“We aren’t who we want to be. We are what society demands. We are what our parents choose. We don’t want to disappoint anyone; we have a great need to be loved. So we smother the best in us. Gradually, the light of our dreams turns into the monster of our nightmares. They become things not done, possibilities not lived.” – Paulo Coelho
All of us have been tuned to create pictures of ourselves in our own minds. Pictures of what we believe we are. We can wrap this idea around us as much as we want, but that will not make it true. The age-old question we are asked at every family gathering, every counselling session, every casual conversation is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Mind you, this has nothing to do with the person you actually are. It’s a trick question. Most often the questioner is not really interested in your answer. He/She is just opening a door to seed your consciousness with his/her own thoughts. Thereby super-imposing your personality with a neat, presentable cover supposedly acceptable to society. You’re trapped.
You don’t want to disappoint anyone – parents, teachers, friends, your peer group. So you acquiesce – accept something reluctantly but without protest. And you gradually start believing it. The lie becomes your life. Now, your thoughts, actions, behaviour, everything starts adapting to this new perception which is being created for you. This persona you are creating is slowly suppressing your inherent self. Dimming that inner light which is so essential to present the reality to the outside world. You don’t move on enough. You stay because of reasons that are usually non-existent. You make up reasons why one cannot do something or go somewhere. Because your inner soul has been squashed. That voice has been silenced. Of course, one has responsibilities that cannot be easily abandoned, but those are not usually the things that keep us fixed in one spot. It is your belief, your idea about what it means, what is required of you, what is expected of you. Because, you don’t want to disappoint anyone.
Here’s where things can change. Must change. The good news is: You are whoever you choose to be.
It solely depends on how you choose to view yourself. Say, “I don’t want to care about the way other people perceive my lifestyle. I am what I am, I do what I do. End of story.”
No sooner have you uttered this magic mantra, the world completely turns around. Everything you thought to be true and necessary and wanted can be changed and discarded and thrown away. The truth is inside you. Awaken and find yourself. You do not need permission to be yourself. It’s your right to be who you want to be. It’s your mind, body and spirit, so how you use the three is your choice and your choice only. Once you become aware of this your inner voice can be assertive again. That inner light will start shining brighter. That is the light which you need to illuminate your path in this dark world. Nothing else.
Since, your self-perceptions were instilled before you had any say in the matter, learning to change how you see yourself helps find hidden strengths. Self-perception is simply being aware of who you are, what you’re like, and what you’re capable of. Your self-perception must project your positive self-esteem. But it should also acknowledge your shortcomings. Adjusting your self-perception is basically being honest with yourself. Recognizing your weak points helps you identify when you need to ask for help. Acknowledging your strengths gives you the confidence, if you feel down.
You can’t grow if you don’t try. You will have to actually plant the seed in your life. Nothing is holding you back except yourself. Unleash the possibilities to get things done. Opening your mind to new things means trying new things. Make it happen; don’t make excuses! Don’t restrict yourself. When you pre-fix ideas of what you’re “able” to do or not do, you have limited your opportunities. Open your world by unlatching this door and you can create, experience, feel, and learn.
All those things you considered impossible are simply so because you taught yourself to believe that. Whatever you believe you achieve, so do not let fear stand in the way of your desires. If you’ve been dying to do something, but you fear failure down the line, it’s time to let go of your fears and make your move right now. Just by taking action, you open your mind to new beliefs and possibilities. Fear should be what it really is – just another way of telling you to take action.
The time to be yourself is now, not next week or next year.