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life & design

I Am Hard On Myself and Other Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Here, I work on a current knitting project. My daughter captured this scene last week. I was so absorbed, I didn’t know that she had my camera, so this shot captures everything–the pile of projects behind me that I haven’t gotten to, my soda water habit, my un-showered self, and yes, my being incredibly hard on myself.

I know that about myself, but what I didn’t know is that when I’m feeling this way–frustrated about something not working, angry with myself for not picking up a new skill quickly, disappointed with myself for making a mistake–that it is SO evident in my body. My defeated stature struck me hard. More than that, the fact that my 6 year old daughter caught it on the camera made me realize that it is what she sees. She, who struggles with perfectionism herself, sees her mother like this . . . hmmm. Now, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about it (ha ha), but it did strike me that I am literally a model for her. I don’t want what this photo captures for her, I want her to be gentle with herself, accepting of challenges, willing to make a mistake, patient with frustration. Uh-huh . . . . something to think about, something to bring into my own sphere of thought, something to do for myself.

I post this in my commitment to contribute to the effort to be more transparent and as genuine as possible about my work, my craft and the realities of my life. I want to take this moment to thank Ez and Jess for encouraging this sort of communication in the blog-o-sphere and it won’t be the last time I share Things I’m Afraid To Tell You. I want to thank my readers, too, for the kind comments that you all leave when I share something that scares me.

I was going to just leave this post at the above revelation, but ah well, I’m just going to dive in and then hit post so I don’t change my mind. Here is a list of Things I’m Afraid to Tell You.

I am afraid that people won’t think I’m good enough.

I am afraid that people will think I’m a fraud.

I am afraid that people won’t think I’m talented.

I am envious of people that don’t worry about money.

I have a hard time telling people that I want my blog to be my business.

I am paralyzingly indecisive.

I compare myself to others all the time and regularly think I’m not as good as . . .

I am afraid I’m not a good mother – too much yelling, too hard on them, not present enough.

I neglect home and family duties to try and keep my work and this blog afloat.

I would be embarrassed to show photos of my very undesignerly, messy house.

Okay – I’m freaking out, is that enough??

xo anne

I wanted to add a post script that my mother sent me. This also echoes what many of you have commented on or included in messages sent to me via email. I think this quote is beautiful and reminds us all how important to be our true selves, including in front of our children. Thanks Mom!

“Shame is the fear of disconnection. It’s – ‘is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?’ In order for connection to happen we have to allow the vulnerability for ourselves to be seen, really seen, and to know what is seen is the true, beautiful essence of who we are. Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and the struggle for worthiness, and it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, connection and love.” – Brene Brown

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