I encourage others because I’m encouraging myself at the same time.
Be you. Don’t let the haters get you down. Keep showing up. I’ve been known to share these messages often. I mean them each time I say them, but I don’t always believe them about myself. Does this make me a fraud? No. It makes me human. While I have had many genuinely positive moments of self-acceptance, I’ve had some challenging moments as well. It comes and goes. One day I’ll be in a room of people, and could care less of what they think of me. Some days, anxiety kicks in and I’m worried that the person I am isn’t good enough, cool enough, or Black enough (or too Black depending on the situation). I fear critique and conflict. I end up over-qualifying why I began this project or greeted that stranger in passing. Worry is whisper. Only you can hear it and others have no idea of what you’re going through. But, I push forward.
Recently, I’ve been taking time to notice moments when I’m not being myself in order to make others happy. It happens a lot. It’s disconcerting. My next goals are to:
Do a few things that scare me.
Speak up even if it causes conflict.
Schedule in self-care time.
I keep telling myself: You’re 28, you should have this all figured out by now. That’s a huge lie. There is no right way. There is no right time. We just fumble until we figure it out – little by little.