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10 Signs You’re Being True to Yourself

“The most confused we ever get is when we try to convince our heads of something that we know in our hearts is a lie.” ~Karen Moning

It’s painful and stressful to feel like you’re living a lie. Like you’re hiding how you really feel, saying what you think other people want to hear and doing things you don’t actually want to do—just because you think you’re supposed to.

But sometimes we don’t recognize we’re doing this. We just know we feel off, or something feels wrong, and we’re not sure how to change it.

It makes sense that a lot of us struggle with being true to ourselves.

From a young age, we’re taught to be good, fall in line, and avoid making any waves—to lower our voices, do as we’re told, and quit our crying (or they’ll give us something to cry about).

And most of us don’t get the opportunity to foster or follow our curiosity. Instead, we learn all the same things as our peers, at the exact same time; and we live a life consumed by the mastery of these things, our bodies restless from long hours of seated study and our minds overwhelmed with memorized facts that leave very little room for free thinking.

To make things even worse, we learn to compare our accomplishments and progress—often, at things we don’t even really care about—to those of everyone around us. So we learn it’s more important to appear successful in relation to others than to feel excited or fulfilled within ourselves.

This was my experience both growing up and in my twenties. A people-pleaser who was always looking to prove that I mattered, I was like a chameleon, and I constantly felt paralyzed about which choices to make because all I knew was that they needed to be impressive.

I never knew what I really thought or felt because I was too busy suffocating my mind with fears and numbing my emotions to develop even a modicum of self-awareness.

This meant I had no idea what I needed. I only knew I didn’t feel seen or heard. I felt like no one really knew me. But how could they when I didn’t even know myself?

I know I’ve made a lot of progress with this over the years, and I have a mile-long list of unconventional choices to back that up, as well as a number of authentic, fulfilling relationships. But I’ve recently recognized some areas where I’ve shape-shifted in an attempt to please others, and in some cases, without even realizing it.

I don’t want to be the kind of person who panders to popular opinion or lets other people dictate my choices. I don’t want to waste even one minute trying to be good enough for others instead of doing what feels good to me.

I want to make my own rules, live on my own terms, and be bold, wild, and free.

This means peeling away the layers of fear and conditioning and being true to what I believe is right. But it’s hard to do this because sometimes those layers are pretty heavy, or so transparent we don’t even realize they’re there.

With this in mind, I decided to create this reminder of what it looks and feels like to be true to myself so I can refer back to it if ever I think I’ve lost my way.

If you also value authenticity and freedom over conformity and approval, perhaps this will be useful to you too.

You know you’re being true to yourself if….

1. You’re honest with yourself about what you think, feel, want, and need.

You understand that you have to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with anyone else. This means you make space in your life to connect with yourself, perhaps through meditation, journaling, or time in nature.

This also means you face the harsh realities you may be tempted to avoid. You’re self-aware when faced with hard choices—like whether or not to leave a relationship that doesn’t feel right—so you can get to the root of your fear.

You might not always do this right away, or easily, but you’re willing to ask yourself the tough questions most of us spend our lives avoiding: Why am I doing this? What am I getting from this? And what would serve me better?

2. You freely share your thoughts and feelings.

Even if you’re afraid of judgment or tempted to lie just to keep the peace, you push yourself to speak up when you have something that needs to be said.

And you refuse to stuff your feelings down just to make other people feel comfortable. You’re willing to risk feeling vulnerable and embarrassed because you know that your feelings are valid and that sharing them is the key to healing what’s hurting or fixing what isn’t working.

3. You honor your needs and say no to requests that conflict with them.

You know what you need to feel physical, mentally, and emotionally balanced, and you prioritize those things, even if this means saying no to other people.

Sure, you might sometimes make sacrifices, but you understand it’s not selfish to honor your needs and make them a priority.

You also know your needs don’t have to look like anyone else’s. It’s irrelevant to you if someone else can function on four hours of sleep, work around the clock, or pack their schedule with social engagements. You do what’s right for you and take care good care of yourself because you recognize you’re the only one who can.

4. Some people like you, some people don’t, and you’re okay with that.

Though you may wish, at times, you could please everyone—because it feels a lot safer to receive validation than disapproval—you understand that being disliked by some is a natural byproduct of being genuine.

This doesn’t mean you justify being rude and disrespectful because hey, you’re just being yourself! It just means you know you’re not for everyone; you’d rather be disliked for who you are than liked for who you’re not, and you understand the only way to find “your tribe” is to weed out the ones who belong in someone else’s.

