For a while now, probably for as long as I can remember, I’ve been fighting this awful disease of self-pity.
It’s based on a multitude of things: from not feeling good/smart/hard-working/worthy enough, getting down on myself for being inconsistent and not staying disciplined, to questioning my purpose in the world. Then convincing myself that I will stay confident, I will find my worth, my purpose, my passion and I will live a happily ever after…..only to wonder all over again what I’m even doing with my life.
But while it eats me alive, I simply keep trying to numb it away. I indulge in social media, I stress myself out with all errands and responsibilities I need to complete by a deadline, I worry about other silly and dramatic things, and I eat…(that’s probably my favorite way to numb out any kind of pain, if I’m being honest. It’s embarrassing for me to share, but alas, it’s true).
However, I just finished a terrific book (one that I’ve been dying to read for ages), and as expected it’s one that I highly recommend E V E R Y O N E read, called: Big Magic.
It’s written by my favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, and it is just…absolutely phenomenal. She is absolutely phenomenal. Her voice, her advice, her ability to write such clear, concise, strong messages so exquisitely — let’s just say that she is listed very high on my aspirations-motivations-mentor/woman-crush list.
Among the infinite amount of inspirational, genuine, and authentic advice she explains throughout the book, these were a few of the quotes that are really helping me to target this self-pity funk and finally begin to break that unhealthy numbing habit:
Fear is boring.
What good ever came out of fear? When has someone ever said that their fear saved them? No one. And for good reason. We all have fears, that’s inevitable. But all the best memories, all of our accomplishments, all the greatest lessons learned come from overcoming those fears.
Fear of the unknown should never ever hold you back from anything you want to do, pursue, or create. It is the passage to discovering a new version of yourself that you did not know existed, it is how we grow, it is what we live for. If it scares you, that’s your cue that it’s something you need to try.
You don’t need to be constantly victorious – just keep making things!
Keep making things with an open heart and without expectations – not just because everything you make is a gift to the world, but also because it’s a gift to yourself.
Believe it or not, we love and obsess over the idea of reaching our highest success, but when it comes to actually accomplishing it, or at least the closer we get to accomplishing it, the less likely we are to keep going for fear of the unknown takes over (once again) embedding the question of, “how will you ever top that?” into our heads. Additionally, our society has mandated the stigma that once you’ve released your best work, once you’ve reached the top, there’s only one direction to go from there. Because everything that goes up must come down, right? Not necessarily.
So many creators dropped off the face of the earth because they thought their best work also meant their last. Why try to top something so great? Fear. Fear of embarrassment, fear of failure, fear of losing credibility…what a heartbreaking thought. Whether it was “as successful” or not, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be appreciated, cherished, or loved.
That’s why, not matter what, don’t you dare stop; don’t stop creating, don’t stop striving, don’t stop working, just keep doing you! Whether you’re victorious again or not will never matter. If you do, beautiful! If not, still beautiful! Because you are in this for YOU – continue to do what makes you feel most fulfilled because the world will take and leave from you what it pleases, but you still have the choice to keep doing what you love, regardless.
You do not need anyone’s permission to live a creative life.
My name is Sabrina. I’m a student. I’m a fitness enthusiast. I’m a writer. I’m a traveler. I’m a foodie. I’m an entertainer. I’m a dancer. I’m a self-love advocate. I’m a reader. I’m a dog lover. And I’m going to keep adding to the list as I live, experience, and discover new things about myself.
If I decide I want to be a skydiving instructor: I’m gonna do it.
If I decide I want to be a professor: I’m gonna do it.
If I decide I want to be a pig farmer: I’m gonna do it.
If I decide that I want to open my own rehab/gym facility: I’m gonna do it.
We are encouraged to make Bucket Lists for a reason. We’re encouraged to go after our dreams for a reason. What and who else do you have to live for other than yourself?! Exactly…you give yourself your own gosh darn permission slip. That’s it.
You owe it to yourself to cultivate an intense and fierce sense of entitlement.
In order to live the life you love – one that allows you all the freedom to explore, be creative, and try new things – you must know in heart that you are absolutely allowed to be here, fully present and worthy.
Gilbert says it flawlessly:
“The arrogance of belonging is not about egotism or self-absorption. In a strange way, it’s the opposite; it is a divine force that will actually take you out of yourself and allow you to engage more fully with life. Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgement, your crushing sense of self protection). The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self-hatred — not be saying “I am the greatest!” but merely by saying “I am here!”
Most things have already been done…but they haven’t been done by you.
So often I fall into the trap of “what can I do differently to make myself stand out?” Not everyone wants to ‘follow the crowd,’ which is why I find myself having such a hard time creating things. I want to be original.
But Gilbert so interesting explains that everyone copies one another. We all use and reuse ideas and themes. And so what?! The true key to finding originality is through authenticity. When you factor in your own voice, your own expression, your own style, it’s inevitably yours. No one can take that away from you.
“It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to.” -W.C. Fields.
So don’t bother answering, just keep doing your thing.
Every. single. thing. in this world is tremendously subjective. People will always have their opinions. And People will always stand behind their opinions, believing that their opinion is the right way – just as you’re entitled to believe yours is the right way.
Therefore, let people have their opinions! That’s none of your business anyway. If your focus envelopes around what you care about, the things that matter most to you and that align with your highest interests, then that is all that should be swaying your decisions – that is all that matters. Just do you, folks.
The Universe doesn’t owe you anything. Just because you work your butt off doesn’t always mean you will be successful, but that also doesn’t mean you should stop.
This was harsh for me to swallow at first. You mean, I could work my a$% off for something, and still not get my desired outcome? Well gosh darnnit, what’s the point then?
The point is this: It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
It’s about the process, the experience, the memories, the lessons, the personal growth, the little accomplishments, the success, the failures, the love lost and the love found, and everything else in between. See, while having a destination is exciting and keeps us on track, sometimes we become blinded by the glorified version we envision in our heads, and we lose sight of the path we take to get there.
Sometimes that destination wasn’t all it was worked up to be. Maybe our interests change, or reality shows its true colors; sometimes we simply change our minds, and sometimes we don’t reach our destination. But that doesn’t mean we stop climbing.
The destination will always be temporary and ever changing; the journey, on the other hand, is what lasts a lifetime; it’s what we will always look back on when we’re off to the next destination…and the next, and the next. All we can do is keep moving…cause if you’re not moving, what are you doing?