Feminist Friday: Be Your Own Best Friend

Friday, November 21, 2014

Just cosmos by CasheeFoo

Photo Credit: http://casheefoo.deviantart.com/art/Just-cosmos-132951917

Be Your Own Best Friend

How your self-talk is hurting you.

I have a confession to make:

I'm a terrible writer.

At least that's what I tell myself. I tell myself how terrible of a writer I am on a near-daily basis. Showing up to the blank page to write something is an act of war against the voice in my head asking me "What's the point? You suck anyway."

I've convinced myself that I shouldn't even try to put myself out there in the Real Writing World, to enter Writing Contents, query agents/publishers, and otherwise make a real effort toward building a writing career. Why should I? I'm a terrible writer. I'm just going to fail anyway, right?

Earlier this week, a friend of mine was given an opportunity to study abroad. Not only would it enhance her education, it would also give her valuable experience toward her future career. I didn't even think twice before telling her "Of course you should go! You'd be crazy not to!" I have complete and total faith that she will succeed with this opportunity.

But where is that faith when it comes to my own opportunities?

Recently, I've been pushed toward a Writing Contest opportunity. I have a piece written that would fit perfectly, submission requires very little effort on my part, and everyone around me is telling me to go for it. There's just one problem:

I think the piece is terrible. I don't want to submit it because what if the rest of the world realizes how terrible it is too? I'm sensitive and emotional. What if the negative reviews destroy me? What if I can never write again? Writing keeps me sane! There's too much that could go wrong.

I'm paralyzed by the fear.

But the fear is self-made. It's a product of the terrible, horrible things I tell myself. Things I would never dream of telling to a friend.

Yesterday was the high point of my emotional struggle with this fear of failure. I know, rationally, that failure is a part of the journey to success, and the risk would be worth it in the long run. But my irrational fear still had me dramatically tossing my story into the trash bin, so disgusted by my writing that I didn't even want to look at it.

Another good friend of mine pulled the story from the trash, and (when he couldn't convince me of my story's worth on his word alone) had me watch Jim Carrey's commencement speech. In the speech, Jim Carrey talks about going after your dreams, even if they scare you. He says "you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."

This past year, I've taken a lot of risks. I've taken myself out of my comfort zone in a thousand different ways. I've learned (and even posted on here) that we have a choice in life between fear and love. Only love is real. The longer we hold on to fear, the less we live in reality. When we accept the truth, we open ourselves up to the beauty of a life we truly love.

I've spent a lot of time trying to convince the people I love of everything I've learned about life, but sometimes I struggle to take my own advice and remember my own life lessons. Several times, I've denied myself my own friendship.

But that ends here.

I'm making a promise to myself to be my own best friend. To talk to myself only the way I would talk to a friend. To push myself to chase after my dreams, and leave the fear behind. 

Because that's what friends are for.

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