In Daddy's Eyes

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Inspiration, motivation and determination come in many different forms from many different people. Some people are easily motivated while others need the force of a small army to help them through everyday life, (I am one of those people). It is often true that, although each of our journeys is different, they can be very similar when categorizing them in general scenarios. What I mean by this is you may have a friend who has been sick with an illness (other than your common cold) and struggled getting their health back on track, making ends meet due to overwhelming doctor bills, and so on. You too may have experienced some health scares of your own. You both dealt with your sickness in different ways as it may have affected your bodies in different ways, but you both know what it is like to have gone through a series of health complications. Our life experiences, though different, are sometimes very similar and allow us to share our stories and our experiences with one another in hopes of building a bond or just to show one another that you are not alone. No matter what we go through - it shapes the individuals we become. Surrounding yourself with people who love and care for you is so important and necessary (at least for me).

For my entire life, I have relied on the influence of others to help determine my path(s) in life. I have looked to others for direction, motivation and support of my own dreams. I struggled with determining when to take the advice of others and when to listen to my own heart and mind. Some of the decisions that came from this mass confusion turned out to be devastating, while others made so much sense and have helped me to grow into a better person. Nevertheless, I am proud to say, I am finally learning to step out on faith and believe in myself and what I can do all on my own. 

For many years, I have told myself, "you can't do it", "just do enough to get by", "who cares if you don't know it all", "mediocre is just the right fit for me". But I am tired of just being complacent and stagnant in my life. A dear friend of mine often aggravates me with his 'know everything about everything', & his 'I gotta get more' mentality; and instead of applauding him and striving to do the same for myself, I sit back and scrape the bottom of the barrel giving the same ole' lil bit of effort in almost all areas of my life. Challenging myself to achieve above average results hasn't ever seemed to stimulate me. Being in this nonchalant state of being has prevented me from rising to the occasion, any occasion in which I could be great!  As you have read in previous posts, I gained 60 pounds two years ago. Although I later learned the weight gain was due to medical complications as a result of a prescribed medication, I fell into a rut. At one point I put forth so much effort to shed the pounds, but to no avail, and I got stuck thinking that no matter what I do, I will forever remain this size. Now I know this is not completely accurate, as I have already lost 25 pounds (without exercise), but I have yet to pick up my feet to do the necessary work. Just imagine what I could lose and how fast I could get back to my old weight if I just put more effort into it. Again settling for the minimal. I have become complacent and have lost all the willpower I ever had, which wasn't much to begin with, and I am allowing myself to just sit and do nothing.

Once upon a time, I dreamt of being a mother. I envisioned all the amazing things I would do with my child, all the adventures we would go on, play dates, tea parties, sport participation, and so much more. But after becoming a mother, I have yet again become satisfied with accomplishing the mere basics of motherhood; love, protect and provide. I have the best intentions of doing more, I honestly do, but at the end of my workday I don't have the energy to fulfill all the 'extra' stuff I want to do. I know what many of you are thinking, 'it's not about you'. Yes I know it isn't, but me being who I have been for so long, the simple things that motivate most, just doesn't motivate me like it should.

Do any of you ever feel that no matter what you do or how much time and effort you put into something that you will always end up on the losing end? I do. I feel I lack confidence and belief in myself that I CAN actually do the things I set my mind to doing. How do you gain confidence and belief in yourself? Does it come naturally or is it something you have to work on as an individual? Tricky question however, I feel it can be both. I do believe that some people are just born with confidence and are self motivators who don't need approval from others to seek and achieve their own success. And I also feel that confidence is something you have to build within yourself overtime through positive affirmations and self care. Although I know both things to be true, it has been a difficult journey for me to develop that confidence and belief in self that I am speaking of.

Here's why....

