It’s gonna be May

May 2023:

Oh yes I did…

And yesss I was. The BIGGEST *NSYNC fan in middle school. I remember how much crap I got from classmates for wearing the merchandise, going to the concerts and constantly playing their albums on repeat.

I look back on an already very sensitive time in life. Adolescence is plagued by a constant cringeworthy self-consciousness during which all your flaws are on display for everyone to see. Add a set of braces, cystic acne, a full schedule of honors classes and a boy band t-shirt, you have a guaranteed formula for getting teased.

A lady smiling

I dimmed down my public expression of fandom to avoid criticism from my peers. I remember falling into peer pressure and listening to more popular radio stations to learn the top 40 hits so that I could relate to others. I even remember my friends offering to pay me to cuss. I resisted as much as possible until feeling “cool” outweighed the integrity of a clean mouth. I let go of so many parts of myself just to feel like I fit in.

I look back on these times and realized that it was only a microcosm of the real world.

As adults after graduation we assume all the grade school stereotypes will come to an end but truth is interpersonal judgment only becomes that much more intimidating when you step into the reality that is corporate America. Once money and competition is involved it gets really real really quick.

I feel sad for the little adolescent version of myself that silenced parts of herself just to fit in. I feel even more sad for those that go their whole lives without a sense of identity as a result of constantly conforming to their environments.

It’s taken two decades, dozens of journal entities and endless self help books to get to where I am today. I have released what others think of me and with that has come an incredible sense of freedom. The perceived judgments of others are not only OUR projections onto them, they could also be potentially false and also an additional source of weight on our shoulders throughout the day forcing us to overexert ourselves. Don Miguel Ruiz said it best:

“Do not take anything personally!”

Whether a positive or negative piece of feedback its still an external source based on a completely different set of morals and perspectives which may not even align with our own! So why do we care so much what others think of us??

External validation could be the most common and one of the greatest contributing factors to anxiety and depression.

When we seek validation, confidence and reassurance solely from others we are making an active choice to freely hand over control to an uncontrollable external source. And now you live in a constant state of anxiety. Why? Because you have removed the birthright of choice and relinquished it onto a source you do not have full access of. The only thing you can ever fully control is yourself. Your thoughts. Your actions. Your beliefs. Simple as that.

Just by realizing how these choices contribute to your locus of control you are one step ahead of the game. So ask yourself whether you have an internal or external locus of control. (hint: if you’re unsure which one you might be check your mood when you don’t check off all your To-Do list boxes, don’t get that promotion, or the complements you’d like from a friend or romantic partner)

Follow up with whether there may be patterns between your shift in mood, increase in anxiety and/or depression. These indicators can be very telling and will better inform you where your confidence lies.

Today, decide to take your confidence into your own hands. Be your own source of validation and you will never go without.

Reach out today

Dr. Cristina Dominguez provides compassionate, professional care with no judgment. Elite coaching sessions can help with career advancement, successful relationships, burnout, and more. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation. 

its gonna be may