I wanted to start my new blog with this post as something positive and also something that helps to explain why I am doing this. I actually asked my best friend what I should blog about for my first post and she responded, “It’s ok to say no”. She proposed this because I am always talking about boundaries and being ok with saying no in your life. The premise being that you don’t have to feel like you have to do everything that is asked of you by everyone in your life. You have to get to a point in your life where you are comfortable enough with yourself to put yourself first and that means sometimes saying no to those you care about. There is a flip side to this as well, which is why I decided to spin her idea into “It’s ok to say “'Yes'". It’s super common for people to tell you and preach to others the importance of saying no and setting your boundaries but what does that conversation look like when we turn it around on ourselves? What should we be telling ourselves about our thoughts and dreams? Why not say yes to ourselves?
I think that a lot of people feel similar to how I have felt for a long time, that we need some sort of approval or encouragement to give value to what we want to do or acquire. I have felt this way for forever. For example this blog, this blog is a little out of the box right? This isn’t your typical 9-5 job, in an office, glued to my job and wishing I was anywhere else… So when I had this thought to make this blog I naturally had moments of “oh this can’t really work can it?” or “would anyone want to hear anything that I want to say and start conversations about in society?” Then, to seek some sort of validation for what I was wanting to do I spoke with my friends and family about it. I went out and purposefully asked for validation from people who were brought up the same way that I was that in order to make a good life you have to work hard, at a job. Let’s think about this. I want to do something outside the box so I seek approval from those who believe in the box. Have any of you ever done that? When I sat down and really starting thinking about this I realized how silly this process was. If I really wanted approval from others, the people that I should have been talking to and seeking this from should have been people that think outside the box. People who see the value in working smarter not harder. People who are not tied mentally to the idea that we all have to go work for some company in order to make a good life for ourselves. So why was I going to people who are not in the same head space as myself? Was I looking for that disapproval so that I could have an excuse to not try? Or was I looking for that disapproval so that I could feel like I could do this just to prove a point? Is any of this valuable to what I am trying to do? The answer is no. None of this process, which is totally my process for almost everything that I do, is valuable to what I want.
Seeking approval from others is a natural feeling that gives us the confidence that we are heading in the right direction and that what we are doing is a good thing. The hard truth however, is that we don’t need it. All that we need in order to change our course is our own decision to do so. What feels right to me may not feel right to someone else and that’s ok. What ideas I think could work could be so far out of the realm of what someone else can imagine being effective and that is ok.
I think that the internet is a wonderful tool to be able to reach out to people and start real conversation about challenges and opportunities that we all have in our lives each day and for us to all be able to connect and take bits and pieces from each other to make our lives what we want them to be. My parents, of whom I seek approval didn’t grow up with the internet and don’t understand why we don’t just lean on the people physically around us for these conversations. That’s ok. They don’t have to understand what I am doing. They don’t have to agree with or support it. (Which they do) I don’t have to have any approval from anyone but myself. I know this is ok. I know I can do well with this and really make a community that can make a difference to one another. So I have decided to say “YES” to myself. It’s should have been that simple all along. I want to do something for myself and for others. I want to make this community a safe place for us all to exchange thoughts and ideas to help one another. I believe in this. One thing you will notice in this statement is that there is no mention of the approval of others because I can give that to myself.
As I speak with friends, I have discovered that a lot of people around me have the same issue of looking for approval from others around us. It’s human. It is also human to recognize this and to catch this thought of “I need approval from others” and to change it to “I approve of myself and my thoughts and ideas”. It’s ok to say “Yes”. Say yes to yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to see what you can really do, what you can really be, based solely on what you believe. Keep it within yourself and live your dreams. See what can happen. While you are proving to yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to you will be inadvertently proving the same to everyone that you care about that you can as well.
There is worth in having a strong support system. However, there is also a great amount of worth in giving yourself the chance to try. So what is something that y’all have wanted or dreamt of, that you have wanted to do or say or be, that you sought approval from those closest to you? Did you give yourself approval no matter what those close to you thought? What is something y’all have wanted that you have done or not done based on what those around you thought and how did that work for you? Did you get the support you needed? Did you not get the support? Did you do it anyway? #SouthernMorningCoffee