Ownership

Let me get right to it – Normal Nelly, the blog, the brand, the beast, is an exercise in ownership. I have made a decision to acknowledge, embrace and yes, celebrate all that is me. This includes the part of me that I have worked fiercely to hide from the rest of the world, namely, my anxiety. This anxious part of me could be called Nervous Nelly.

Oddly enough, I have also worked very hard to hide the part of me that is amazing –the skills that make me stand out…the accomplishments that garner attention from others. This part of me, the part that strives for and often reaches greatness, could be called Notable Nelly.

It’s pretty obvious why I would want to hide the supposedly negative parts of myself (anxiety) from others. I don’t want them to think that I am strange or different. I don’t want my discomfort to make other people feel uncomfortable. I want to be accepted — to be liked. But, why would I also want to hide the positive parts of myself? The skills and accomplishments? The creativity and the determination?

Same answer. I want to be accepted – to be liked. After all, many people don’t like the success of others. This is sad, but true. The accomplishments of others make them feel less than.

As a high-ranking member of the People Pleaser Club, being liked and accepted has been the number one driver of most of my actions since I can remember. I’ve tried to keep myself on a very neutral plane…balancing between appearing as good as others, but not better than others. I’ve always had dreams of greatness –great achievements, great successes and public recognition – but my fear of making others “feel bad” when comparing themselves to my awesomeness (and therefore, not like me) has always caused me to make myself smaller. Dimming my own light was just more comfortable than shining it out into the world and awaiting criticism. But that perspective is changing. Now. With this blog.

The idea of ownership seems simple enough. You own the car that you drive around town. You own your favorite college sweatshirt that you bought freshman year.   These are your possessions. They are yours because you keep them with you…you take care of them…you are responsible for them. Exactly how you own these things says a lot about your feelings for them. Do you wash your car every week and keep it cleared of junk? Or is it caked with dirt and marred with scratches and scrapes? Do you put on your college sweatshirt every Sunday morning, relaxing into the comfy fabric, faded lettering and frayed seams? Or do you keep it folded and clean, tucked away in a special mothball filled box under your bed?

We don’t often make a concerted, deliberate decision about HOW we are going to own something. We just instinctively act out our feelings toward that object. The same goes for ourselves…I never thought about how I was going to take responsibility for my life and my identity; I managed myself unintentionally — based on feelings like fear and worry. I was the college sweatshirt in the box, kept safe under the bed. Sure, I would come out to strut my stuff on rare occasions when I felt brave, but for the most part, I stayed inside, watching others walk around. In the box I was safe from wear and tear,  judgment and any other potential dangers of living life.

Today, and everyday hereafter, I am laying out a new plan of deliberate and calculated self-ownership based on how I WANT to feel about myself and my environment. I have decided to lay claim to every single part of me…the scared, the neurotic, the magnificent, the depressed and the extraordinary.

This new conscientious ownership of myself, for myself, will take time and practice to be sure. It will not be an easy or a quick transition. In fact, I expect to spend the rest of my life learning and practicing how to embrace and accept myself in a way that makes me happy. There is no need to worry about what others will think of me and if anyone does have a negative opinion of me, well, that’s just none of my business 🙂

This blog is my way of staying accountable to the new ownership style. After all, true commitment and dedication needs to be reestablished and reaffirmed on a regular basis. Through the blog, I will share my experiences and feelings regarding anxiety and other related topics. I will also share strategies, information and resources I use or plan to use in order to manage my anxiety and my life. There will be other fun things to discover here as well, such as short stories and personal profiles.

I would love nothing more than for you to come with me and participate in this new ownership strategy. This blog will be a continual declaration that all parts of me…you…us, even the nervous parts, are normal. Normal Nelly.

What are you going to OWN today? What part of yourself will you embrace and share? Comment below and let me know!  Also, make sure to subscribe to this blog to receive notifications of new posts coming soon!

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12 thoughts on “Ownership

  1. Love the idea of taking ownership of all aspects of ourselves, the good and the bad. Definitely a form of self-acceptance which is a major step on the pathway to self-love. Can’t wait to read more!

    1. Thanks for reading!
      It’s interesting to really consider the concept of self-acceptance. There are so many people and things that we accept without question or hesitation…So why aren’t “I” one of those things? Why is that so difficult? It may be difficult, but it’s possible and definitely worth the effort.

  2. Just had a chance to read your 3 posts and I can’t wait until the next one! Not only are you a talented and articulate writer, you also show such courage. I believe vulnerability can be the finest form of courage and that is exactly what you display. Thanks for opening up in this forum. I want to be more like you!!!

    1. Wow!
      Thanks Jamie! I appreciate the kind words 🙂 I am working hard to embrace the concept of vulnerability, and it definitely gets better with practice. Stay tuned for more!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Nelly! I hope that this grows into a little community who will support each other through our respective struggles with anxiety.

    1. Hi Anita –
      I hope so too! I’m looking forward to sharing more ideas and resources, and hearing everyone’s thoughts and experiences.
      Thanks for reading!!

  4. All those who see unworthiness when they look at me and are given thereby to denying me value to you I say, “I’m not talking about being as good as you. I hereby declare myself better than you.” Sydney Poitier -The Measure of A Man.

    Well said.

    1. TrojanAl –
      I’m so glad you bring up Sydney Poitier — What a great example of a strong and determined individual who works for what he believes in regardless of critics. I am intrigued by his book! Now I will have to read The Measure of a Man.
      Thanks for sharing!

  5. Reading your post, I too see myself in that “reactionary” role. Reacting to situations and people instead of charting my own course. Letting my fears get the better of me too often. But I find inspiration in your idea of “ownership”. It is a scary yet empowering thought that I am actually in charge — that I can influence, dare I say, control, my path in life. I love the idea of ownership of all parts — good and bad! Looking forward to future posts!!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, JenK!
      You said it –owning your whole self and taking bold steps in life is scary yet empowering–But you can’t have the empowerment without the scary! Acknowledging and accepting “the whole” of ourselves can’t happen without giving attention (often public attention) to those parts we’d rather keep hidden. That’s why I want us to do this together, as a supportive community 🙂

  6. this post is so powerful! i had never thought about taking ‘ownership’ of how i am. too often i have seen myself as just reacting to the forces that are acting on me – whether those forces are my house, my husband, my kids, etc. thanks for putting a new perspective on this whole ‘ownership’ thing and pulling back the curtain on dealing with anxiety day to day. looking forward to your next post!

    1. Thanks SWells!
      You have reiterated exactly what this post and this blog is about — taking charge and being the instigator of one’s own life, instead of simply reacting to one’s environment. Taking the reactionary position feels safer than being the first one out of the gate, but it just doesn’t compare to making bold, first-moves with your authentic self. My goal with this blog is to create an inspiring and supportive community through which people feel safe sharing their authentic selves. I will definitely post more about the reactionary topic in the future.

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