I was working with a young lady who is absolutely a lovely person. However, she doesn’t feel good about herself at all. In fact, I would say that she hates herself and doesn’t even feel she belongs in this world. She can’t seem to find a way to belong. She is in her mid twenties and although she has a career goal, that seems to be her only goal. She has no friends; she struggles with being solely dependent on her family, loving them yet hating them at the same time because she is so dependent on them.
She is simply stuck in this really unhappy place in her own head. The stories she has told herself, many of which have been reinforced by the people she most loves, keep her trapped and unhappy. She chooses to believe these stories and stays stuck. Her fear of changing these beliefs is more frightening than remaining trapped, stuck and very unhappy. Can you relate?
Many people contribute to the development of your self image: parents, siblings, friends, relatives, teachers, religious leaders and everyone else that comes into your life. If you are not careful, you could let the world develop your self image rather than you creating you. I remember having a math teacher tell my mother that “I just didn’t have a math mind. I was a C math student.” Now, if I were a different type, I could have accepted that as a part of me and then given myself permission to just be a C math student. Instead, I was so angry she labeled me that I had to prove her wrong and worked like a dog to be an A math student. However, when I was in my early years as a student, a teacher told my mother “An Artist, she is not.” I guess I was too young to get angry at an adult, I accepted this as a fact, and never developed skills as an artist. We all have to be careful of what messages we give others, but we also have to realize, that it is up to us to accept or reject these so called facts about who we are. If we accept what others say about us as truths, then we let others determine who we are and what we will become. Or, we can work really hard and create our own self image.
Who do you want to be an expert on you? You, or someone or everyone out there thinking they know who you are? When you give others the power, you will never be happy with you. When you take responsibility for who you are, you can begin to feel better about you. Don’t give up the power. That’s when you feel trapped, stuck and very unhappy. Your power is within you. Find your excellence within.