I’m not sure why, but the past few nights, I’ve had trouble sleeping. It takes me a while to fall asleep, and then I’ll wake up around four and lay awake for a few hours. I don’t mind, though- it gives me a chance to think. And I just realized something: I worry far too much about what others think.
I’ve known for a while that it’s a problem. But realized it again because, after a friend of mine just had an incredible accomplishment, I asked a mutual friend to congratulate him for me, since we don’t live near each other and I have no way to get in touch with him. And then, afterwards, I felt guilty for asking her to do that. I felt like I had been a bother, and the last thing I want to do is bother or inconvenience anyone, especially her. But, as I laid here tonight, unable to sleep, I realized something else: I shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to be kind.
I’ve been focusing on her, when instead I should be focusing on what my friend has just accomplished. He just did something amazing; he deserves to be congratulated, especially after all the hard work and dedication he’s put in. It’s not wrong to tell him that. But by overthinking, I created a problem that wasn’t there to begin with and caused myself a lot of needless stress and worry.
I think a lot of us do that. I think we’re so busy worrying about what someone else will think or how our actions will be precieved that we rob ourselves of countless opportunities: opportunities to speak our minds, share what’s been on our hearts, or brighten someone else’s day. And you know what? We need to stop doing that. Because being yourself and being honest isn’t something to be sorry for, as long as you go about it the right way. You never know how your words or actions could impact someone or inspire them. Who knows? Maybe you’ll encourage someone to follow their dreams or achieve a goal they once thought was impossible. Maybe you’ll open someone’s heart, and make them realize that they are indeed amazing and loved. Or maybe you’ll brighten someone’s day, and be a ray of sunshine they look at whenever they’re stuck in the rain. You never know. Because while words have the power to break someone, they also have the power to heal and bring joy. They have the power to open hearts and doors, and their impact is often more profound than any of us realize.
So the next time you want to compliment someone or share what’s been on your heart, do it. Say what you need to say, and don’t apologize for it. There’s nothing wrong with being kind, there’s nothing wrong with being honest, and there’s nothing wrong with being yourself. Because you are a masterpiece unlike any other, and you deserve to be heard. You do. In the words of my favorite singer, “I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.”