Learning to believe in yourself is hard. Confidence has never been my strong suit. Even as a teen, I was the one second guessing everything I did, wondering if I made the right decisions. This followed me into my adult life as well. Any time I started a new venture, hobby or interest, I doubted myself, wondering whether I was good enough and/or comparing myself to others.
I seemed to always find a reason to give up — I had fear of failure.
That’s what I was letting control me. Rude comments about having so many interests discouraged me. Thinking that I needed to hone in on one interest and just stick to that one thing made me feel insecure about any new thing I tried.
But how are you supposed to find the things you love if you don’t try new things and explore all your options?
As I entered my thirties, I started to realize that it didn’t matter what others were able to do or if they seemed more successful than I was. I needed to do what I loved. I love writing and I found my home here with the Chattanooga Moms. I love baking and I found I was good at it once we switched to a gluten free lifestyle a few years ago for my husband; I was determined to make gluten free versions of desserts and things he loved before he had to go gluten free. I worked hard, learning to make gluten free foods taste moist and light. It took time, but pretty soon I was able to make almost anything I put my mind to. Then, people started asking if I could make them something and last year I started taking orders as “The Gluten Free Mom.” I found that I loved creating new recipes and that I was really good at it.
Finally deciding to not be affected or influenced by others was the best decision I could have made.
Yes, there have been learning curves, and a few times I was ready to throw in the towel when I couldn’t get a recipe to work or when I couldn’t get a decoration just right, but then I reminded myself that I am completely self-taught and that I can’t compare myself to others with decades of experience. I am proud of myself for not giving up and most of all, I get so excited when someone expresses how much they enjoyed a treat I made. I have had so many people tell me that they had given up on finding tasty gluten free foods until they tried my creations.
I love being challenged to make something new and I love making people smile. Through this journey, I have found that baking is a creative outlet for me and when I can’t bake for a week due to illness or a hectic schedule, I miss it so much.
My wish is that we all find something we truly love and enjoy doing, and that we not let anyone or anything take that joy away. If you haven’t found your “thing” yet, keep trying new things. Trying new things wasn’t a simple task for me. I tried crochet, crafting, painting, jewelry making, bow making, and at one point, I had a cricut machine and made shirts and cups. People commented on the number of things in which I had interests and people discouraged me.