Recently I have been faced with several of my insecurities. It has been overwhelming as I can recall a time when I was far more secure in myself. Years ago, I was a take charge, take no prisoner, unable to waver under pressure person, or that’s what I let people think. Deep down inside, I was a small little shaking chihuahua. I was and still am incredibly scared and in fear of failing or not meeting external expectations.
Today, although working in a different capacity, I have some of the same fears, but they do not immobilize me like they have in the past. I try to figure out the issues, but when I cannot, that is when I turn to a person who is more knowledgeable, and I ask for assistance. I also know that I will inevitably end up making mistakes, and no one has ever told me that they expect me to be perfect. That, the need to be perfect, is an expectation that I put on myself, it is NOT something that people who I care about in my life now, have put on me. It’s something that I have put on myself.
With everything I do, whether it is as simple as making coffee in the morning to completing a large initiative at work, I wonder if I am good enough. I know that this insecurity stems from my past. But as I wrote a week ago, I am working to rewrite the old narratives that I have allowed to take over my life.
- If the coffee is bitter, I will add more creamer.
- If I make a mistake on an invoice, it will be brought to my attention, I will make a change and I will resend it.
- If I incorrectly respond to an email, it will be brought to my attention and I will work to correct it.
- Should I make a cake that is not what the customer was hoping for, I can always offer to make another cake, or offer a reduction in the price.
I have spent most of the last few days stressing over a cake order. Yup, another mention of cake, much like Georgia, it is always on my mind… I want the cake to be perfect! I broke the whole cake down into pieces and did a divide and conquer technique. I even did a test cake a week ago to try out the techniques that were needed for the final cake to make sure I felt comfortable with what I needed to do. But, as I was finishing up the cake last night I saw only flaws that I had made. I was beginning to get physically sick thinking about delivering the cake and ruminating on how the customer would not like the cake. I am surprised I slept last night with all the self-doubt that was swirling in my head.
Although remotely, my mother was beside me last night as I was finishing up the cake. I was sending photos of my cake and she was sending me affirmations in the way that only my Mama knows that I need. My kids were also with me in the kitchen and watching me work. My partner told me numerous times that he thought the cake was gorgeous and what the customer had requested. Although I was surrounded with all this positivity, I was still doubting. This morning the cake was delivered, the customer said they were happy and the cake was beautiful, yet I STILL have it in my head that it was not good enough.
What the Hell Michelle?? I really want to believe what I am being told! Focus on what the truth is. This was the same advice that I gave to a friend today, focus on the truths.
So, the truths are:
- The cake will be delicious
- The frosting is delectable
- The cake is the size that the customer asked for
- The design of the cake is what the customer requested
- The color of the cake is very close to what they asked for
- The customer knew that I am not a professional cake decorator
- I am a work in progress
- My skill set is probably the best it has ever been
- As I practice more, my skills are bound to improve
- I need to love myself the way that I would love a friend or family member
Sometimes, we can get lost in our heads and we torture ourselves. It is hard but, working to end the cycle will make each day ahead of this one better and easier to manage. At times I wish I could open my head and dump out all the words up there, unscramble them and toss out the ones that I do not need, or the ones that are not benefiting my life. I can’t do this obviously, but I can “toss out” the bullshit and replace it with positive truths. For the rest of the day, as each negative thought comes in, I am going to quickly replace it with a “truth”. I have a feeling this will make a big difference.