Many of the women I talk with don’t have enough time, don’t feel good enough or worthy of what they have and to compensate they armour themselves up so that they won’t get hurt. I’m the same. As women and as mums we spend so much time trying so hard to be good, dependable, busy and perfect that we lose sight of ourselves and our dreams.
We’re busy with the busy work. There are meetings and reports at work; dishes and washing at home; spending time with the kids, doing homework and playing; going to sports and the list goes on… Very often, without realising it, we’ve squashed and crammed our essential essence into a tiny little box to fit and forgotten who we are. All to please other people.
I’m in my mid thirties and I’ve just discovered that a lot of the decisions I’ve made in my life weren’t made with love for myself. I’ve made them based on the fear of what I might become if I don’t do these things. A lack of understanding who I am has created a version of me that I don’t know and certainly never anticipated becoming.
Becoming a mother was the biggest catalyst for change in my life. It kick started a journey that is so much more than merely learning to care for and nurture a tiny little being. It’s become a journey of self discovery. My dream for my daughter is that she will become an intelligent, kind, trusting and self-confident person who understands her worth and the value of others.
Reflecting on this goal, I realised that I couldn’t say the same things about myself. And so it began. The first step in helping my daughter to become person I hope she will be, is to become that person myself.
These are some Ted Talks that have shoved me off the cliff of safety and started the free-fall into self discovery. Watch them, savour them and most of all work towards becoming the happiest version of yourself.
You are worthy, so ask
Do you hate to ask anyone for anything? You don’t want to be a burden to anyone so you just keep quiet. You do it all yourself, and often times getting mad because no one is offering to help you. Especially those times when they should be able to see that you’re so busy and tired.
Asking. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn yet it has made such a profound change in my life. There are fears that come with asking. The fear of being vulnerable. The fear that you’re not worthy. The fear of rejection. The fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being a burden. There is a societal acceptance that asking for help is admitting that we’ve failed and I’ve suffered from all of them.
Asking is about trust. You trust that the person you’re asking will respond appropriately, they’re trusting that you will ask and respond respectfully.
In ‘The Art of Asking’, Amanda Palmer shows us that it’s ok to ask and it’s ok to trust.
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Vulnerability is not a weakness
We must be strong, we must not show weakness, we must soldier on. Many of us unconsciously share these thoughts daily.
We derive so much of what we believe from those around us. And those around us, from those around them. And so on. Somewhere in history, the collective thought decided that vulnerability was a weakness and it kind of stuck. To be worthy we must be strong. Our society shows disdain for those who are considered weak or vulnerable.
In a video that has had over 18 million views, Brené Brown explains vulnerability and what it really means, and why we should embrace it to become the best version of ourselves.
The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown
Fake it till you become it
Have you ever wanted to be more confident? You’re about to go into a job interview, your legs are shaking, the butterflies in your stomach are having their own little fluttery demolition derby and your breathing is so shaky it’s like a toddler taking her first few steps.
Amy Cuddy talks about how you can shape yourself using body language. If you fake the confidence you wish you felt, then eventually you will feel it. By using power poses you can become who you want to be. We all need a little more confidence. Unless you’re a politician. Then you need less.
Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy
Introverts unite. Separately. In your own homes.
Ever wondered why you get tired after spending time with people? A cosy chat with a friend or two is ok but any more people than that and you feel like you need to curl up in bed and have a good long snooze. If this sounds like you, you could be an introvert, my friend. But as an introvert you’re probably quite studious and already know that.
Susan Cain breaks it down for us. Introverts are not wrong or broken, we’re just different. A difference that’s not accepted or valued in a society that shows disdain for vulnerability and weakness, and prizes being social and outgoing. Introverts differences should be celebrated. Susan reassures us that introverts are perfectly ok being who they are, we need to accept ourselves.
This is a bonus video and won’t apply to everyone. Introverts are a minority, so if you suspect you might be one, watch the video. You’ll be glad you did.
The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
These stories show strength and courage. These people have discovered different ways to become authentic and live their lives on their own terms. They’re not perfect, but they own who they are.
I’m not perfect by any means, I’m a woman on a path of self discovery. With intentionality I’m discovering who I am and embracing the results. I’m exploring many things and finding what I love, and with passion, following my dreams. With conviction, I’m standing up for what I believe in. I’m creating my own authentic life.
To be authentic and learn to trust we must be vulnerable. By opening ourselves up to other people, to who we are, what we want and what we value, we also create the opportunity to be hurt. But isn’t living authentically worth the pain? We all have the opportunity to create our own happiest life.
What are your favourite TED talks? Share in the comments.
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