I’m a reformed angry girl.
It wasn’t quite a year ago that I made a promise to stop justifying my crappy behavior. So I did something really cliché, I vowed to devote an entire year to loving myself better. The craziest part is … I think it worked.
Nothing is all that brave unless you’re a least a little terrified before you do it. Personally, committing to loving myself wasn’t like deciding to step outside my comfort zone, it was something more akin to running a marathon blindfolded—next to impossible and pretty ridiculous looking. The thing about reinventing yourself is that it’s all about you (shocking, right?). I realized that if I didn’t start to change the less than savory parts of myself, there was a large chance that I would wake up in 75 years and think, “I don’t particularly like me.”
A year ago, I didn’t particularly like me because I didn’t particularly like people. I’ve made the mistake of trying to repurpose others in order to make them fit me. Like trying to hammer a puzzle piece where it isn’t meant to fit, I would spend way too much time and energy focusing on the things other people did that made me angry rather than focusing time on my own vision. Envy, jealously and insecurity, those things are really easy to resort to (take it from an expert), but learning to just be yourself is the tricky part.
Nothing is all that brave unless you’re a least a little terrified before you do it.
You know what use to make me really angry? When my friends were more successful than I was. Getting promoted, engagement parties, really good hair days, it would make me angry that someone else appeared on the outside to be better than I thought I could ever be. But, you know what? When you shift your mental spotlight away from those around you, you quickly realize that no matter what level of success you attain, you will always have the baggage of yourself. I could have the best job, the best husband and the best hair, but honestly, that probably still wouldn’t keep me from being angry.
The only thing the cools the anger that too often wells up inside is not being a self-hater. Change doesn’t happen when you realize that you don’t like the person you’ve become, it happens when you love yourself enough to recognize that you deserve better than a life filled with insecurities. In the past several months, I’ve learned that I’m an individual with a lot of feelings, and that taking the time to learn who to channel those feelings toward isn’t a sign of weakness or condemnation, but is a tactic to love myself and those around me better. I’ve discovered that it has never been success that has inhibited me from being angry, but it has always been the way that I feel about myself and the lack of love that I offer myself that’s been the real issue.
The only thing the cools the anger that too often wells up inside is not being a self-hater.
Waking up a year ago and realizing that I was becoming someone I didn’t like was terrifying. But in that moment, I knew that I had two options: to step forward into something a little uncomfortable and admittedly silly, like devoting a year to loving myself, or stay inside my comfortable bubble of negativity.
I’ve never had to second guess my decision to take that leap outside of what used to make me comfortable. Every day when I wake up and feel a little more anger has been chipped away from my heart, I know that I’ve made the right choice. Looking forward, not back, choosing love, not envy—that stuff is scary, but oh, is it worth it.
What’s one way you can step outside of your comfort zone today?
Images via Jaicee Morgan