Haters. Judge Judy’s. Negative Nelly’s. The Peanut Gallery.
There are a number of names we use for those folks who just always seem to have a negative opinion to share–be it verbally or even with a heavy eye-roll. While there are plenty of supportive and wonderful people in the world (who accept us for who we are and where we want to go thankyouverymuch) so many of us seem to give more credit to those with the salty words and scowling brows. As a result, we miss out on beautiful moments and opportunities as we find ourselves struggling with an ever-present fear of judgement. It’s such a shame to experience, but also to watch someone who we admire, respect and believe in talk themselves out of believing in themselves.
Now, we all know the “tsk tsk” mentality has been around since the beginning of time, but the fact that we now live in a world of 24-hour media has amplified the problem, almost making a live-and-let-judge society the norm. Everything from our outfits to our expressions of joy are up for commentary which has led to a perpetuation of fear that, somehow, if we are completely ourselves (flaws and all) we will let others down in some way.
As both an individual and instructor, this breaks my heart. I not only hurt when I see those in my life holding themselves back from their full potential, but I find myself concerned for the well-being of many current and would-be students who find themselves operating in a space of fear. There are those who aren’t fully present in a class–or perhaps don’t even sign up for one--because they are too concerned about how they might be perceived by someone else. It could be they are afraid of body comparisons or worried their partner, friends or family members might deem their desire to do something solely for themselves as indulgent. Or it could even be that old negative messages from childhood have convinced us we are not worth the effort or will never achieve our goals.
Today, I want to ask all of you to really think about who you are and who you want to be. Not who you were or who the world has told you that you are, but your truest and most authentic self. Think about what you want to experience in this life and what would make you feel most whole. If it’s wearing your hair a certain way, dancing like crazy in a Booty Barre class, taking that bucket list trip to that far off locale or something far more personal, I encourage you to really open up your heart to it.
The reality is that there will always be someone who will misunderstand us or feel they know us better than we know ourselves, but when we really nurture and welcome our essence and our own unique soul, suddenly the world isn’t scary but a beautiful, magical and exciting place that cultivates and rewards our curiosity.
You are enough as you are, please don’t forget that.