5. You surround yourself with people who respect and support you just as you are.

You understand that the people around you affect you, so you surround yourself with people who respect and support you, which motivates you to continue being true to yourself.

You may have people in your life who don’t do these things, but if you do, you understand their issues with you are just that—their issues. And you set boundaries with them so that they don’t get in your head and convince you there’s something wrong with you or your choices.

6. You focus more on your own values than what society deems acceptable.

You’ve read the script for a socially acceptable life—climb the corporate ladder, have a lavish wedding, buy a big house, and make some babies—but you’ve seriously questioned whether this is right for you. Maybe it is, but if you go this route, it’s because this plan aligns with your own values, not because it’s what you’re supposed to do.

You know your values are your compass in life, and that they change over time. So you check in with yourself regularly to be sure you’re living a life that doesn’t just look good on paper but also feels good in your heart.

7. You listen to your intuition and trust that you know what’s best for yourself.

You not only hear the voice inside that says, “Nope, not right for you,” you trust it. Because you’ve spent a lot of time learning to distinguish between the voice of truth and fear, you recognize the difference between holding yourself back and waiting for what feels right.

You might not always make this distinction immediately, and you might sometimes be swayed by well-meaning people who want to protect you from the risks of thinking outside the box. But eventually, you tune out the noise and hone in on the only voice that truly knows what’s best for you.

8. You do what feels right for you, even if that means risking approval from the people around you.

Not only do you trust that you know what’s best for you, you do it. Even if it’s not a popular choice. Even if people question your judgment, vision, or sanity. You recognize that no one else is living your life, and no one else has to live with the consequences of your choices, so you make them for you and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to public perception.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have everything you want in life. It just means you hear the beat of your own drum, even if it’s silent as a dog whistle to everyone else, and you march to it—maybe slowly or awkwardly, but with your freak flag raised nice and high.

9. You allow yourself to change your mind if you recognize you made a choice that wasn’t right for you.

You may feel embarrassed to admit you’re changing directions, but you do it anyway because you’d rather risk being judged than accept a reality that just plain feels wrong for you.

Whether it’s a move that you realize you made for the wrong reasons, a job that isn’t what you expected, or a commitment you know you can’t honor in good conscience, you find the courage to say, “This isn’t right, so I’m going to make another change.”

10. You allow yourself to evolve and let go of what you’ve outgrown.

This is probably the hardest one of all because it’s not just about being true to yourself; it’s also about letting go. It’s about recognizing when something has run its course and being brave enough to end the chapter, even if you don’t know yet what’s coming next. Even if the void feels dark and scary.

But you, you recognize that the void can also feel light and thrilling. That empty space isn’t always a bad thing because it’s the breeding ground for new possibilities—for fulfillment, excitement, passion, and joy. And you’re more interested in seeing who else you can be and what else you can do than languishing forever in a comfortable life that now feels like someone else’s.

As with all things in life, we each exist on a spectrum. Every last one of us lives in the grey area, so odds are you do some of these things, some of the time, and probably never perfectly. And you may go through periods when you do few or none of these things, without even realizing you’ve slipped.

That’s how it’s been for me. I’ve gone through phases when I’ve felt completely in alignment and other times when I’ve gotten lost. I’ve had times when I’ve felt so overwhelmed by conflicting wants, needs, and beliefs—my own and other people’s—that I’ve shut down and lost touch with myself.

It happens to all of us. And that’s okay. The important thing is that we keep coming home to ourselves and we eventually ask ourselves the hard questions that decide the kind of lives we lead: What am I hiding? What am I lying about? And what truth would set me free?

By Lori Deschene


Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. An avid film lover, she recently finished writing her first feature screenplay and is fundraising to get it made now.

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Live And Let Live

“Right now I am happy where I am. 

I am okay, I feel this certain sense of freedom that I can be okay with myself without being blamed for the kind of life that I need, the life that I enjoy.

I don’t want to live a life with people I supposedly love and love me—will keep on judging me saying: Look at her, look at her houses her cars her things and look at what we have. I cannot be crucified for the life that I live and for the things that I have, that’s what I’m saying.

Why should I be with people who’ll always feel like they have the right and need to own what I own?”


I’ve read this somewhere and I thought: That’s it! That’s exactly it!

