Owning our story
I found a scrap of paper in a box of old things. It was a list my Granny Laura had handwritten. The list contained five things that she didn’t like about herself or five things that she was trying to work on. I read this list and turned over the page to see if there was more she had written. Instead, I was greeted by my Grandad’s handwriting - five things that he loved about my Granny Laura.
I didn’t meet my Granny Laura and I know that some people would think it sad that the only thing I have found in her handwriting is this list. To tell you the truth, I love this list. When I speak to people who knew her, they only have positive things to say about her, they speak with love for the woman she was. The way they describe her is the complete opposite of this list. It is more aligned with my Grandad’s words. If I’m honest, this kind of gives me hope; hope that although I see the things I want to change, others see a different side.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” - Brené Brown
There are days where I feel like a complete failure. I know there is a task I need to do, something that makes my insides crawl with nerves. I spend half an hour procrastinating that task before sitting down to finally start working on it. I then allow that little niggling voice in my head to have a voice. Soon that little niggle, the one that was sat quietly in the corner at the back trying (and for the most part failing) to be heard, has taken centre stage. It’s now the star of the show and it doesn’t want to get off the stage.
There are days where I let my insecurities win. I dwell on my lack of confidence and hate that I’ve allowed it to affect my day. I get in a mind dungeon and can’t seem to unlock the door to my cell.
Failing is a part of life.
Feeling vulnerable is a normal part of life.
If you avoid feeling vulnerable, you’re not taking risks. You’re not going outside your comfort zone and dreaming of something bigger than what is right in front of you. You don’t stretch yourself or find yourself in situations where you can grow. Putting yourself in situations where you are vulnerable allows you to recognise new opportunities and new talents.
When you’re vulnerable and trying new things, chances are you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to fail. When this happens (because trust me, it will) it’s easy to forget to love yourself.
Maya Angelou said “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
For me, the key is how we handle the bad moments; the negatives that, perhaps, we wish weren’t part of our story; the situations that seem to come out of nowhere and knock us over sideways. It sometimes seems easier to close off to these situations, to pretend they’re not there and we are not going through this ridiculously tough time. But like Brené Brown said, the brave thing to do is own that part of us and “[love] ourselves through the process.”
It’s easier said than done. But this is me, trying to celebrate the learning process of my mistakes. Trying to own the insecurities I feel, because the things I don’t like about myself - the things I am trying to change - they are as much a part of my story as the things that I like.