When she told me I couldn’t, I believed her. Because I usually do. She knows me well and wouldn’t have any reason to lie to me. It doesn’t benefit her to see me fail or not succeed as well as I could, so of course she must have a reason to tell me that I couldn’t, right?
She lists off the risks, and the potential stresses, and she reminds me of why I haven’t done it already. I trust her, and have listened to her for years. It’s easier to agree with her than to argue. Our arguments always end up causing me more stress. There’s never a real winner. When I push pass what she says and finally decide to go the direction that my gut suggests I should, it almost always works out well. Even in the most stressful of circumstances, even if there is some failure, the end of the world doesn’t come; even if she said it would.
I try to listen to her less, my age brings some wisdom and I can learn from my youth, but she likes to remind me of the past. “Remember that time…” she’ll say and that’s all it takes for me to be reminded of something I would really rather not think about again, or that I thought I had moved passed.
She says I can’t but in my moments of joy and clarity, surrounded by so many others who say that I can, I wonder just how much I can trust her. How much her counsel is actually trying to protect me from getting hurt or from seeing me succeed.
She is me. That voice in my head, the one that second guesses every major decision far too often. She’s been with me since I was a child, I’ve always had to think everything out in great detail, assess every risk and potential stress that comes with a choice, a decision, even if making no decision leads to more stress. The voice in my head has been a friend, I’ve been able to tell myself ‘good job’ and ‘this was really really great’ many times, but it’s when that voice is at the most negative that I second guess myself. That I wonder if I really can do something.
I am teaching myself to say ‘yes I can’ more often, with more conviction and louder than any other voice can say the opposite. It’s been working lately, with a few moments of second guessing and hesitation.
Somewhere, when I move forward and tell the voice to be quiet, I think she just shrugs her shoulders. Because deep down she knows that I really can. And that’s what I will tell myself. Over and over again. Because she is me. And I can.