Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? Like the odd man out. Like somewhere along the way everyone got the memo except for you. Maybe it went to your junk mail or spam filtered it out, but either way you just don’t quite belong.
Do you ever feel like you aren’t enough? Like a train wreck you can’t look away from. A failure. A ticking time bomb of nerves and stress. There are deadlines and appointments. Practices and meal planning. Each thing pulling you in 50 different directions – each reminding you of all the areas you lack.
Do you ever hang your worth on a number or an object? Only to be disappointed in yourself. If I only could fit into this size. Be this number. Get that promotion … THEN I will be happy. THEN I will feel confident.
Do you ever glance over your shoulder and see the woman next to you absolutely crushing it and wonder, “How does she do it?” How does she stay so motivated and so driven? Only to look at your own life and think, “What am I doing?”
I have. In fact, if I’m being honest I did just yesterday. I have beat myself up and run myself to the ground over something as trivial as how I looked in a photo. I have hung my worth, my God-given talents on others’ perceptions of me. I’ve been told, “I’m a square peg in a round hole” and believed it. I’ve critiqued and disapproved of myself and my shortcomings to the point where I almost made myself sick.
But why? For what? Societal expectations? Please.
Day in and day out we are inundated with phrases like ‘find your tribe’ ‘practice self-care’ ‘find your community.’ So we try. We fight so hard to fit in; to find our community and our people. And when we don’t, we feel isolated and disconnected. We wonder why her tribe looks like 10 women when ours looks like one. We shift our focus inward. We start to believe that maybe it’s just us.
But sis, it’s not just you. It’s not just me. It’s EVERYONE. We all feel these things. Even the strongest women doubt themselves. We all have moments where we start to compare. We all have moments when we stare at ourselves in disappointment. We beat ourselves up over every little thing. We get in our own heads and fight like hell to get back out.
But believe me, and I’m speaking to myself when I say this – you are beautiful and you are perfectly imperfect just as you are. Stop chasing numbers and perfection. In a world that screams “more” be OK with sitting in less.
Run your own race. At your own pace. On your own time. Stop hustling in an effort to prove your own worth. Stay in your own lane. Stop glancing over your shoulder to see who is ahead or behind you and just run.
So you are a square peg in a round hole – that’s OK. It’s what makes you, YOU. It’s what sets you apart and makes you unique. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t suppress it to be someone you aren’t.
Be so content. So focused and happy pursuing and living out your dreams and your life that you have ZERO time to worry about what others around you think. Be comfortable in your own skin. A beautiful thing happens when we enter this space. The weight lifts and it frees you up. It frees you from self-doubt and worry. You stop measuring and start believing. Sure we all have our moments of weakness where we succumb to the internal dialogue, but we don’t stay there.
Why? Because we know who we are and the value we bring to the table; flaws and all.
You get one chance, sis. ONE. Don’t spend it sitting in guilt and unmet expectations. Put it down. Live so unapologetically that people can’t help but notice.
This story originally appeared on They Whine, So I Wine