Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and so is the problem

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Nelson MandelaOn the day you were born you were, to all intents and purposes, perfect. I was. That guy over there who’s searching for a Pokemon. The lady in that car that just went past. Everyone.

We were all born with limitless potential. A chance to be everything we wanted to be. The trouble is we didn’t know it. After all being born is a little vague in most people’s memories!

We were born free from prejudice and discrimination. We didn’t know our gender, colour, race, religion, nationality, socio-econimic status, fears, beliefs or values.

As you grew into the person you are today, others began, overtly or subtly to influence you. The way you think, feel and act. You didn’t know to question it. Your expectations. The moulding had begun. You, the authentic real you, got lost.

You learned what you could and couldn’t do. What and who to be scared of and who and what to love. When to trust and when it was best to distrust. This may sound like a malicious process. In fact, for the most part, it came from love. It was all about creating a loving, nurturing environment for you to grow, develop, fit and, most importantly, survive. Not thrive…survive. Gradually and subtly, other people’s values, opinions and prejudices began to implant themselves in you.

Circles of InfluencesAs you grew up, the spectrum of influences you came under also grew. From families and close friends, it branched out into wider social circles, role models, religion and the media; magazines, television and radio all contributed towards your value and belief system. Those beliefs began to build patterns of behaviour, mentally, physically and emotionally, that, over time, became your ‘norm’. They were so ‘normal’ that they soon became entrenched with who you are. They became your truths and what you identify yourself with. They became you!

With that subconscious, childhood maelstrom going on, it’s no wonder that the person you might want to be, or strive to be, gets lost under the weight and expectations of everyone else.

Before long there’s a fight going on. The internal conflict that creates so much self doubt. In one corner, the unbeatable, all-conquering ‘true you’ and in the other, the ‘you now’ with all the fears, challenges, lack of achievement and struggles of an underdog.

Most of life’s inner struggles come from not following the path of the person we want and are meant to be and trying to follow the pathways of others. Its a route paved with disappointments, frustrations, anxieties and torment.

A singer is meant to sing, an actor act, a musician play, a writer write, an engineer engineer, a pilot fly…all this sounds so easy. The reality is when you’re not on your true trajectory, you have turmoil in you. You can feel like you’re being inauthentic to the person you want, and are meant, to be.

The result is we blame ourselves for these ‘failings’, and we blame everyone else too. We look at those who, we believe, have achieved something in their life and lament the fact we didn’t have the conviction, the drive, the determination that they have. We feel inadequate.

For every reason we believe we failed, we justify it to ourselves to ease our conscience. “I couldn’t do that I had a family to raise”, “a high-pressure job to hold down”, “bills to pay”, “not enough time”, “couldn’t get past level 9 on Angry Birds 2”. Sound familiar? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is ugliness. We can see ourselves as having potential or being a failure.

All these things become our gaolers, our ‘go-to’ response to why our life isn’t what we hoped, until eventually being on the wrong pathway from our authentic self becomes too much. We avoid the feeling of not being good enough with addictions and denial. We feel shame. Something gives. Often it is our health and well being.

The incredible thing is, we have a choice. There is always choice even if we decide not to choose its a choice! Do you want to continue with your lifelong internal conflict and feel disappointed with yourself for the rest of your life or do you take steps to live the life you want to? It may sound ridiculous, scary and unrealistic. The reality is life isn’t too short it’s too long to be struggling, scared, frustrated or bored! 

The time to reclaim your life, and live the life you truly want to be living begins now. You can change your conditioning forever. It’s true.

Begin by forgiving yourself – before you get bogged down in the how the desire is enough – and focus on what you can do even if it feels small and insignificant.

Perhaps read a biography about a successful artist, sign up to learning a language at an evening class, get up earlier and write, join a Meet Up group, buy a travel magazine…

Next decide what your five most important values are. Ask me if you want some help with this and I can send you an activity to do. Then write a list daily of what you, the real you, wants. Something incredible will start to happen by taking your first step.

You are allowed to step out from your conditioning and be the ‘you’ you’ve always wanted to be. You have the power. It will feel scary and wonderful. New adventures do!

The truth is staying the same is scarier. If you want to be you, truly you, it’s the only way. I guarantee you’ll feel more alive than you ever have.

Enjoy the day you create.

Martin 

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