From Here On Out, I’m Going To Be 100% Me — Flaws And All

I’ve always considered myself strong, smart, and independent, but if I was really being honest with myself, I wasn’t really being authentic. For too long, and no matter how much I tried to deny it, I cared about what other people thought of me and let their opinions affect my life — but no more. I am who I am, and I don’t care who likes it.

  1. It’s exhausting. Constantly worrying about what other people think is so damn tiring. Every time I speak, I consider how it’s going to sound first. Will someone in the group take offense? Will I look like an idiot if I ask a question? Will I come across as a bitch if I correct people who say my name wrong? All of these questions swirling around my head and all I’m trying to do is introduce myself to someone new.If that’s not exhausting, I don’t know what is.
  2. I can’t please everybody. It is literally impossible to please everybody. It’s absolutely, positively never going to happen. So why do I try so hard to keep everybody happy? Especially when I’m doing it at the expense of my own happiness and well-being. Surely that’s the definition of stupidity?
  3. It’s never-ending. Once I started caring what other people thought of me, I got onto a slippery slope. It was easy to spiral downward to the point where all I could think about was how other people saw me. I began to find my self-esteem through other people instead of from within myself. That was never going to end well was it?
  4. I’m losing track of myself. After bending over backward to become the woman I thought everybody else wanted me to be, I completely lost track of who I was. Making decisions based on what other people thought instead of what I really wanted was a recipe for disaster. Suddenly I had no idea what I really wanted for my life. I didn’t even know if I liked a certain dress or not. I couldn’t buy a new outfit without input from somebody else. That’s just sad!
  5. I’m old enough to know better. Trying on different personalities is great in high school, but now that I’m creeping up to 27, it seems I should stop pretending and start embracing the real me. At this point, the friends who I’ve had for years aren’t going anywhere and the ones that have drifted away have done so for a reason. At my age, I have nothing to lose from being myself.
  6. I can’t give 100% to any one thing. Constantly worrying about what other people think is taking over my life. It’s always there in the background. I know women are supposed to be great at multitasking but I’m not. To be honest, I don’t think any of us are. Worrying about my “image” means that I can’t give 100 percent of my energy to any one thing. There’s always that annoying voice in the back of my head holding me back from fully committing.
  7. I’m strong enough. Whether I believe it or not, I’m strong enough to be myself and not care what everybody else thinks about it. Every single one of us is strong enough for that. I’m not quite sure how to convince myself that I’m strong enough but for now I’m going with the fake it ’til you make it approach. It’s worked for other people, right?
  8. I’m choosing to be happy. The happiest people I know are the one’s who are at peace with themselves. They don’t love every single thing about themselves but they’re happy with who they are as a whole. Today I’m choosing to be one of them. I’m choosing to be happy and to stop caring about anybody else.
  9. Nobody else matters. The simple truth is that nobody else matters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to cut ties with my family and start treating my friends like crap, but really, the most important person in my life is me. After all, my life wouldn’t exist without me in it!
  10. I want to be myself. I think I’m a pretty cool lady and I want to explore that. I want to find out what happens if I’m brave enough to tell people that I frequently have to use Urban Dictionary because I have no idea what most acronyms mean, or that my mascara application skills are so bad that I look like I have a black eye before I tidy it all up. Is anybody going to respect me less for those things? I hope not, but it’s time to find out for sure.
Aileen is a freelance writer and recovering perfectionist. When she was consumed by perfectionism, Aileen was always confused, angry and frustrated. At she tries to help other women who feel the same because life after perfectionism is bloody great!