Do you ever stop to think about how you see yourself and how it affects your actions and your decisions? Especially for women, with all the pressures around us, we get stuck on the idea that we are not talented, beautiful or worthy enough. A lot of times we are afraid of starting something new and taking risks because we take someone else’s perception and make it our reality. I’ve done this many times and the most vivid memory is the origin of my fear of writing.
In a conversation with a friend, 13 years ago, I told her that one of my dreams was to become a writer. She stepped all over my dream and told me “I wouldn’t consider doing that if I were you because you need to remember that English is your second language.” I carried this nonsense with me throughout college and I tell you my fear of writing was paralyzing at times. I hated everything that had to do with writing a letter, essay, or even journaling. I hated writing because well “English is my second language.” It wasn’t my opinion of myself, I took it from this person and made it my reality for 13 years. I did write essays and letters only when I had to and it took me agonizing hours. Ask me to swim across the ocean but don’t ask me to write a letter. I always felt that not being born speaking English was something that made my dream of becoming a writer an illusion.
Everything you do, every decision that you make is consistent with your self-image. Today I don’t blame this friend for my fear of writing; I take full responsibility for it because I made this non-sense part of who I considered myself to be: a person who will never be a writer because of the language she spoke at birth.
When you succeed at something big or small it ignites a fire in you and you just want to “conquer the world”. You feel unstoppable and you start to think about all the other things you always wanted to do and you just tackle it. You cultivate more and more the self-image of a winner. Once I saw what this person considered a handicap as a gift, the sky was only the foundation where I wanted to start new endeavors. English as a second language is a gift when 80% of Haitians, like me, are fluent in English, French and Creole (some even Spanish); this doesn’t sound like a handicap, it’s a gift and a blessing to dwell on on your way to the top. As far as writing, I can only get better by practicing, taking chances, and learning from incredible writers.
Appreciate your gifts and dwell on them. You want something, see yourself getting it and act like a winner by taking baby steps and learning to improve as you go. Often times, acting like a winner by constantly having a positive self-image is confused with being conceited or misinterpreted as arrogance. No one enjoys listening to a whiner who blames everyone except themselves for where they are in life today. No one enjoys listening to your problems over and over and over again especially if you are not doing anything about them. In fact 90% of people don’t care about your problems, 5% listen and tolerate you because they love you, and the remaining 5% are people who love you no matter what you are going through. So if I sound like I am ok and I am on my way, like God’s favor is upon me every day, like I am a winner, like nothing is impossible, like how I feel is who I am, then conceited and arrogance is a much happier place according to some clearly who are not winning at the game of life.
You are a champion, you are a winner even if you are not there yet. When you see it long enough, it becomes your reality, your story and your legacy. Always have a positive self-image even when times are tough because tough times never last, but tough people do.
Until next time, spread the love…..
What about you, tell me about a fear that came from a negative self-image?