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A Journey Inward

This was me 10 years ago:


On the outside I:

  • was confident, intelligent, and a go-getter.
  • had a Master’s degree and worked as the Assistant Director for Career Services at a local university.
  • had an active social life, lots of dinner’s out and friends to grab drinks with
  • owned my own home and was capable of taking care of things

On the inside I:

  • was full of anxiety and insecurity
  • had doubts about my job and my career in general
  • really felt alone yes, I had lot of friends but none of them really got to see the real me.
  • had purchased my brother’s house, mostly because he was moving and it ‘made sense’ to buy a house.
  • felt disengaged from my life. I felt as if I was just going along doing what everyone else told me to do. Waiting for the next set of directions or idea.

Basically I was 2 different people, the person I presented to the outside who was together, confident, witty and happy and the person on the inside who was consumed with self doubt, terrified of being ‘found out’ and driven to keep up the facade.

Then a friend of mine died, a relationship ended and I couldn’t fake it anymore.  I was so tired of myself and my life I decided to move across country to Oregon.  I decided I could have a fresh start, a new identity and finally get my insides to match my outsides.  My family didn’t share the excitement of me moving and my parents were utterly terrified and disapproving–which was devastating to me.  Because of all the turmoil,  I entered into therapy (again) and fortunately found an amazing therapist.  She helped me realize heading to Oregon without doing any real change with myself wouldn’t solve all my problems. I would just create the same me in Oregon–no matter how cool Oregon was I wouldn’t suddenly become a new person. I had to go a little deeper…changing my outsides wouldn’t help I had to change my insides.

So I embarked on a major journey,

  • I started figuring out what I enjoyed to do.
  • I experimented with new activities
  • I took some solo vacations and got to know ME again.
  • I made REAL friends and showed up in those relationships. I shared my real self and my insecurities and vulnerabilities.
  • I learned how to talk to my family and express what I wanted out of my life even if it was different then what they wanted for me.
  • I quit my job and went back to school to become a counselor because I decided that is what I REALLY wanted.
  • I figured out my values and started making choices based on what I wanted/needed vs. what everyone thought I needed or what I SHOULD need.
  • I learned to say no, set boundaries and speak up for myself.
  • Basically I learned how to trust myself.

Gradually my insides matched my outsides.  I no longer lived in fear of being found out.  I decided I didn’t need to move to Oregon anymore because one thing I valued was family.  Now that I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed by my family and could make decisions on my own, I wanted to be near them.

Do I still have periods of self doubt and insecurity?–ABSOLUTELY.

Do I still wake up some days feeling scared and anxious?—YES

So how is life different now?

  • Now I can share that self doubt and insecurity with trusted friends and family.
  • I have practices of checking in and re-grouping with myself
  • I treat myself with loving kindness more easily.
  • I don’t live in fear of being ‘found out’
  • I know I can ask for help when I need it and I know that no matter what I will be ok.
  • My anxiety has dramatically reduced.
  • I am 100% engaged in my life all the good and the bad.

Is it perfect every time–No.

Is it 1000000 times better? Yes.

Do I feel peaceful on a daily basis? Yes.


I would love to hear from you in the comments:   Do you relate to my story? How does Trusting Yourself play a role in your life?

4 Responses to A Journey Inward

  1. Thank you, Nancy, for being so real. You’re an inspiration!

  2. OMG are you me? I can think back not too long ago I was fantasizing in your office about picking up and moving to Oregon. (To run away from my feelings.) You smiled and nodded, but didn’t say anything! Sneaky!

    Now that some time has passed since the end of the first TYA class, I can say that I can truly see and feel the impact the class had on me. I’ve made major changes in my relationships, in my work life, and just how I feel about “me” when I’m alone in my head. I liked what you said about your insides matching your outsides. I feel like my feet are firmly on that path in a way that they weren’t before. To anyone even thinking about the class, I’d say do it. You will NOT regret it!!

  3. Nancy Jane Smith says:

    You are so welcome Ann! Thank you for the lovely comment 😉

  4. Nancy Jane Smith says:

    Maybe Oregon has some super power…it is an amazing state so I couldn’t’ blame you for wanting to move there. But as someone said to me when I was debating moving there, “Interesting that you pick the furthest state possible on the other side of the country” I think a big part of me believed, the further I got the easier it would be.

    Thank you for the amazing review of TYA–watching you make the major changes has been an honor 🙂