Over the last few years I have been on a journey of changing my mindset and lifestyle to mimic that of someone with grace and meaning.
To be honest, I do not know where it came from, but after it started, it kept gaining momentum.
I looked up to co-workers who volunteered at their churches or within their associations. I looked up to friends who would stand up to bullies who made others feel unworthy and I looked up to mothers that were instilling great lessons in their children.
And then I looked at myself. I was a child.
Yes, I worked to pay my bills and walked my dogs because it was my responsibility, but other than that, I partied with friends, ate unhealthy food and then watched movies as I recovered. I never really gained closeness with any particular friends because I was just filling up my schedule with many.
I was just trying to be someone everyone wanted around. What was I actually achieving and who was I impacting though? Nothing and No one.
This sounds like I am being pretty harsh on myself….
because I am….
…..and its not right!
I was comparing myself to others. How is that fair when I have no idea what challenges they suffered and how they became the way they are. I do not know how they learned to child rear so effectively- it could have been from their poor childhood leading them to do the opposite their parents did, or hopefully from a great a childhood that they experienced. They may have been bullied or been the bully at one point in time, or they may have needed to rely on community support in their past to get them through a difficult situation.
What I am trying to convey is that we are all unique individuals with unique experiences creating our own unique lives. It is great to rely on these people and experiences as a guide to gaining better perspective on how you want to see yourself, but please do not use them as a way to feel unworthy or inadequate.
We do not have to volunteer, have a big house or fancy car, we do not have to have a specific education or a certain number of friends in order to impact others or live with purpose. We just need to figure out what our unique desires and strengths are. We need to look within ourselves and embrace what brings us joy. By spending this time reflecting on what we want in our lives and more importantly why we want it, it gives us the opportunity to foster that. Rather than trying to live up to someone else’s uniqueness, you become someone that can be looked up to for future support.
I now know not to compare myself to people with masters in psychology, businesses in weight loss or specialists providing a service. I don’t know how they achieved that, and really, does it even matter? Instead, I will be successful because I will accept the fact that whatever I am doing, is because it makes me happy while keeping my life balanced.
How did I go from the flighty goofy girl that was just trying to fit in and be loved, to someone now trying to share the message of confidence, inner beauty and balance in life?
Well, it happened slowly….
And, to be honest, I’m still that goofy girl just having fun, but I am so much more than that. I am a person, like those I compared myself too, just on a different journey to find my version of happiness.
As a dental hygienist I have been able to impact many people by educating them while providing a service.
I have been able to help them make decisions on behavior change that will impact their future self and children. I have seen the difference in their health and attitude, and have received compliments from them personally.
This provided me with value and purpose.
I WAS impacting others, even when I did not feel I had worth..
I did love the impact I could have on peoples lives as a dental hygienist so I began volunteering on my professional association. I did it because I was guided in that direction by colleagues, not my own ambition. I did not feel like I had the tools to succeed (and to be honest I did not at the time), but it did not mean they weren’t in me. I just had to stop comparing myself to those before me and taking what I liked from them to create my unique approach. I was beginning to see that I did not have to be as good as someone else, I just had to put my strengths to work in the position I now carried.
I then joined 2 MLM companies- maybe not the best choice for me because I was a horrible sales person, but I offered products that I believed in. I witnessed them change peoples confidence and I knew I was offering products that could improve peoples health and lifestyle choices. When people shared their experiences with me, I felt like I was really impacting the world. And I felt great!
But this came at a price. I started to get obsessed. I spent time away from family to learn more about the products and how I was going to reach more people. I wanted to share them with everyone, because I thought they were the best things ever. But what I did not realize was that not everyone has the same beliefs, interests or knowledge as me, and they may not find value in what I did. So because of this, I was taking the lack of interest as a personal attack. I thought people did not want what I was selling because they did not like me, and I began to feel less worthy again.
Since I was in a dark place both emotionally and within my relationship, I sought out the expertise of a therapist. I was hoping she could tell me why I was broken and that there was just something wrong with me.
Instead she made me think about what I want to happen presently. She made me visit my past to see what has stopped me from achieving what I want now, and then to envision my future.
She did not tell me what to do or how to do it. She just asked me questions which lead me to express that I victimize myself and that is my own belief limiting me.
I taught myself without really knowing, that I need to be mindful and learn how to communicate.
.I then realized that I wanted to impact others by helping them find their way by looking within themselves for the answers. I knew I loved helping people reach new levels in health and wellness, so I decided that maybe I could incorporate that with my current profession.
I could help people discover the answers to their problems, help them find ways to incorporate the change they need and offer support along the way.
So, I put my limiting beliefs aside and I began a certified wellness coaching program. I did not plan on it becoming a business.
If I just incorporated my knowledge into helping people in my dental chair or if I just encouraged friends and family to focus on their uniqueness. I would be feeding my joy and creating purpose for myself.
But, I learned a lot about myself over the journey of this program, and that my scope of immediate friends and family was too narrow. So, here I am now! Helping people on mass by offering content on my website, writing articles in print and online magazines, working collaboratively to reach more people…and maybe even one day being a larger public figure???
How am helping others exactly?
By promoting self care as a necessity, not a selfish act. Do what makes you happy and healthy, and then you can influence those around you by leading by example.
Embrace your uniqueness and change the world around you.