By: Danielle Meeker, IATG ContributorAugust 8, 2016
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t felt fear and pressure to fit in with the masses. I think it stems from high school. My high school thrived on peer pressure, and everyone made snap decisions about everyone else based on how much money their family made, what they wore everyday, and who they hung out with. Anything you said could be held against you later on down the line if you weren’t careful. I constantly feared saying the wrong thing or doing something that would cause immediate judgment. People whispering around me triggered my brain to automatically assume they were talking about me. I figured they had to be saying something along the lines of, “Did you hear what Danielle did? She’s so dumb.” Luckily, I had a wonderful group of friends who understood my quirks and helped my overactive brain relax.
Even years later,
I have days where the panic of judgment is present and thriving.
And honestly? A little fear is a good thing.
A lot of fear is debilitating, but a little bit can push you outside your comfort zone. No matter what, you can’t please everyone, and everyone will have their own opinions. Some will agree with you, some won’t. Trust me. It’s exhausting trying to make everyone happy, so you might as well make yourself happy first.
My trick? I’ve embraced the phrase ‘fake it till you make it.’ Even if I’m unsure of myself and worried what people will think, giving off the perception of confidence does wonders. Plus, if you surround yourself with the people who make you feel good about yourself, you can put the fear to bed. Positive people, positive thoughts. Then the fear can vanish like a pint of chocolate ice cream on a Sunday night in your pajamas!
Too often we get caught up in what other people think of us. Well, we say enough is enough. You are a badass. You are talented. You have something to offer the world, and you shouldn’t let others hold you back. Make a list of all your badass qualities today, and post it somewhere you’ll see every day.
Danielle has a BA in English, emphasis in Creative Writing. She is a marine mammal trainer on Oahu, working with dolphins, sea lions and penguins. She loves singing, photography, iced coffee, and everything water related. Check out her YouTube channel DanielleMeekerTalks and Instagram @dmeekertalks.