No limits!

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?

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22 thoughts on “No limits!”

  1. When in college and before I definitely used to think and worry about what was others opinion about me. Now I have moved past that!
    What matters to me is just my self-satisfaction!

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  2. Wonderful article Phoenicia. I think I still suffer from thinking of what other people think. As I get older and wiser I am believing in myself more and more. Love the Les Brown quote at the end.

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  3. As I am now “of a certain age” and I worry very little about what people think of me. That’s a 360-turn from my childhood when I was very insecure and worried constantly about my appearance and what people said or thought about me. When I attend the theater now I look around and most of the time I’m better dressed than most of the people there. How about that?!

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  4. The fantastic thing about getting older is that you stop caring as much about what everyone thinks of your appearance or what activities you’re involved in. It’s nice to be able to let those insecurities go.

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  5. For me, the turning point was standing up to the group of girls who had bullied me throughout high school. Just trying to disappear in an effort to avoid them I grew progressively smaller and smaller but then I finally mustered the courage to confront them – I was literally ready to go to blows and I could tell they knew I’d finally reached my limit. After that, they left me alone and I stood up a little straighter and a few inches taller and never looked back.

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  6. I am chuckling while reading this–because I just had one of these self-conversations last night all about what I can/cannot do! Perfect timing, Phoenicia. The older we women get, the more fierce I think we become about being true to ourselves. The trick is figuring out what that self is and what she wants to look like–red lipstick and all! As you know, I’m letting my redhair grow into whatever mutlitude of colors it truly is. This has taken a lot of guts for me because I have long loved my redhair. But oh gosh, there is a great freedom in letting go.

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  7. I can definitely relate to this. I too was that kid in school, the one who wishes to blend into the wall. I hated when the teacher called on me because it’d make me the centre of attention. I still have problems with being the centre of attention, but I have definitely grown less self-conscious since my school days. In terms of personal style, I think it’s ever changing, I experimented more with different styles once I was in uni. That was when I figured nobody really cares about what you wear as much as yourself so I tried everything I’d always been afraid to.

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  8. Fear does limit us in many ways, but for the most part, I feel I’ve been brave when my life most called for it. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be brave more often and kick fear in the teeth. It’s admirable to show fear the door on as many occasions as possible.

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  9. I am the same with clothes. I always want to try new styles but when I do, I feel like I look ridiculous and always revert back to my usualy style. I also had really long hair, past my belly button, for 8 years and I always wanted to try going shorter but never did. And then a year ago, I just went for it and I chopped it all off, probably to my collarbone. Big change and I was happy that I finally had the guts to try it!

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  10. Personally have always gone my own way when it comes to what I wear. Classical clothes go a long way towards achieving that. The only adaptation I do is that I don’t wear expensive watches and other items that could make me a target when I have to go to neighbourhoods where robberies are frequent.

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