The above passage reminds me of a lot of things. One of them being an immigrant and second class citizen. You all understand what I mean. No need to explain. Being what I am evokes certain expectations from certain people. For example: While shopping, certain type of women look down on me and often openly hostile when in the parking lot the latest model of the luxury car they admire and wish to have which happened to be parked next to their old economical carriage happened to be mine. We both don’t dress up according to our standard, only I don’t give a damn until they behave the way they behave and even then…

But it’s nothing compared to what my family expects: I am one word to them: Mealticket. Oh, that is actually two words but never mind…

I know we are all humans but I’m not sure if being prejudiced/judgmental is part of being human. You see, I’m live and let live kind of person who happened to believe everyone is equal unless proven wrong and my eventual conclusion has nothing to do with money power and status but rather based on character and behavior. For me, a person’s worth doesn’t lie on material possessions but upon morals and values. Status never impresses me but a good disposition and a kind manner will.

I think if we focus on what makes us happy instead of what we think would make us happy, this world will be a more harmonious place.

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Seems kind of pointless to be honest

It’s all about this picture quote: (featuring a battered foot of a ballet dancer)

“Everyone wants to be successful until they see what it actually takes.”

One Ian Patrick Pearce said:

“Some of us wanted to do what it takes until we saw what “successful” looks like. 
Not many people who give me advice have lives I want. Almost no one does. 
Redefining my own personal meaning for success has been a much more worthwhile endeavor.”

Which a Roylee Walker answered:

“So you basically mean lowering your standards until you are satisfied.”

And Ian retorted:

“No, I mean redefining our own personal meaning of success. Which is what I said.
For me, it meant only competing to be better than the me from yesterday, and no one else. For you, it can mean lowering your standards, and that’s okay.”

A William Albert chimed in:

“We don’t need to be successful, we need to be Happy.”

Hetha Smetha (I wonder if it is really her name) thrown in:

“I’ll take mediocrity…those who want it can have it.”

And others contributed their unremarkable thoughts. Some of them downright stupid but C’est la vie. Me, I learned a lot from listening and shutting my mouth, unless I have something meaningful to say.

And life goes on.

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Isn’t It Just?

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe underwater and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

― C. JoyBell C.

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Secrets

Anyone can possess, anyone can profess, but it is an altogether different thing to confess. ~ Shannon L. Alder

They say secrets are like cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind. Do you believe it?

If you ask me I’d say it depends what kind of secret. Sometimes secrets are best forgotten, hidden even from oneself. Pretend it doesn’t exist and it becomes irrelevant. I wonder if all the things we omitted or never mentioned are classified as secrets. Is there a single person alive that is not keeping some things for himself? I don’t think so. All of us hides something from someone. Not always necessarily important or crucial or even damaging pieces of information but little irrelevant things like everyday thoughts, preference, fantasy, dreams, likes, and dislikes or even lust or crush towards your neighbors, co-workers, or random somebody on the streets.

We all have it. Secrets. Who didn’t fake an orgasm, or tell their wives they look good even it nowhere near the truth. Children keep things from their parents, friends, teachers. Employees from their bosses and vice versa. We hide facts for whatever reason. Some for the good of others, others for personal gain but one thing is for sure, we all withheld information from someone else at some point.

Agree?

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Handle With Care

Words…

They’re fake bullets, so why do I feel like I’m bleeding out? ― Jodi Picoult

As I said already before in one of my posts: Even after all these years, words still have the power to hurt me.

I said also that words are like knives. It can only hurt us if it hits the target, and what hurts the most are those that hit closer to home, in other words, the truth.

What I didn’t tell you is: it is not always the case. Sometimes words can hurt us even though they are not true if they come from people who are dear to us and those that we value the opinion of. It hurts knowing they think of us that way regardless of where the truth lies. And often times, at least in my case, I never correct their wrong assumptions. I find it a lost cause. Their minds are already made up. Trying to change their ideas of you is like mopping the floor with the tap wide open or shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is difficult to change one’s (first) impression once it’s formed. Better charge it to experience and walk away. Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t make who you are. It’s a thought, not a fact. It’s a perspective, not the truth. It is disheartening yes but I will never let other people’s opinions define me. I will never give them the pleasure of insulting me. I may shed tears in private because of their ill-intended remarks but I will not crumble before them. Never. I will always hold my head up high and will never let myself be stirred into a fury, losing my dignity in the process. It’s better just to ignore and walk away.

How about you?

Would you defend yourself and your image with tooth and nail?

