I’m done with being self-conscious


By day I work for a charity run by and for adults with learning disabilities. I love how they quite often manage to cut through the bullshit that non-learning disabled people cloud their lives with. Most of the time, the most simple and obvious response to things is the best one.

As part of the evaluation of a funded project, I’ve been working with a group of people to rate various aspects of the life of their lives on a scale of one to ten (these scores are revisited every six months to measure progress).

Anyway, the point is that one of these people gave themselves a ten out of ten for confidence, and it blew my mind.

“Are you sure?” I asked (Yes, with hindsight, I do realise how rude this was).

“Yeah!” She replied.

She went on to demonstrate her confidence by awarding herself a ten out of ten in many other areas of her life.

I was jealous. I want to be that confident. I’m so sick of being so self-conscious. I’m sick of my identity being the neurotic indecisive one because it’s so much more socially acceptable than going after what I want and loving myself for it.

And then I realised what I’d just said to myself. My identity is neurotic and indecisive because it’s so much more socially acceptable than going after what I want and loving myself for it.

This, like most of our thoughts, is a choice. And I want to believe that I’m awesome, even if it isn’t very cool.

Screw cool. Who is it helping? It certainly isn’t me. Behind all this false modesty and socialised neuroticism, there’s a confident girl desperate to get out. It may have take me a while, but I’m finally ready to let her.

It might be messy, but I’m going to start taking risks.

People might think I’m weird, but I’m going to live how I want to live.

It might lose me some friends, but I’m going to start telling people what I think.

Because there is so much more to lose by hiding who we really are.

From now on I’ll be channelling my very own inner Zaphod Beeblebrox. If nobody thinks I’m an arsehole, I’m not doing it right.

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