One thing you should know about me is that I love learning and I’m obsessed with personal growth. I love reading books about personal development and attending workshops or seminars that focus on transformation. I’m someone who really tries my best to be self aware and to improve upon my weaknesses.
Last year, I went to a workshop that talked about the masks that people hide behind and the reasons we wear those masks. I noticed that over the last few years, there are several masks I’ve worn that have been holding me back.
I’ve realized I’ve been wearing an “agreeable mask” in order to avoid rocking the boat. This behavior has shown up on my social media. I have sometimes avoided posting about controversial topics at the risk of being seen, heard, and judged.
This behavior has also shown up in personal relationships. Whenever I am meeting new people, I often like to hear from others to understand how they think. I want to know what my audience is like so I understand how to appeal to my audience. This comes from my inclination to want to be “likable”.
Another one of my weaknesses is this ability to want to appear perfect and to “look good” (not necessarily physically) all the time. I know some people think it’s cute to say this is a weakness of theirs, but this truly is a weakness. Wanting to appear perfect or do things perfectly can hold you back because it can keep you from making your contribution to the world. For example I’ve thought about blogging for a year now, and have been slow to execute because I wanted the blog to look a certain way before it was seen. I’ve come to realize that appearing perfect all the time is not necessary. More importantly, its not what the world needs.
I’ve also realized that perfection is not relatable and it really just comes off as inauthentic because guess what – it is! No one is perfect or does everything perfectly all the time. I’m definitely far from perfect and honestly its too much effort to worry about what other people think of my flaws. Actually, I’ve found that you can connect on a deeper level when you share your struggles with others. Every time I’ve attended an event and heard someone speak I’ve connected with their stories when they’ve been honest and vulnerable about the mistakes they’ve made and the failures they’ve experienced. It is because it’s made them appear more human.
The power lies behind learning how hard someone fell and then hearing how they kept hope alive and overcame their failure. There is actually an opportunity to inspire others through your imperfections. There is actually an account on instagram that I love following: @watchjazzy. Jazzy is so funny and authentic. She posted a video earlier this year and I couldn’t agree with it more. She says “When you struggle, think about how bomb your inspiration testimony is about to be.” I love it! This is so true and its a great mindset to have when you make mistakes or go through hard times.
Overall – the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that – It truly doesn’t serve you to focus on what other people think about your voice, mistakes, opinions, decisions, personal projects or failures. In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by opinions when you reach decisions, you will not succeed in any undertaking.” It is crazy to me that we often stop ourselves from putting ourselves out there and opening ourselves up to opportunity because we feel shy or shameful about what people might think. Isn’t your own happiness/opinion more important than the opinion of others?!
In 2018, I want to tackle this head on. The truth is, I have plenty to contribute and not everyone is going to agree with my perspectives or opinions. If you are someone who has trouble with this, consider the people you admire: musicians, athletes, politicians, businessmen etc. No matter how many people like them or follow them there are always people out there who do not like them. These people are still “great” or “successful” despite this. 2018 is the year where I find my voice and authentically share my thoughts. It’s the year where I stop caring about whether everyone agrees with me or likes me. I challenge you to do the same.