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How to Stop Envying Other People’s Seemingly Perfect Lives

By Sonia Devine

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~Steve Furtick

It’s in our nature to compare ourselves with others. The ability to weigh one situation up against another helps us make decisions and live our lives productively.

The downside is that when you constantly compare your own life with those of other people, you will always come up short.

Over-comparing causes envy. Envy is the feeling or sensation we have when we want to get something that someone else has and we can’t be happy for them when they have it.

Getting stuck in a cycle of envy is just about the best way to ruin your life. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with envy that will guide you toward happiness and well-being.

Don’t Compare Your Cutting Room Floor With Someone Else’s Highlight Reel

Have you ever seen anybody post an unflattering photo on Facebook? Let’s face it, you rarely read about someone fighting with their spouse, hating their job, or declaring bankruptcy. Most people show you what they want you to see—a highly edited, glossed-up version of their life.

The next time you feel envious about someone else’s life, remember that you’re only looking at part of the story, the part they want you to see.

Think of something that another person has that you want. For example, maybe someone you know is far more popular than you. On the surface, it may appear that they are surrounded with people who look up to them and that they are well-liked and respected.

But in reality, people might have a different view of them behind closed doors. In this case, the actual reality and what we perceive as reality are two very different things.

Even the most enviable lifestyle has downsides. For example, many people covet the glamour and glitz of the rich and famous. But have you ever sat down and thought about what kind of life a famous person has?

Ask yourself if you’d enjoy someone jumping out of a bush and taking a snapshot of you in your grubby tracksuit pants while you’re collecting the newspaper from the front lawn.

There are always two sides to every coin. What you think you see is not necessarily the reality. So the next time you get caught up in envy, always remember that unless you are that person you don’t really have the whole story.

Isn’t It Already Here?

I am by nature a private person, but I wasn’t always that way. In my twenties, I was invited to every party, had scores of friends, and was (in my own mind, at least) funny, clever, and popular.

As the years went by I became more introverted, and not too long ago I started beating myself up for not having many friends. Why wasn’t I popular like other people?

One particular couple that my husband and I love catching up with came to mind. Whenever we wanted to see them, we had to literally book months in advance because they were so busy with other social commitments.

Then I started to really ask myself, what is the essence of what I think popularity will bring me? The answer was simple: I wanted to feel a sense of connection and belonging.

It was at that time I realized that the essence of what I wanted was already here. I have a loving husband, a great family, a couple of good friends who would do anything for me, and plenty of time to do what I want.

I also realized that I would absolutely hate not having a moment to myself; being popular would probably make me pretty miserable.

So the next time you feel as though you’re missing out on something that somebody else has, drill down into the essence of whatever you think that thing would give you and ask yourself, is it already here?

Do You Really Want What They Have?

If you really want to play the comparison game, remember that if you want someone else’s life you have to be willing to do a complete swap; that is, you would have to give up your life as it is and swap over to theirs.

Here’s an exercise that will help you decide if you really want out of your situation and into someone else’s:

When you’re ready, think of someone you know who has the kind of life that you envy. Then take a piece of paper and in the left-hand column write the heading “What I have that they don’t have.”

Then in the right-hand column, write the heading “What they have that I want.” In this column, you are going to make a list of all the things this person has that you want. Write down whatever comes to your mind. For example, do they have a lot of money, a nice house, nice clothes, or the perfect partner?

When you’ve finished doing this, move to the left-hand column. Write down everything that you value in your life. For example, family, friends, pets, and everyone who is important to you.

One caveat: the other person may indeed have friends, family, and pets just like you. But in this case, you’re not so much looking at what they have (i.e.: a dog, a child, a husband), but the unique relationship and connection you have with your pets and loved ones. So remember to write down the names of your family members, friends, and pets.

Be as specific as you can. Get really clear and what you love about your life. It could be something as simple as being able to finish work early on Thursdays so you can go to the gym.

Now its crunch time; you’ll probably find that the list on the left-hand side is much bigger than the list on the right. So ask yourself, is there anything in this list you would be willing to give up in order to have the life that the other person has?

What you’ll likely discover is that everything you have in your list is as valuable as or more valuable than the things that the other person has.

Practice Gratitude

One of the reasons we feel envy is that we often take the good things in our own lives for granted.

The happier you are with your lot in life, the more good things will come to you. Happiness studies show that truly happy people are not necessarily wealthy, powerful, or famous.

