November 11, 2019

HEALTHY GROWTH MINDSET PART ONE

We are each beautifully unique, with our own personal flaws and beauties, weaknesses and strengths. It’s in our authenticity, our spirit, that we are wonderfully diverse. If we don’t maintain a healthy grasp on who we are individually—independent from all of the competition and relativity we’re bombarded with on a daily basis—we can end up fighting the battles that the society expects of us instead of fighting our unique growth journey. In this series, I will be talking about how I found my growth path and the lessons learned along the way. Let the journey begin …


TO BE VULNERABLE IS TO BE HUMAN. ACCEPTING IT BUILDS OUR AUTHENTICITY.


The tradition of putting on an outward showing of our best selves in public—around strangers and acquaintances—has been around since the beginning of time. It’s an instinctual self-protection mechanism and also an act of social grace. However, it has accelerated more rapidly over the recent years with the launch of social media where we’re now consistently bombarded with the best parts of people’s lives being shown, versus the raw, gritty, realities.

We’ve all had those times where we don’t feel worthy or good enough. None of us are immune to this, no matter how put together we might look on the outside. These insecurities and feelings of not being good enough simply come with being human. If authenticity means acting correspondingly to our inner truth at a given time, what would happen when we feel insecure inside at that time? Do we show our inner truth of insecurity or do we put on a façade acting strong?

It is rather interesting how we all expect and appreciate openness and authenticity from others, but collectively perceive vulnerable sides of human nature as weakness. It is like we are condemning parts of our very being, so the question is how can authenticity blossom and bloom in such circumstances?

There are always going to be different times where we must act in a socially appropriate manner in order to hold social grace and extend well-intended courtesy. But we must also be mindful of striking the right balance between being socially appropriate, and showing up authentically.

This balance can change based on context, situation, and place. Just as it can be different based on the type of people we’re around such as acquaintances, co-workers, our boss, our significant other, friends, family, or even the general public. This is where the true challenge comes into play where we must take all of these factors into account when configuring our balance for each situation in order to stay true to ourselves, while maintaining the appropriate social courtesies and professionalism when required.

I know that we are all different, our situations are different, our emotions and how we react to situations can be different. But I personally believe we can learn a lot from what others have learned throughout their journeys in life. Many times, I’ve experienced a shift in mindset by listening to other people’s stories, and this is why I want to share my story and my lessons learned with you…

MY STORY, MY INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS SERIES.

I had a profound experience of this amidst my significant relationship, where my vulnerabilities were at their highest peak. Before this relationship I was self-content. I knew who I was and what I wanted. But when “He” entered my life, the world as I knew it—and the me I thought I knew well—was turned upside down. While this might sound a tad bit dramatic, it was my reality.

Perhaps you can relate to this type of feeling or not. I felt vulnerable, exposed, and lost. The balance between conserving a sense of my authentic self and compromising to keep love and harmony within the relationship was the struggle I tried to attain.

I wanted to be able to be comfortably imperfect in my relationship. For I knew I could not be in a healthy relationship for the long run if I could not be my true self, and that the relationship surely would fall apart if I were to lose “me”. But external situations made me feel like I was forced to be more accommodating and “perfect” in order to keep his love and affection. The true me refused to be nudged towards change against my authentic will, but the fear of losing him was so profound— an internal struggle was there and it was real.

Since a very young age, I have always refused to compete with others. If I decide to change or grow, it has to be out of my own freewill, not out of fear or external pressure. I wanted to be strong enough to “choose to change” because of my love for him and because I felt that our relationship was worth fighting for, and not because of any fear I might have had of losing him.

I tried very hard to convince myself to keep calm, and to remember that he loves me and that I am enough. To find security in our genuine love that was sufficient enough to keep our relationship alive and strong. But I felt like the reality of my self-contentment was consistently being tested.

Even though I have always refused to compete with other people—except to compete with my own self from yesterday— I could not help but compare myself against other women, some prettier, some with better social profiles, and some who were more successful in their careers.

I start paying more attention to the things I didn’t like about myself. Around me I saw a greatly “competitive landscape” that posed threats to my relationship. I was struggling with the fear of losing him, and in turn I became insecure in our relationship.

There was this new part of me who was swinging between deep introspections of how to better myself to be “enough” to be the woman standing by his side, and the real me who was digging my heels in to stay comfortable and confident in who I was.

The struggle was real, and the struggle was hard.

The craziest thing of all was that at the end of the day the supposed competition–other women—were triggers for me to face my own insecurities. And the battle was about me coming to love myself as a whole, the beauties and the flaws.

Through my struggles I learned that the best way to foster growth is to first accept the reality of relativity and the competitive dynamics of today world, and then to handle it mindfully. Through acceptance we become more graceful, and we open the gate to maintaining and growing a healthy self-esteem, as well as a positive self-image.

“We can’t change the reality of how the world works, nor the external landscape. But we can change how we handle it.”
 Mim Chawimon

This first post of a three-part series on growing a healthy mindset includes my personal experiences, the struggles I encountered, and what I learned from them. I hope that by being vulnerable with you and by sharing my story and the lessons I learned with you, that it can open up a safe space for you to be vulnerable and to simply allow the beautiful imperfect side of you to be heard, seen, and accepted.

In my next post—Part Two of the series— I’ll be sharing how I personally embrace growth in a mindful and healthy way. The inspiration behind this series is to support those of you who are navigating your own personal growth journey amidst this dynamic and competitive landscape.

With Love,
Mim

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