I am a quiet person, and I used to hate it. I used to actively try and make myself louder, more outspoken, more assertive in the sense of inserting myself into conversations. I would drink in order to make myself feel more at ease and make it easier for myself to have a conversation with a stranger.
But then I grew up.
After my first few years of college, it was clear who my true friends were and who respected me for the person I really was – not the drunk girl at the party but rather an honest, quiet, thoughtful person who will do anything for her friends. That is me, and that is who I needed to be all along.
Sure, I still had my party friends. But those friends and roommates who would be there through the hardest times in my life? They respected me, acknowledged me, and loved me.
My true friends and family know that I’m weirdly funny and a little ditsy sometimes, I have a love for animals, I have a soft spot for ice cream and I try really hard to stay in shape but I’m not always “on.” My true friends know that I don’t always have something to say and I don’t say something just to fill the silence. If I am in a car, I really don’t like to talk that much (unless I’m singing). And that is okay. I am okay with who I am – I love myself!
Can you get to that point of self-love, if you aren’t already? Do you love who you are in every aspect? Do you have a trait that might be culturally out of the ‘norm’ and you have yet to embrace it? Now is the time. Why now? Because YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT. WHENEVER YOU WANT.
This is your life, and if you are avoiding living it to your fullest potential, you might be somewhat unhappy. If you are not being true to yourself, that is a sign that you need to change something. Change your job, change your habits, change your friends. Be who you are meant to be. And do it today. Because you can.
Be who you are meant to be. And do it today. Because you can.
Let’s look at three ways you can start making those changes in your life.
Make a commitment. If you decide that you are going to make a change, you need to commit to it. Don’t just say it to make yourself feel better – you need to commit! Tell your closest friends and those who you respect about your idea.
Make a plan. You can’t just say “I’m going to be more myself,” and still go about your old ways. I would tell myself every day that I love who I am, that I am a good person, and that I was going to do one thing to better myself every day.
Take action. Again, you can’t just make a plan and let it sit. You need to take action, even if it is one small step at a time – one VERY small step! I wanted to be who I really was, but in order to do that I also needed to put myself out there a little bit.
Make a Commitment.
Do you have those people in your life who like to make fun of you? I’m not talking about your siblings who might tease you but in reality want the best for you. I am talking about people who put you down on purpose just to make themselves feel better. Or put others down in front of you – what do you think they are saying about you behind your back? These are not the people you want to be telling your goals.
Find people who are like minded. If you are too afraid to tell your friends and family about your life change, google it. You can find support groups (such as a support group for quiet people!) and forums that have the support you need.
Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough.
One of the biggest commitments is the one you make to yourself. Why do people think that it is okay to let themselves down? I believe that once you commit to yourself, that is huge. That is everything. Someone once told me to talk to myself like I would talk to my son. Would you tell your child they couldn’t do it? That their goals are too big? That they just aren’t good enough? No, you wouldn’t. So stop telling yourself you’re not good enough and you can’t reach your goals. COMMIT!
Make a Plan
Okay, so you have committed to being yourself and not trying to be anyone else. How are you going to do it? You committed to finding a new job, but how? Is the “new you” going to fall into your lap?…. Nope. You need a plan.
Start small. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) change all in one day. Make a concentrated effort to do one thing each day that will get you closer to your goal. I started with writing. I would write in my journal each day and answer these questions:
How am I feeling today?
How can I make this day great?
What can I learn from yesterday?
Sometimes I wrote a book, other days it was just a few words. Over time, writing helped concentrate my thoughts on what was important to me and I was able to make sure I was working toward my goals. I was also able to take small steps to being more myself, such as reading inspirational books, connecting with like-minded quiet people, and praying.
So make a plan, but don’t overwhelm yourself. You have your whole life ahead of you – and yes, even if you are older, you still have a lot of life to live! Never let your age define who you are or where you are going in life.
Okay, so you have made a commitment and you have made a plan. Now, go for it! Keep a calendar (one of those long year calendars) on your wall, and every day you take an action step, put a huge red X on the day. Don’t break that chain! If your one step is to write every day, you better write every day!
It takes 90 days to make a habit become a lifestyle. You don’t think about brushing your teeth every morning, do you? No… because it is habit. You just do it. The goal here is to make your small, daily action plan a habit. You can slowly add more goals as you feel comfortable, but again – don’t overwhelm yourself. You can do this!
You can make any sort of change you want to make in your life. You just need to be proactive by committing to yourself, making a plan, and taking action. You will stumble a few times. That is normal, but don’t let it get you down. Pick yourself back up. You can do this, you can reach those goals, and you can become who you were meant to be. I’m rooting for you!