They have simply made a choice to be happy by paying attention to the good things around them. Since whatever you focus on will become the inclination of the mind, this makes perfect sense.

Every night before I go to sleep I ask myself the following questions:

  • What do I take for granted in my life?
  • Who are the important people (or animals) in my life?
  • Who is in my corner?
  • What freedoms do I enjoy?
  • What advantages have I been given in life?

This allows me to take stock of what is important and gives me a nice feeling of contentment before I drift off to sleep. Try it for yourself!

Our society has conditioned us to believe that your net worth equates to happiness. Accordingly many people strive to be more, do more, and have more.

But none of those things actually cause any lasting happiness. They are all impermanent and subject to change. Most importantly, they represent other qualities of the heart that can be achieved regardless of net worth.

Ask yourself the question: “What really makes me happy?” Is it actually the money, possessions, or reputation? Or is it freedom, joy, peace, and serenity?

Happiness is the ultimate currency, and there’s no law that says there isn’t enough of that to go around.


Sonia Devine is a qualified professional hypnotherapist who assists people to make positive changes in their lives.

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7 Signs Your Personality Is Intimidating Others

Have you ever suspected that your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even close family members are blindsided by the sheer strength of your personality?

If you are the kind of person who knows their own mind, always sees their plans through, and doesn’t believe in following the herd, other people might find you somewhat intimidating!

Do any of these signs sound familiar?

If so, you probably earn the respect of others – but they may also be a little bit scared on occasion!

1. You Read Other People Quickly

Your intuitive abilities are strong, and you form accurate impressions of people within seconds of meeting them.

Dishonest, ignorant, and bigoted people can’t hide their true nature from you – and this makes them nervous.

You aren’t afraid to call out bad behavior when you see it and are quite capable of putting obnoxious individuals in their place.

2. You Get Straight To The Point

Have you often been told that you are “too blunt” or even “too honest”?

If so, your personality might be intimidating to those around you!

Whilst most people like to ease into a conversation with small talk, this isn’t your preferred approach.

You’d much rather focus on big, important, or even abstract issues rather than what you had for lunch, the latest celebrity gossip, or your next-door neighbor’s vacation plans.

3. You Often Find Yourself In The Minority

You don’t conform just to meet the expectations of others, and you don’t go along with their requests if they don’t sit with your values.

Because you pride yourself on being an independent thinker, it’s likely that you are alone in your opinions from time to time.

People with low self-confidence find you intimidating because they can’t understand what it’s like to validate yourself instead of looking to others for approval.

You’ll also be unsurprised to learn that unintelligent people also find it uncomfortable to be around you, because they soon realize that your IQ far exceeds their own.

4. You Don’t Make – Or Accept – Excuses

You don’t whine about your circumstances and you don’t see yourself as a victim, even if everything is collapsing around you.

There is no place in your life for people who moan and complain.

When you set a goal, you pursue it with vigor and do not tolerate laziness and procrastination.

Although you can be tender-hearted and kind, your willpower can make you appear resilient and tough, which can be intimidating.

It’s not that you lack sympathy for those going through a hard time, just that you have no patience for people who would rather wallow in their own misery than take action.

5. You Aren’t Jealous

For you, it doesn’t matter what other people have.

You know that their money, jobs, or status don’t affect your own chances of success, so you don’t waste your time feeling jealous.

When you congratulate someone on their accomplishments, you truly mean it, without a trace of malice or envy.

Your ability to focus on your own goals and destiny can surprise others, particularly if they happen to be envious or bitter themselves.

6. You Love New Opportunities

Lots of people prefer to stay in their comfort zone, but this isn’t an option as far as you’re concerned.

For you, life is about exploring new ideas and making the best of opportunities you have been given.

In fact, you even see problems or setbacks as blessings in disguise!

You aren’t a starry-eyed optimist, but you have an amazing ability to review a situation from multiple perspectives and try several approaches when solving a problem.

What’s more, you aren’t easily discouraged.

If one solution doesn’t work, you just pick yourself back up and try a new tactic.

7. You Find It Hard To Tolerate Stupid People

Your open-minded attitude and capacity for critical thinking means that stupid or ignorant people really get on your nerves.

Perhaps you sometimes catch yourself thinking, “Why don’t they just read a book once in a while?” or “There’s no excuse for being that ignorant!”

Although you are usually polite and patient, you have no desire to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary with those who can’t understand high-level concepts.

Is an intimidating personality a blessing or a curse?

Sometimes, you might scare away potential friends and partners just by being yourself.

