The Fear of Being You

What about this theory, the fear of not being enough, and the fear of being ‘too much’ are exactly the same fear.  the fear of being you.  @Nayyirah.Waheed

This came up in my Instagram feed today and really hit home with me.  “The fear of being you.”  Why do I fear being me and showing the real me to the world?

I am a performer.  Not a ‘get on a stage and put on a show’ performer.  I am a person who has lived my life with the core belief that  I have to perform or do something to be worthy of love and acceptance.  I have to perform to make myself worthy of other people’s time, attention and affection.

If you are also a performer, you know exactly how torturous this can be.  Just how much anxiety it creates in your life.  You are never sure if you’ve done enough to earn or deserve love and acceptance.  And you know that even if you have, it is temporary and you must continue to perform to keep that love and acceptance.  If you do start to feel some pride in your accomplishments you then worry about being ‘too much’.  Are you being obnoxious and arrogant?  Have you now lost the love and acceptance you’ve worked so hard to earn because you have made too big of a deal about your performance?

I’ve recently just finished the first phase of an ongoing project at work.  The group I’m working with has gone live with this phase despite many roadblocks and lack of clear requirements.  I am extremely proud of and thankful for all the hard work of this team to get to where we are right now.

Yet personally there is a part of me dwelling on all the things still unfinished – all the things that are still unanswered.  I’ve spent time agonizing over whether I did enough.  If there were other things I could have done, could have pursued.  Rather than focus on and being proud of what I’ve done as part of this team, I’m focused on what I’ve not resolved yet.  When my manager says how happy she is and proud of what we’ve accomplished, all I can do is sit there and wonder when she is going to see through to the fraud I really am and see all the areas where I’ve failed (at least in my mind).

When did I buy into this lie that my worth is tied to what I do?  I have three children I love unconditionally, regardless of what they do or don’t do.  But I am unable to love myself in this way or believe others could love me for who I am – not just for what I do.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to be ‘good enough’ and always believing I was falling short of the mark.  Never seeing the truth – That I AM good enough without doing anything!  And acknowledging that without shame or guilt.

NEWS FLASH!!! I can be loved and accepted for who I AM – not for my performance!  And so can you!  We deserve it!!

I’m learning I am my own worst enemy – my own worst critic.  I have a bully that lives in my head and I’ve given her way WAY too much control!  I am way too hard on myself and I need to show myself more compassion.

I am also realizing that while I’ve made some positive strides in this area in the past year, I still have a long way to go.  And sometimes (okay, a lot of time!) I focus more on the things I have not done yet rather than being proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.  In these moments, I’m being hard on myself for being hard on myself!  And that makes me laugh – this cycle is just so crazy!  But it is a process and probably something I will be working on for the rest of my life.  Eventually it will get easier and come more naturally – but it will always be something I need to be conscious of and strive towards.  This is going to be a daily choice to show myself compassion and to accept myself.  It may even be an hour by hour or minute by minute choice.  But in the end that is okay.  Because I AM worthy of acceptance and love and I am not ‘too much’ either.  More than anything I deserve compassion and acceptance and love from MYSELF!  Because if I can’t do that for me – how can I do it for anyone else?

So from this day, hour and minute forward – I say “F this fear!”  I will be proud of ME and I will do so with no fear or guilt.  I will stand with my head held high and will accept ME exactly as I am – imperfections and all because those are the things that make me uniquely me.   Those are the things that make me so darn lovable!

I accept me, right here and right now.  Just as I am.  Imperfect, Beautiful and Glorious ME!!!!

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