Have you ever avoided taking part in something that you really wanted to do simply because you were afraid of what others would think?
Words, thoughts and actions serve as vehicles to express who we truly are. When we consciously stop ourselves from saying what we feel or from carrying out our desired actions, we suppress and alienate a part of ourselves. Unnecessary, or even excessive, concern is placed on the reaction of others rather than doing what is best for the evolution of one’s self.
Often, we tend to focus on only doing the things we believe others will expect or accept. Instead, be brave enough to try to do those things that resonate with the person you are. Your determination to carry out a desired action, regardless of what you believe people may think, will show you the magnitude of your own strength. Not only will you surprise and inspire others, but you’ll uncover new depths to your inner resources.
I have a new found appreciation of the courage it takes to leave the house for someone who has a disability. I have experienced the enormous physical effort and emotional strength required to wheel myself into a mall, or a restaurant. Not only are there physical obstacles but there are also challenges associated with the reaction of others towards a person with a physical disability. At such times, it’s easy to feel judged. I knew that I had to continue to try to regain my abilities despite what I looked like while trying to better myself and to reengage with the outside world.
As I improved, with each new transition – from wheelchair to walker to cane – I had to learn new difficult and often precarious skills, all in plain view to those around me. Every stumble, every lurch, could feel awkward and silly. When I was relearning how to walk, I fell down countless times throughout the day. I not only had to learn how to walk, I also had to learn how to get back up again – both figuratively and literally. I built up my stamina and personal strength as I worked up a sweat steadily walking through the mall with my walker. Later, I overcame insecurities as I introduced myself as an intern at chiropractic college while clutching my cane.
Throughout this journey, both when I was struggling to make it through the mall, and when I was known as the chiropractor with a cane, I thought that I looked silly as I struggled and sought to accomplish the smooth natural movement of those around me while also learning to develop a new rhythm and manner of mobility that best suited me. In particular, I felt really silly whenever I teetered or fell. Now I realize the fear of looking silly was all my own. When I think back to what I had to overcome, looking “silly” was a small price to pay for what I have gained.
I learned the importance of being bold as we explore new unknown territories that lie just beyond our fear of what others may think. Your concern with fear will diminish when your actions are led by the true essence of your being. Your courage and passion will combine to further your self-confidence and you will become more of yourself.
Don’t let fear of looking foolish keep you from being who you really are!
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
Copyright Dr. Julie Doobay 2021