We all need to give less fucks.
If you know me, you know that in moments of discouragement or frustration, I turn to art. Lately, I’ve been learning a thing or two from Banksy, an artist notorious for his political street art and controversial pop-ups. Bansky, who once broke into a museum and installed a fake painting that sat on display for months before it was noticed. Banksy, who recently installed a shredder into the frame of one of his own works so that the piece would self-destruct after being sold at auction. Like Damien Hirst and Marcel Duchamp, he gets his audience thinking.
Are there people in your life trying to dictate how you should be living? Are there voices casting judgement on your dreams? Audit the naysayers. Take charge, like Banksy, and don’t let a stuffy, fearful culture keep you from experimenting, taking risks, and having fun.
I was going through an awful depression last year, and there were people spreading rumors, saying cruel things about my running my social media marketing business, raising my brother and purposely trying to damage my reputation in a small community. I’ll be honest and take accountability, my reaction was full of self-deprecating victimization and I defensively said some not nice things while drinking copious amounts of booze. Not my proudest moment. However, once I finally got myself out of bed, I realized….I don’t want to be that person in anyone’s life and we all are capable of growth!
I’ve made a commitment to encourage others rather than tear them down. A commitment to lead with vulnerability. Yet, fear is a very REAL obstacle. Right now for example, I’m afraid to share my writing on my personal Facebook page out fear that my colleagues will see that I’m writing in my free time and accuse me of being distracted at my job.
All too often, women attack each other or make themselves smaller to avoid judgment. Ultimately, censuring their creativity or professional pursuits. I’m doing it right now! But I know I need to challenge myself to overcome my fears, because I don’t want to live a life ruled by the opinions of others.
There’s a never ending societal pressure to fit into a perfect little box... but the thing is, I’m never going to be able to do that. My life is messy and chaotic. But I have worked hard to stand in the rooms I stand in. Just because I don’t fit into that box doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate my successes.
Are there parts of your life you are hiding out of the fear of what others will say? Or have you been judging others for pursuing their passions?
If you’re the former, stand tall! You deserve credit for your hard work. And if you find yourself in the latter group, your criticism isn’t really about them... it’s about you.