Let me get right to it – Normal Nelly, the blog, the brand, the beast, is an exercise in ownership. I have made a decision to acknowledge, embrace and yes, celebrate all that is me. This includes the part of me that I have worked fiercely to hide from the rest of the world, namely, my anxiety. This anxious part of me could be called Nervous Nelly.
Oddly enough, I have also worked very hard to hide the part of me that is amazing –the skills that make me stand out…the accomplishments that garner attention from others. This part of me, the part that strives for and often reaches greatness, could be called Notable Nelly.
It’s pretty obvious why I would want to hide the supposedly negative parts of myself (anxiety) from others. I don’t want them to think that I am strange or different. I don’t want my discomfort to make other people feel uncomfortable. I want to be accepted — to be liked. But, why would I also want to hide the positive parts of myself? The skills and accomplishments? The creativity and the determination?
Same answer. I want to be accepted – to be liked. After all, many people don’t like the success of others. This is sad, but true. The accomplishments of others make them feel less than.
As a high-ranking member of the People Pleaser Club, being liked and accepted has been the number one driver of most of my actions since I can remember. I’ve tried to keep myself on a very neutral plane…balancing between appearing as good as others, but not better than others. I’ve always had dreams of greatness –great achievements, great successes and public recognition – but my fear of making others “feel bad” when comparing themselves to my awesomeness (and therefore, not like me) has always caused me to make myself smaller. Dimming my own light was just more comfortable than shining it out into the world and awaiting criticism. But that perspective is changing. Now. With this blog.
The idea of ownership seems simple enough. You own the car that you drive around town. You own your favorite college sweatshirt that you bought freshman year. These are your possessions. They are yours because you keep them with you…you take care of them…you are responsible for them. Exactly how you own these things says a lot about your feelings for them. Do you wash your car every week and keep it cleared of junk? Or is it caked with dirt and marred with scratches and scrapes? Do you put on your college sweatshirt every Sunday morning, relaxing into the comfy fabric, faded lettering and frayed seams? Or do you keep it folded and clean, tucked away in a special mothball filled box under your bed?
We don’t often make a concerted, deliberate decision about HOW we are going to own something. We just instinctively act out our feelings toward that object. The same goes for ourselves…I never thought about how I was going to take responsibility for my life and my identity; I managed myself unintentionally — based on feelings like fear and worry. I was the college sweatshirt in the box, kept safe under the bed. Sure, I would come out to strut my stuff on rare occasions when I felt brave, but for the most part, I stayed inside, watching others walk around. In the box I was safe from wear and tear, judgment and any other potential dangers of living life.
Today, and everyday hereafter, I am laying out a new plan of deliberate and calculated self-ownership based on how I WANT to feel about myself and my environment. I have decided to lay claim to every single part of me…the scared, the neurotic, the magnificent, the depressed and the extraordinary.
This new conscientious ownership of myself, for myself, will take time and practice to be sure. It will not be an easy or a quick transition. In fact, I expect to spend the rest of my life learning and practicing how to embrace and accept myself in a way that makes me happy. There is no need to worry about what others will think of me and if anyone does have a negative opinion of me, well, that’s just none of my business 🙂
This blog is my way of staying accountable to the new ownership style. After all, true commitment and dedication needs to be reestablished and reaffirmed on a regular basis. Through the blog, I will share my experiences and feelings regarding anxiety and other related topics. I will also share strategies, information and resources I use or plan to use in order to manage my anxiety and my life. There will be other fun things to discover here as well, such as short stories and personal profiles.
I would love nothing more than for you to come with me and participate in this new ownership strategy. This blog will be a continual declaration that all parts of me…you…us, even the nervous parts, are normal. Normal Nelly.
What are you going to OWN today? What part of yourself will you embrace and share? Comment below and let me know! Also, make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive notifications of new posts coming soon!