The Lies We Tell

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We’ve all heard it said, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

The second step is not making an excuse for why you shouldn’t have to fix the problem.

Unfortunately we as human beings tend to have an issue with admitting our faults, and when we do, we try to pass the blame. It’s a reflex. Nobody likes to be the bad guy and it’s easier to just come up with an excuse rather than bite the bullet and take care of the issue.

Let’s be clear, if you ever want to improve yourself, you have to acknowledge that there are things that need improving. And not only do you have to acknowledge that, you kind of have to take responsibility for them.

Look, we all have flaws. Some of which may have developed as a kid. Whether it was the fault of failed parenting, bullies, or a single embarrassing incident that caused you to act out in certain ways. Maybe you’re not responsible for how it started, but you are responsible for how you let it develop. And how you let it develop you.

If you’re wanting to succeed in life, you have to figure out your weaknesses. If you want to make yourself stronger, you have to grow. But before you can even do any of that, you have to be completely honest with yourself.

That means telling yourself the hardcore truth; you need improvement.

The problem with that statement is that it acknowledges that you are not perfect. And in a society that now has the unforgivable memory of social media where people spend hours watching compendiums of people’s most epics fails, the idea of ourselves making a mistake worthy of criticism can be understandably daunting.

We fear our flaws make us less of a person, when the truth is part of being human is growing.

One of the biggest things holding me back is that, many times, I don’t have genuine ambition. Sometimes I get discouraged and to be perfectly honest, I don’t always have the confidence I need to push myself. And I have an elephant’s memory for situations. I can trace my lack of vitality to a few key scenarios in life when I was disappointed, shut down, and brutally criticized. I remember in those moments hating myself for even trying and started developing a habit of only doing things I was good at. A mindset that really took the joy out of being a teenager.

I haven’t quite made it past that obstacle. As an adult I have overcome a lot, however there are times when I start feeling like throwing the towel in. It really wasn’t until I sat down and acknowledged the issue that I even started making head way on it. While I may still have those lazy days, I’ve learned ways to push myself beyond those feelings and press on, gaining confidence along the way.

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I’m not perfect but I’m better than I was a year ago. And twice as good as I was two years ago. It’s an evolutionary process this learning thing is.

Finding yourself is much like cleaning out the attic. It’s cluttered, some of the stuff up there isn’t even yours, and there is a box or two you know is crammed with so much crap you don’t even want to open it. Alternatively you could just leave it behind, close the attic door, and pretend it isn’t there, only to find out later in life that one of those old records in your great aunt’s collection was a signed copy by Frank Sinatra (hey, you never know what’s up there sometimes). Or you could take a deep breath, go through on box at a time, and then when it’s all said and done, feel better knowing your ceiling probably won’t collapse in on you one day.

The reality is, you won’t be a successful person in life or career if you don’t know your strengths. You won’t know your strengths until you know your weaknesses, and you can’t know your weaknesses if you refuse to take a good, long look in the mirror and see yourself as you are.

Not hopeless, but human.

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By admitting your inadequacies, you show that you’re self-aware enough to know your areas for improvement – and secure enough to be open about them

Adam Grant

I Am Me and We Are Us

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One of the biggest setbacks I had starting off as a writing was the internet.

No, not being distracted by the internet. I was what I seen on there that left me a confused and jumbled mess, thinking that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this.

Funny thing is, it wasn’t even the advise on the internet that did this to me. I found some advise very helpful and some not so helpful which I disregarded. So what exactly was it that threw me off?

Well to be perfectly honest, it was my own naivety coupled with my insecurity. I was new and unsure of myself. When I got on the internet I was, in a sense, searching for myself. What was I suppose to do? How was I to live out my dreams?

In doing this, I ended up making one of the biggest mistakes anyone in the industry of creativity can do.

I tried to fit in.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t always need to be a black sheep standing on the outside of the herd. In fact, most times you’ll find you have more in common with people than you think. But what I did was I tried to become something I wasn’t, because I thought the only way I could accomplish my goals and fulfill my dreams was to fit into the mold I seen on the World Wide Web.

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Generalizations can be tricky. On one hand, you feel irritated by the stereotypes being put on you and on the other hand, sometimes generalizations are true. When you become apart of a certain group (whether it be politics, religion, sports, etc) you tend to find there really are certain characteristics that they display and that is the reason you probably are attracted to them. When you try to assimilate to a certain sect, you generally look for people who think or feel like you do. And that’s okay.

But sometimes group think isn’t always helpful. And you start to feel like you are being pushed out when you disagree or attempt to experiment with other methods. So naturally, you cast aside your own feelings about how something should be and just go with the flow.

Or at least, that’s what I did.

Lucky this didn’t go on for very long. I realized rather quickly that I didn’t have to distort who I was in order to do what I loved. Yes, sacrifice and compromise are always things that you will have to do to get ahead in any aspect of life, but when it comes to the core of who you are you have to set your boundaries.

I came to find that anyone who tries to take your art and turn it into something they prefer is a plagiarist, pure and simple. They will take the hard work you put into something and then revise it completely to their own liking without them having to actually put in the effort it takes to make their own creation.

Stay away from those people. They will do nothing but confuse you and drag you down.

A helpful critique will point out the areas that can be improved, but will also reaffirm the areas that you did well in. It will feel more like building up rather than tearing down. Yes, it will sting (it always stings) but it shouldn’t have you wondering if you should switch careers

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You probably heard people say that you should become the best you that you can be. And this is really the reason you’re here. You strive to be the best and only version of yourself that is possible. Don’t be afraid to be apart of something, but always be ready to stand out when you need to. We’re all different and we’re all going to have at least one trait that makes us different from our group.

But see those are our strengths. Those difference is what will make you all see the world vibrantly. Let you be you and them be them. We’ll all appreciate it in the end.