Forgetting About What “They” said
How many of you have had a dream of something that you’ve always wanted to do, or become, but the words and perceptions of others deterred you? Perhaps, you’ve always wanted to become an actor, but felt that you didn’t look as good as Denzel Washington or Halle Berry, so you believed that no one would want to see you. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to be an athlete, but didn’t believe that you’d ever be good enough to play professional sports. Here’s one that I know many of you can relate to: how many of you never went for that person of whom you just knew that you could spend the rest of your life with, because you didn’t think you were good enough for them?
Missed opportunities are nearly impossible to get over. They hang around and haunt us forever, encouraging thoughts of what could have been. We beat ourselves up for years for not taking that life-changing leap — just taking a chance on ourselves. Eventually, we adjust and learn (or pretend) to be content in the safe lifestyles that we have chosen.
Ask yourself, “what or who was it that planted the seed of self doubt inside of you?” Most likely, it wasn’t you. By nature, humans do not elect to put ourselves down. Feelings of inadequacy are always the result of other people, and or forces, whether advertently, or inadvertently. They tell us (in a variety of ways) that we are not good enough. The best defense to that is to hone our crafts and go on to become great, but that doesn’t happen often enough. Most of us learn to accept that we are not pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough, strong enough, or smart enough, and settle into a conventional life where we are not often reminded of our inadequacies. Safe; it is. Happy, it’s usually not.
We’ve all had dreams when we were younger of what we wanted to be when we “grow up“. Adults seem to love to ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Since we were brave enough to dream, back then, most of us gave elaborate, festive answers to that question. We’d say that we wanted to be everything from doctors, to astronauts, to cowboys — because we believed that we could become those things. Then, somewhere along the way, someone, or some people, began to criticize us and point out (or make up) reasons why our dreams were stupid and unachievable. Usually, this begins in school, and as time progressed in our scholastic careers, the criticism would increase, until we’d begin to believe that our ideas were unrealistic and that we simply were not good enough.
The Cool Kids Clique
Every school has the “Cool Kids Clique“. The group of popular kids who pretty much decided who and what was cool, and what was not. Although this clique was always a minority in numbers compared to the rest of the schools population, those who were not selected to be a part of the “in crowd“, would find themselves measuring their own worth by comparing themselves to the popular kids. In most cases, this is the beginning of self esteem issues that, in many instances, last a lifetime.
When you have your peers, family and the media causing you to feel inferior, you’ll begin to believe that you are not “good enough“. You’ll stop challenging yourself, and eventually, you’ll settle for “good enough“. Not being a part of the “Cool Clique“, or not having the latest fashions, or not looking like the people on TV, are constant reminders of all of things that you feel that you are not. This will cause you to lose the confidence that you had when you were a child, and believed that you could be an astronaut, a cowboy, or a princess. The cool kids were right; it was unrealistic — for you.
Good Enough — Not Good Enough
Settling definitely has a snowball effect — especially if you are settling because you do not believe that you can do a thing or that you deserve better. You’ll settle for a good enough job, a good enough car, a good enough home, and a good enough spouse. Things might look good to outsiders (there are more people living a good enough life, than there are those who are living an extraordinary life), but inside, you’re unhappy. When you look in the mirror, you’ll see the reflection of a person who could be, and should be, more. Not necessarily making more money or acquiring more material things, but being happier, more fulfilled, and simply liking yourself. You’ll also see a person who allowed others to measure their worth, compared to what they found ideal, and worst, you believed them.
Beware: The Spirit Assassinators
Usually, when a person tries to destroy another persons spirit, it’s because they are afraid. They see something in you that makes them feel inferior. They believe that you are capable of achieving great things, and they’d rather destroy you than see you reach your full potential. They don’t have the nerve to step out of their clique and delve into the things that they are really interested in, because that if they try new and/or different things, they may no longer be “cool“.
I’ve always felt bad for the cool kids, because they never had what us outcasts had: the courage to be ourselves, and allow others to be themselves, regardless of who their true “self” was . We didn’t have to be pretentious; we created our own version of “cool” that worked for us, and because of that, we never lost our confidence. Some never caught on to that and have spent their adult lives trying to catch up to the status that they never achieved with people who stunted their growth. Vying for “likes” on social media, and still trying to hang out with the very people who grossly rejected them in high school.
It’s Never Too Late
It’s never too late to challenge yourself. Be daring! Accept the fact that although you may not have been the textbook definition of “cool”, you’re a better version because you’ve defined yourself. You are the judge and jury that decides who you are. When you relinquish your power to those who have elected themselves as the gatekeepers, you are doing yourself a great disservice.
Go back and take back your confidence! Become the cowboy, astronaut, or princess; it’s possible if you believe that you can. I’ll share a secret with you (SHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone), when I was a kid, more than anything, I wanted to be “Mork“. Do you remember that TV show, “Mork & Mindy”? Robin Williams played an alien named Mork, who used to say “Nanu Nanu“, and sit upside down. He was from the planet Ork. Mork didn’t have a spaceship, like most aliens. He flew through space in a giant egg. I loved Mork, and I wanted to be him.
As I grew older, in my own way, I became Mork (a female version, of course). I’m not an alien from planet Ork, but I am kind of an alien on planet Earth, as I am told that I am weird, compared to what is considered usual. I’ve never been in outer space, but I often study the stars and planets, and how they effect us humans. I don’t have a spaceship, or a giant egg, or a demented prophet named Exidor, and a superior called Orson, but I’m lifted by the Universe and God (superior), and elevated by several personal prophets (some are demented, some are not. But they’re still my prophets. Lol!).
At the end of each show, Mork would concentrate and connect with Orson — much like how at the end of my day, I meditate and connect with the Universe.
So, all of my life, I’ve been working towards being Mork, without realizing that I was. When I realized that perhaps I am kind of an alien compared to the norm, and people tried to make derogatory remarks and innuendo, I didn’t care. If I could become my own version of Mork, then you can become a cowboy.
“A strong spirit transcends rules”