Coloring Outside of My Lines

rebecca - Osceola, Wisconsin
Entered on April 20, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Many may say it’s healthy to be hard on yourself… but when is it too much? When do you draw the line? When someone else tells you that you’re being too critical and expecting too much of yourself? When are you in the way of you? Is it when you make a bad or silly mistake play in a sport? When will it cause you to hurt your chances to improve and grow into a better you?

I’ve had many firsthand experiences of this because I do it without a thought. It’s a natural tendency for me because I’ve always expected myself to be the best. When I was little I had no cares in the world. If I messed up the picture is was coloring, or the Lego blob I would create everyday turned out in a way I hadn’t envisioned, it was no biggie. It would turn into something new, not a piece I would use to loath myself on. People all have reasons that many don’t know they have covered and hidden away, only because they feel it won’t help them improve or be the best. For all they know it may actually be good to let go or forget that pent up secret. That doesn’t mean to go tell your best friend. It means write it down somewhere no one else will know about and show your parents. I know that sounds weird but it helps I know that for a fact. They love you and don’t want you to get hurt, they’ll support you through thick and thin.

My father told me this quote, I was around the age of 14, he’d heard in college from a professor. He felt I needed to hear it for my own good, which, looking back I fully agree. It was: “only you can get in the way of you.” He’d told me that because I was always saying I was doing something wrong and beating myself up over it. Weither it was a bad test grade, which in truth wasn’t that low, or a play I’d blamed myself for messing up in any sport I played. When he told me that a light bulb turned on in my head. My immediate thought was “why would he care? It’s just me telling myself I could do better.” I may not have realized it then, and am just reaching the knowledge now, but that tiny bit of knowledge he’d said was going to be very influential and soon come into effect in my life. It was that key mantra I would recite to myself when I felt I was too hard on myself.

I have used that mantra when I feel too overwhelmed by something that causes me to lose my train of thought. It helps me focus and tell myself that I’m just confusing myself more than necessary and I can figure this situation out. I truly believe that “only you get in the way of you,” because I have seen many people around me struggle with that and I have struggled with it. I know it can be overcome; I’m just taking those baby steps and following it through to the end. I know that is what I believe because it’s a personal belief I have found deep inside and no one can say that they thought of it first. I have put my spin on it and created my belief.