Once upon a time I felt invincible. As if I was cloaked in confidence with a clear purpose that enabled me to be extremely self aware, refusing to accept any limits on what I could achieve. I knew where I was going and there was no question that my dreams would be fulfilled. It’s as if I ate, drank and slept a limitless supply of awesomesauce that that I could see and tap into. I lived. Once upon a time.
It’s been some time since I felt such energy and fulfillment, and I’m not sure I know what it feels like anymore. I can’t pinpoint a specific date, but there came a time when my confidence reserve ran dry. No more confidence. No more purpose. Leaving a vulnerable and unfocused drifter often scared and fearless. Where was I going? And seemingly overnight, my hopes for success and gratification vanished. What was left was a woman, a woman I couldn’t face in the mirror. I let her down. I let me down. I immediately felt as if success wasn’t attainable – that I was destined to struggle for the rest of my life. That I had no control over what the future had in store and I was merely a passenger in my life.
The combination of balancing serious health issues, single parenthood, a dysfunctional extended family and an evolving relationship took it’s toll. I had enough. Instead of finding a plan B, C or D I did something I’ve never done. I accepted my situation as my life, for life. Instead of viewing my current situation as a setback or hurdle that could be conquered I saw the opposite, resulting in crippling fear of anything new and unfamiliar and a need to be alone all the time. When I looked in the mirror, I had no idea of the girl staring back at me. I refused to face who I’d chosen to become.
I realized too late that “our soul and psyche need breathing space – a respite from leaping from one to-do to the next” and that feeling unhappy was something I refused to accept as normal. I hid in the background and was waiting for someone else to make my life better, as I assumed I didn’t hold the resources necessary to truly change my life and hone in on my passions.
For weeks I’ve been asking myself “Alex, what are you waiting for? What is holding you back from living the life YOU want?” I have a ton of reasons: family commitments, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, money and most importantly the fear of greatness. The stress and doubt has cumulated and created a nervous and scared girl weary to make any changes in her life. If I couldn’t see the next step, I couldn’t move forward.
While commuting to work this morning I thought about the choices I’ve made (good and bad) and how when I lay my head on my pillow I feel something missing. So I proceeded to call my estranged Mom, my estranged sister, my 94yo grandmother and my Uncle whose son committed suicide just before Christmas. I craved comfort from those who had both challenged and loved me fiercely. To achieve I knew I needed support. Most conversations were full of tears but left me with one crucial takeaway:
Don’t wait to tell the people you love how important they are to you.
Don’t wait to try something new.
Don’t wait to live abundantly.
Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Don’t wait to celebrate you.
Don’t wait to soar.
Don’t wait to LOVE YOU.
I’ve struggled with constant feelings of disappointment and not being good enough or adequate enough for many years. I often feel inferior to my peers and find myself miserable more than happy. I couldn’t see the power I possessed. I couldn’t see the love I had to offer. I couldn’t see my purpose. And now I know that “only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”
Whatever obstacles you face, regardless of how fearful you may be – put in the work in first loving YOU. Appreciating YOU.Feeling fully at peace in your soul will open up opportunities you couldn’t ever have imagined. So, DON’T WAIT. Go out, achieve, ask for what you want and don’t stop until you get what you deserve. Because, you are worth it.