As a teen I recall having specific shoes and coats for school and for the weekend. I never mixed them up – ever. I also remember feeling anxious whenever I had my hair restyled- I literally could not look at anyone for the first day back at school. I had a tendency to be rather rigid with routine and I had a thing about order so my “stiff” ways appeared to work for me.
Would it really have mattered if I wore my weekend shoes to school? Was anyone that bothered about my new hairstyles – did they even notice? I doubt it! Being an out and out geek, I was extremely fearful of attempting to look any different to what was expected of me. I was petrified at being laughed at for daring to make the effort. As strange as it may seem, I felt I needed permission to “better” myself.
Fast forward to my twenties and I began to switch things up a bit. I worked full-time after graduating so had more disposable income to express myself via my appearance. I recall approaching a sales assistant at the MAC make up counter for advise on make up for my wedding day. She recommended red lipstick and I was reluctant – I had never used bright coloured lipstick as I avoided anything which drew attention to myself. I played it safe with mauves and browns which looked nice but did nothing to enhance my beauty. You had better believe I regularly wear red lipstick now!
In my thirties, I grew more confident to try new clothes and hair styles – admittedly not everything worked but if you do not try you will never know.
Even as adults, we limit ourselves in many number of ways for fear of what others may say or think, lack of confidence to be who you really are, choosing to stay inside the box you have created as it is safer there. It is so easy to allow our wrong thinking to influence the way in which we live our daily lives.
A self conscious person believes whatever they do, say or wear is being scrutinised by the masses. The truth is people are generally more concerned with themselves and what is going on in their own lives. At the very worst, if someone is scrutinising you, you should not shy away from being who you want to be.
I find the quote below puts things into perspective;
“Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” Les Brown
Looking back on your life, can you spot occasions when you limited yourself through fear?
How did you change your mindset?