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Don't Hide Who You Were

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:  This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me… or leave me. Accept me – or walk away…When you are strong enough to love yourself one hundred percent, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.

–Stacey Charter

Have you ever been out grocery shopping and spotted someone you knew back in High School?  Unless you happened to be good friends with them at the time, what usually proceeds is a rapid duck-and-run technique you developed on the fly so that you could make your way past them unseen.

It’s happened to me more than once.  Why avoid them?  Because back in High School I was definitely not the most popular guy strolling the hallways.  In fact I was quite a geek.  I wore clothes that didn’t fit me, I was a voracious consumer of all things video-game related and I rarely, if ever left my house after I got home from school until my later years.  Even worse, I despised the education system to such an extent that I rarely if ever completed my assignments, giving me the reputation of a lazy, unintelligent person.

So to most people, it would make sense that I avoided those I went to High School with.  It’s embarrassing, right?  It was for me.

But, little did I know that those ninja moves I was making and sharp turns I was pulling in the local grocery store were actually holding me back from accepting myself and moving on with my life.

Acceptance of Who You Were

Accepting who I was was incredibly difficult for me.  (And I’m not so cocky as to say that I’ve completely accepted who I was, but I accept more now than I ever have in the past.) I wasn’t proud of who I was, because I made a lot of bad decisions when I was in High School.  I acted foolishly and I made a lot of mistakes.  Most of all I was embarrassed during that time to be myself.  Because of that I was always shy, and when I did speak, it was usually something out of character simply because I was so nervous.

But my inability to accept those mistakes was therefore my inability to even acknowledge those mistakes.  And that’s one of the most dangerous thing you can ever do when it comes to personal development.

The reason is pretty simple, really.  By not accepting and acknowledging past faults, you lack the tools to move past those faults, improve upon them and get on with your life.

And that’s really the crux of this entire post:  Accepting your faults helps you move past them.

Accepting who you were and the way you used to act allows you to admit to yourself that you had these faults.  That’s scary as hell for pretty much everyone.  No one likes to think of themselves as having big, glaring faults.  And no one likes to face them because it’s hard work to get rid of those big glaring faults.

The thing is that being able to say to yourself “I’m really shy,” or “I don’t do my school work when I should,” or whatever applies to you opens the door wide for you to attack those problems head on.  I can’t tell you how many times I would look at others and say “I wish I could be like them.  I wish I could be confident like them or popular or funny like them.”  I mean, you can practically fill in the blank here.  “I wish I could be _____ like _____.”

The major epiphany was for me was when I finally went “I wish I could be _____ like _____,” and realized that I could. After all, they had to have gotten these traits from somewhere; they had to be doing something differently than I was doing, because they were getting different results.

So I started doing research.  It might sound silly, but at the same time ‘doing research’ on something related to personal development is probably what brought a lot of you here to begin with.  You were doing research on flaws you thought you had or aspects of your life that you thought you could improve.

The fact of the matter is, is that anyone has the power to change because in this day and age, all the tools you need to do so are available via a computer and an internet connection.

In any case, this research I did lead me to find resources and communities that had people who were just like me.  People who were too shy, people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do in life.  People who had the same goals, the same flaws, the same things happen to them in life.    Not only was it inspiring, it was overwhelming.  I suddenly had every resource I had ever wanted available to me, and all my flaws staring me in the face, daring me to do something about them.

So I did.  And it led me here, to create this website and to writing on this very article so that you could read it and go on to do the same thing.

It’s easier than it sounds.  You know your flaws already, somewhere in your head.  Subconsciously you know where you struggle and where you excel.  I think everyone does.  But you have to consciously accept where you are in terms of what you want to do and who you want to be in order to start doing those things and becoming that person.

Because if you don’t accept who you are right now and who you were in the past, you’ll never overcome those flaws.  You’re better than that.  What you want and who you are is yours for the taking.  Just reach out and take it.

2 Responses to “Don't Hide Who You Were”

  1. Very interesting article, thanks. Keep up the good work.

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