive I have been to myself and see where I am now is making me think that the possibilities are endless. If I could be this terrible to myself and be as successful as I am, how successful could I be with me in the corner serving as my biggest fan? Now that is a question worth considering, and boy does that make me smile. Eager anticipation fills me as I think about the future that is in store for me.

Message to my daughters: Embracing yourself for all that you are is the best gift you can give to yourself. Honoring your strengths while being gentle and nurturing the areas you want to strengthen is a critical component to living the best life you can. The truth is you are the only you in the entire world, and you are pretty awesome just as you are. Love yourself and treat yourself with the respect you deserve. Be your biggest cheerleader!

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