I recently returned from an amazing holiday in Portugal; this was my first trip abroad in a few years, but the week leading up to the trip was anxiety ridden and I was worried sick about travelling with mobility issues. I desperately wanted the flight to be one of the many that are currently being cancelled by airlines, but it wasn’t to be. I got to the airport, and it was a disaster; I scoured people’s faces for confirmation that they were mocking me, my anxiety about the walking involved exacerbated my symptoms, all I wanted to do was to fit in, and I crumbled. However, I eventually arrived at the hotel and soon started to relax, consequently I was mostly symptom free, and had the best holiday that I have ever had. To think that I almost missed out on this wonderful experience because I was worried what people thought about me…
The beautiful book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, shows that one of the most common regrets of those who are in palliative care is that they wished they had the courage to live the life that they wanted. Many of us seek the nod of approval from others, and seeking external validation becomes more important than making ourselves happy. What if you want something else for yourself? Your own approval must be all that matters!
My trip to the airport taught me that showing my true authentic self requires bravery, and it might make me different from others, but the rewards are just fantastic! Living the life that I want will require courage, but I never want to look back and realise that I missed out on doing what I loved just because I played it safe and wanted to blend in, sometimes I will have to find the courage to stand alone.
Are you also hiding your truest most fantastic self from the world because of what others will think? People-pleasing is certainly no way to live, and you shouldn’t feel guilty or self-indulgent for doing what makes you feel alive and filled with joy. We have been hardwired to meet social expectations but sometimes we must live life our way regardless of what people will say.
Just like me, some of you may need to step out of your comfort zone to achieve your goals. I was very nervous about starting this blog, I was full of doubt and insecurity, but my goal was to raise awareness, and I wasn’t doing it as a popularity contest for ‘Likes’. The things that I write about are the things that I most need to learn, and if something I say can help even one person, then I am happy. The reward once again outweighs the fear.
What would you do if you didn’t care what people thought? Are you going to do it now or regret it later in life? Don’t underestimate your capabilities. What’s the worst that can happen?
I know that if something scares me then I need to do it; so, I have booked the same holiday for next year, there’s no going back for me now. We only have so many available days left, think about how you want to spend them. Fitting in is easier but think of the opportunities that you will miss out on. I might stumble at the airport next year, I may get stared at, and I might feel vulnerable, but this is who I am; the price is high for me, but the destination is great!