I hold a lot of narratives about how I view myself.
I am always the good girl. I’m not a great cook. I am not a patient person. I’m not creative. I don’t do spontaneous.
I don’t say these things to put myself down, and I don’t say these things to be negative. I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about the narrative I tell myself about who I am as a person, who I am in relationships, and how I deal with life stuff.
I used to think I had to have a narrow, specific view of myself to be an organized, efficient person who makes good decisions. If I wavered on anything I decided was part of my personality, then who was I?
But the issue with deciding you are X, Y, or Z is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room in your life, for, well, life.
Here’s an example:
I am a morning person. I love getting up early. I don’t do evenings. I’m tired at night. I don’t want to teach a BodyStep class in the evening. I don’t want to meet up with girlfriends for dinner after wrangling Kate all day. I don’t want to work on my blog after Kate goes to bed.
That means I can only be effective for a few hours each day. And those few hours aren’t enough.
So I started opening my mind to other possibilities. I started taking sub jobs for evening BodyStep classes. So I got to teach more classes, and I made strides as an instructor. I met up with girlfriends a couple nights a week. I started feeling more connected and happier. I set aside some time to work on posts in the evening. I wrote some good stuff.
The narrative I had in my head about myself and my limitations kept me from connecting with more life. When I let go of how tightly I held onto beliefs about myself, I gave myself the opportunity to be someone more.
This morning person example isn’t that profound. But seeing myself in a different light influences how I see myself in other situations. Like how I think about myself as the good girl, the nice girl, the girl who doesn’t put up boundaries lest she upset someone. In some relationships, that doesn’t serve me. The good girl narrative in my head prevents me from putting up boundaries when I need them, setting limits with others, not accepting treatment I’m not okay with. So I don’t always need to be the nice girl. I can be the limit setting girl or the boundary girl or whatever girl I need to be.
There’s who we are. And there’s the narrative of beliefs we hold based on situations and circumstances that might not be true anymore. Why would I hold myself to outdated thoughts?
This month I choose to build a new narrative. One where I don’t have to be the victim of my previous assumptions about myself. Where I challenge if I’m a this or that person. Where I leave myself open for more possibilities.