My father and I have been very close throughout my life and I consider myself an all and out  'daddy's girl'. I know he loves me dearly and would do anything to help me, but I recently discovered some interesting facts about our relationship that I never put to much thought into before now. My dad likes to give me tough love. As a teenager and throughout my twenties, I was not the easiest child to deal with. I sometimes had terrible mood swings, nasty attitude and that 'I'm grown, you can't tell me what to do' mentality. There were many times when I would get myself into a financial bind. I would go overboard with my credit card and not be able to pay what little bills I had even though I was working (because I kept making more bills and/or was wasting money on unnecessary 'must have' items). My dad and my mom would always lecture me and then bail me out. The extension of their services does not only apply to financial means, but advice on friends, school, motherhood etc. They are very kind and generous parents, but sometimes the 'talks' that come along with their assistance weren't always what I needed at the time. I noticed the last few years that my dad is very very negative when dealing with me. It's almost like he doesn't believe in  me just as much as I don't believe in myself, which in turn causes me to doubt myself even more. I get it, I do not have the best track record and maybe there has been some trust lost over the years, but I often leave our conversations feeling more down and defeated, as if I am not already hard enough on myself. Always wanting to pleasely dad and be his little perfect princess was the role that I took on. I never wanted him to see me as weak, broken or less than (even though I often fell short). I wanted to remain the apple of his eye as I had been as a little girl. So you can only imagine the hurt and feelings I felt when he made it known that I had let him down. I have often approached my dad with ideas of starting my own business, saving money to take a trip or to buy a special item I want, shared news that has made me smile and feel warm and loved, or just the simple things that may not mean much to him but mean the world to me; and all I get back from him are words of discouragement. I have a desire deep within me to BE GREAT, but once I share those thoughts with him it's like he only wants me to be satisfied where I am and not to seek becoming better, making more money, having better things, and it is a big let down.  I want both my mother and father to be proud of me and the things I accomplish or want to accomplish. I want their support in things I do that allow me to open doors for better opportunities for me and my daughter. I want them to be able to look at me and be proud of me for pushing the envelope and not stopping at mediocre. I want them to see the potential I have and encourage me to fulfill my dreams instead of supporting me in their/my quest to meet the bare minimum.

What determines the difference in those individuals who push the limits to achieve great success and those who only do enough to 'make the team' but not be a starter. How is it that others can put so much effort and belief in themselves to achieve their dreams and make them a reality, while others sit back and do only what is necessary to make a decent or just above decent living?

I have had so many experiences of being told I won't succeed that I began to believe it myself. Being told, 'you'll never be a ball player', 'I don't think you will ever get your masters degree', 'you say you gonna breast feed, I give you a week',  'you have to have money to start your own business, and you can't even pay your bills' ; this kind of negativity is the reason I have more than enough self doubt. Although some of these things I did in fact accomplish, the negativity still stuck with me and will take some time to unravel. 

I am glad that my self reflection continues to pay off and that I am learning more and more about me daily as well as those around me who play a role in my life. Learning how your relationships work and how they effect your life is imperative to your personal growth. It takes courage and strength to take a step back and look at yourself from a different perspective (sometimes in a light that you don't seem so pretty in) so that you can change. Change is not always comfortable but it is necessary! I am learning to embrace my beauty on the inside and as well as the outside. I am focused on adopting a more positive perspective in the way I view myself as a friend, daughter, mother, supervisor, business woman and a blogger. It is going to take some major willpower and dedication to rid myself of some of my ugly habits but I and ready and more than willing to finally put forth that effort. I am going to become who God has in store for me and I am going to be GREAT at it! I am no longer going to settle for mediocre or sell myself short. I am going to throw on those big girl panties and put in work. I will set new goals and I will achieve them (both old and new). I will become my own cheerleader and root myself on all the way to the finish line. In order to be great you have to do uncomfortable things, often stand on your own, and don't allow the Negative Nancys' to dictate your path. You don't have to live the story others write for you.With God's guidance, change the script and re-write your own story. Set out to achieve your dreams and discover the woman you were meant to be. Be 'that girl' with confidence, love, determination and motivation. You are the only one who can truly stop your dreams from becoming a reality.

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