Self-Doubt

I recently wrote a post with the question of whether or not I am a toxic person.

Logically, I know that I am trying to be the best person I can be even though it doesn’t always show. What I didn’t know is that my self-doubt would increase tremendously since I lost the friend that forced me to confront this question. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me. I can understand it and realize that it happened and there’s not much I can do what happened in the past but I didn’t realize that it would follow me for months.

It’s not the first time I’ve been through a loss of some sort. It’s happened before and crushed everything I knew about myself. I remember feeling like I disappeared for a while. I had to really work hard to find myself. I went through therapy and really worked on myself and I became someone I liked and respected. After I entered my 30s, I thought I knew who I was. I had read enough books and really took a look at my life. I found things and people I loved and believed that I had settled into who I was supposed to be. I had accomplished some pretty cool things that I was proud of and moved forward.

There’s been a lot of changes since that point. It’s been almost 8 years since I turned 30. And somehow, I’m back in the middle of a bunch of questions. I have constantly been meeting new people through my kids’ schools and classes and through the dance classes we teach. And through it all, I thought I knew myself and had accepted the fact that not everyone would be my best friend. That was okay. I knew who my tribe was. I knew the strength of the bonds I had formed.

But now, I’m questioning the basic core of myself. Am I someone that people want to be around? Am I someone that my kids like? Am I someone that I can respect?

I have fallen back into the trap of questioning myself after every social engagement. I worry that I said the wrong thing or did something that offended someone. The logical grown-up in me knows that whatever happens happens and it’s okay as long as I tried my best to be a good person but the emotional anxiety in me has risen up immensely.

Do I have to go through the same work again to be comfortable with myself? How do I learn to trust myself again? What if no one ever likes me? (Oh man, that thought makes me feel like a teenager again.) How do I know that this won’t happen with other people?How do I know if I’m disappointing or hurting someone else enough that they will decide to stop being my friend as well?

How do I manage this self-doubt?

 

Passion or Validation?

Have you ever heard someone who talks about something they’re into and it is the most amazing thing they have ever experienced? And then they talk about something else and it’s just as amazing? Does it ever seem like some people are just really overly passionate about a few things?

I was wondering this the other day when I had heard a few people discussing different restaurants they had been to. Was it a real passion? If so, is it necessary to really emphasize what you feel or think about it?

I had always thought that if someone had a passion for something, it’d just show. You would notice by what they did or how they spoke about it. When people really get that over-excited about something, is it real or is it a show?

Maybe these people are really that enthusiastic about the things they talk about. Maybe passion about something just runs over and there’s no other words to describe it.

But maybe, sometimes, people are just a little too passionate because they want to sound like they really care about something. They want to validate that their opinions are important. Maybe if they sound passionate about something, other people will respect them more. It’s kind of like the whole idea of posting everything we think or do on a social media site just so we can count the likes and comments we receive.

When did we become so needy for others’ approval? Why do we have to be something we aren’t? Why can’t we just be satisfied in knowing we enjoy what we enjoy and not have to get validation for everything we do or say?