Yesterday we had our third premarital counseling session in which we went over personality traits I possess based on a test I took. The test was eerily right on, indicating to my pastor that I had undergone trauma in my life (abuse, stillbirth) and still possessed a few inner scars from that. There wasn’t much from the results that surprised me, though a few things made me raise my eyebrows. I seem to possess a good amount of sympathy while also holding on to hostility. I lean more towards depressed and pessimistic, but am also a social butterfly. I am very submissive by nature, but I’m also self-disciplined.
And then there was the part that showed how Inhibited I am.
I hate this part. It makes me mad. I find myself holding back so often in times I should be speaking up, and it keeps me from the successes and praise I could be receiving otherwise. I watch as a coworker of mine sings her own praises to our boss while I quietly stew next to her, working my nose to the grindstone without any acknowledgment whatsoever. But if I don’t bring attention to my work, who will? As much as it irritates me, my coworker knows what she’s doing.
I hold myself back because I’m scared what others will think of me. I worry about failing, and even more of success. I hold back ideas that I deem stupid, only to silently kick myself when someone else comes forward with them – or even an idea that’s inferior.
My pastor gave me a few bullet points to mull over. First, being inhibited and submissive go hand in hand. He asked me if making a decision was hard for me, and I ironically mulled over the question before answering that yes, it could be. And when I expressed my frustration over this particular trait, he told me that the best way to overcome inhibition was to put on my “big girl pants” and make a decision, say what I’m thinking, stop holding back. He told me that what others think of me is their problem, not mine, and when I feel fearful about the outcome of something I need to remember that God has a plan and He put me on this path for a reason. Mistakes are ok, and might even be part of the process. I need to remember that I have good ideas too. When I let others speak up and keep myself quiet, I am giving others the control over my outcome. But when I make decisions, I am taking back the control of my life. And he hit it home by reminding me that my kids would do best with a role model who showed less inhibition and more drive.
It seems like it should be a simple fix to become less inhibited. I mean, it’s as simple as speaking up, moving forward, laughing at fear in the face. But we’re talking a lifetime of habits that need to be overturned.
I’m not even sure I know where to start.