Listen to the podcast episode here: https://anchor.fm/britclarkson
13: Only You Get to Decide Who You Are (breaking free from the labels you’ve been given). – I Get To
Today, release the versions of you that you’ve been told you are. Release the beliefs others have put on you, the expectations other have put on you. You only have a responsibility to show up as exactly who you are.
No one else gets to decide who you are. They have no authority to decide your identity, no place t cast judgement and what they believe about you is simply none of your business. What others think has no power over you, thoughts are just ideas and only carry what meaning you put on them.
I always hated being labeled lazy or cold hearted – those didn’t feel true to me, but they matched my behaviors, so I believed them… I believed I hated people and was better off alone because I was an introvert. I believed I was cold hearted and lacked empathy because I couldn’t handle being around sad people. I believed I was lazy because I couldn’t bring myself to do chores as a teenager. I was wrong to believe these things.
At one time, I was a bit of a jerk. I blamed that on my introvert. I stayed home and avoided time with friends because I “hated people.” Now that I’ve spent years in self discovery I’ve learned a few things: I had General Anxiety Disorder, I have Sensory Overload, I need time to recharge alone after spending time with others, and everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and deserve grace and patience.
In case no one’s told you – being an introvert doesn’t mean you should spend all your time alone. It simply means you need to prioritize alone time to recover and reenergize after spending time with people. Guard your energy, guard your heart, but that doesn’t mean a life of strict solitude.
Just because someone puts a label on you, doesn’t mean you have to fit into that box.
As a teen, I was called lazy pretty often for not helping out at home. I believed it until I started working outside the home and realized I have an amazingly helpful work ethic. I’m just no good at cleaning and we only did chores once a month so it would get really overwhelming to be given a list of 20 things and only one day to do them. I was also given heavily chemical filled products for cleaning and I am highly sensitive to fragrance – it gives me an instant headache.
I’ve spent most of my adult life overcoming this hatred of cleaning and home care that I had developed – keep an eye out in the future for an in depth “how to” on curating home care routines that help you clean from a place of love.
Check out this post: Episode 68: How to Not Hate Housework – 3 Practical Tips to Almost Enjoy Cleaning
If it wasn’t laziness, what was stopping me? Overwhelm and perfectionism.
My mom raised me to believe “if you’re not going to do it right the first time, don’t do it at all.” She meant to encourage me to do a good job and take pride in my work – but my subconscious brain decided to take the latter option and not do it at all… I would freeze, paralyzed in perfectionism.
Just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect for you to just begin. Beginning sloppy and messy, right where you are, is better than standing still and waiting for perfection.
I applied this concept to scrubbing my shower – it always felt like a huge ordeal to scrub the whole shower so I’d put it off again and again. Until I decided I could start, I could make it just a little bit cleaner in one little spot. I let go of the need to 100% clean the whole shower perfectly, and I focused on just making it a little bit better and I had that shower fully scrubbed and cleaned in just 3 days.
I will acknowledge there’s a time and a season when you need to complete tasks. You can’t always just do a little – but a little is always better than none. If perfectionism is holding you still, just start moving.
Pay attention to yourself and your own cycles. Get to know what season you’re in and what’s actually going to help you move forward right now. Make the shifts you need to make, because life is constantly changing. You can’t decide once what’s gong to work for you for the rest of your life. Things change, and eventually what worked before isn’t going to work anymore, this tends to lead us to having too much on our plate without realizing that we don’t have to carry so much anymore.
Maybe dedicating one day a week on laundry is what used to work for you, maybe now wash/dry/fold one basket per day is what’s going to work best for you now. What doesn’t feel good anymore? What’s stressing you out? What needs to change and be simplified or structured differently?
We go through season in the kitchen pretty quickly. I have to pay attention to where I’m at to determine what I need. Sometimes I really hate cooking, sometimes I need to stay out of the kitchen, sometimes I actually enjoying serving my family.
I was told that I lacked empathy, but here’s what was really going on…
I’m a peacemaker, and enneagram 9, a people pleaser. I felt shame around feelings for a long time, because I was surrounded by people with a lot of big feelings and I always felt like my feelings meant less than theirs.
Turns out I absorb energy from those around me and when others feel sad, I feel sad and I couldn’t figure out why my emotions would be all over the place all the time. I became depressed at a very young age and as a coping mechanism, I shut down and numbed out. I build a wall to keep emotion away from me so I wouldn’t feel unexplainably sad anymore.
It took years of therapy to learn to feel in a safe way and learn to not make other people’s feelings my own.
Just because you’ve been identifying as a label, doesn’t mean you have to fit in that box. You don’t have to wear every show that seems to fit. You create your own identity. You don’t have to have labels to define who you are or what you are. Be entirely and authentically you, because that’s the way the world needs you right now.