My Mom used to call herself the “Pioneer Woman,” wear too-high-cut-off Wrangler jean shorts on her 5’ 2” frame, drink Popov Vodka all day everyday and pick my brother and I up in a riding lawn mower from the bus stop. Do you think she cared what others thought? Pretty sure she didn’t. I remember my face getting hot when I’d see her there waiting for us – so embarrassing for an 8-year-old living in a town of 400 people (who talked, btw). I mean, was it street-legal? For-sure NO. Was it practical? Actually it was, I mean, we lived on a dirt road in rural Vermont and it was only 7/8th’s of a mile home, so why not attach the trailer hitch to the John Deere, put it in high-speed and go?
For all her craziness, my Mom taught me an important lesson, and it’s taken me almost 30 years to truly live it, and that is: do not care what people think of you. Ok, well, you’re probably still going to care, but don’t let it dictate your actions. Don’t let others’ potentially negative judgements of you prevent you from shining your own brand of light into the world. So, if you’ve been holding back for fear of judgement and have an amazing idea that you want to put out there, you should probably git ta readin’ below.
1. People aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.
One of the many valuable gem-lessons I learned in my years in support groups is that people are so wrapped up in their own bullshit that they honestly don’t care that much about yours. People are gonna talk no matter what, and here’s hoping all those who do are a huge fan, or someone passionately inspired by all you do.
2. It doesn’t matter what people think.
A year ago I got a random message on Facebook from a stranger saying a girl I went to college with (who “liked” my stuff and by all outward appearances supported me) was screenshotting my posts on social media and making fun of me. It made me feel sad, ashamed and violated, but I also recognized her behavior as a byproduct of fearlessly putting myself out there, plus I thought of all the times my friends and I had done similar things, so I empathized (and honestly thought the person who reached out was a drama queen). My message is: honestly, who cares if people make fun of you? We live in the good ‘ol U-S-of-A; time to start exercising Freedom of Speech in all it’s glorious forms. I’m not going to stop putting myself out there as a model/personality/writer/ridiculous millennial content creator because people think I’m narcissistic and super-extra. #sawwynotsawwydotcom
3. People are waiting to be inspired by you.
There are certain stories only you can tell, certain people only you can touch, and certain things only you understand and can shine light on. Air your soul out and go inspire someone. I’ll be over here shaking my ass waiting for you #whichisfine.
4. The next great idea could be trapped in your head – don’t lose it.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, wrote a wonderful book called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which I highly recommend. In it she describes her belief that ideas come and go, and if you don’t act on them right now, they may go to someone else. Ever have an amazing idea and let it chill up in ya head for too long, then before you know it someone “stole your idea?” Maybe that idea got sick of waiting around to manifest in your head, so it went to another host who would put in the work and set it free. Think about it and act today on your creative ideas. What do you think this whole entire blog is?
5. Live with no regrets and don’t sell yourself short; go for the original dream — no matter how big it is — and don’t stop working until you get there.
One of my biggest fears is waking up in 20 years and thinking, “shit, I never really went for it.” I don’t want to be a flaccid, half-measure taker; I want to be a rock-hard, bold creator! I always said I wanted to be a model, and I have achieved that dream in a sense, and I am definitely proud of myself each day for that. But, if I’m truly honest with myself, I haven’t achieved the measure of success my inner child/dreamer originally envisioned. So, I’m rolling up my sleeves and really putting in the work, which for a male model means weight training, keeping the yoga flowing, eating nutritiously and strategically, staying on top of my skin-care regimen, attending castings and bookings on time, and being easy to work with and professional. So, what happens if my career always stays at the level it is now? I still consider that a huge success, especially coming from a rural, alcoholic upbringing and living successfully in NYC for 6+ years on my own. But, as Rachel Platten says, “I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” #thankyou
So, go out there and be your beautiful and vulnerable self. Give someone the permission to live their truth through your actions today.
Love this!!! I def think a lot of people don’t go after their dreams because they care so much about what other people think and how they look or how they think they look, when really there are most often more people cheering you on and in need of what you have to offer than there are negative or discouraging people. I have to constantly take a deep breath and remind myself that I’m always in the right place and doing the right thing! This is such a great post!!
Awesome, thank you so much for writing such a wonderful comment, Ashley! I always have to remind myself to not be so hard on myself. Your blog is awesome, too! Keep shining <3
💖 NP! & same to you!!!
We need more people like you! I feel like our generation is having a hard time putting their selves out there because of how easy it is to hide behind technology. This is a breathe of fresh air. You rock!
Thank you so much, best friend/sister/life coach/inspiration <3
You go for the gusto, your mama would be proud of you, I know I am…
Thank you so much, Laima! I really appreciate that. Love you <3