On the other hand, those brave enough to stick around and get to know you will come to appreciate your intelligence, honesty, and unique perspective on the world.

Because you are willing to meet lots of new people there’s a good chance that you will find your tribe sooner or later, even if it takes time to find friends who are capable of keeping up with your incredible mind.

Embrace your intimidating personality! Your proactive, strong-willed nature will set you up for success in every area of your life.

-Powerful Mind via Facebook

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That Emptiness Inside

“People today do not know how to rest. They fill their free time with countless diversions. People cannot tolerate even a few minutes of unoccupied time. They have to turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, reading anything at all, even the advertisements. They constantly need something to look at, listen to, or talk about, all to keep the emptiness inside from rearing its terrifying head.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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10 Qualities The Most Authentic People Have in Common

What makes you one?

1. They’re self-reflective.
To be authentic, unique and individual you have to know who and what you are, which comes through self-reflection. How can you know who you are if you are following everyone else?

2. They have a healthy ego.
In order to be a successful leader of others, you must do so with courage and empathy. You must be confident enough in yourself and your abilities to consider others’ feelings.

3. They focus on possibilities.
When you live authentically you have no time to waste emotion on temporary and sometimes necessary setbacks.

4. They have good character.
You do not say things you do not mean, promises are not made you cannot keep and you stay in a place of integrity in all of your dealings, in and out of work.

5. They’re visionaries.
Because you are deeply connected to yourself, you are open and more innovative. You have been visionary in the creating of yourself and this allows you to bring that skill into all aspects of your life, especially business. You also help others to realize their goals and their potential, and you push both yourself and others to reach those.

6. They’re listeners.
You are more than willing to consider contradictory ideas with an open mind and change your opinion if the argument makes sense. You are genuinely interested in learning, and you are dedicated to discovering the truth.

7. They’re transparent.
Open communication is woven into the fabric of your authenticity. You never leave anyone guessing or hurting because you’re transparent.

8. They’re open and consistent.
You do not hold judgmental attitudes towards others. As you evaluate the thoughts and opinions others hold, even those you do not agree with, you still place them under an umbrella of respect. You are true to who you are and the principles you hold and do not require another person’s approval to feel good about yourself.

9. They’re team-oriented.
You build successful teams and give credit where it is due, sharing your success and achievements with your entire team.

10. They draw upon experience.
You have learned through your own life and improved yourself in thoughtful ways.

– by Psychologist Sherrie Campbell

 

THE MYTH OF THE GOOD OL BOY AND THE NICE GAL

The good of boy myth and the nice gal are a kind of social conformity myth. They create a real paradox when put together with the “rugged individual” part of the Success Myth. How can I be a rugged individual, be my own man and conform at the same time? Conforming means “Don’t make a wave”, “Don’t rock the boat”. Be a nice gal or a good ol’ boy. This means that we have to pretend a lot. 

“We are taught to be nice and polite. We are taught that these behaviors (most often lies) are better than telling the truth. Our churches, schools, and politics are rampant with teaching dishonesty (saying things we don’t mean and pretending to feel ways we don’t feel). We smile when we feel sad; laugh nervously when dealing with grief; laugh at jokes we don’t think are funny; tell people things to be polite that we surely don’t mean.”

– John Bradshaw On: The Family

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We Are All Pinocchio

“Pinocchio went out into the world. He went on his road filled with good intentions, with a vision. He went ready to do all the things he dreamed, but he was pulled this way and that. He was distracted. He faltered. He made mistakes. But he kept on. Pinocchio, in the end, became himself — because the little flame inside him, no matter what crap he went through, would not be extinguished.” 

~Patty Smith

Seems to me even before he becomes a real boy, Pinocchio was already experiencing the reality of real life and more real than most of us. Everything that was mentioned above is characteristic of being human. I beg to disagree with this passage ” in the end, he became himself. “ In my eyes, he didn’t become, he was himself all along. He stayed true to himself no matter what without losing his core -the little flame that refused to be extinguished. When he first ventured out into the world, he was naive (recognizable?) and made poor choices and picked the wrong company and tried to get out of tricky situations by lying. We all did these in some points in our lives. If you tell me you hadn’t, then you’re lying. None of us were born aware and equipped with all the knowledge to survive in this world. We learned it as we go along stumbling and falling. In the end, like Pinocchio, we will realize who we are and where we belonged but the foundation of our true selves is already laid from the start. No amount of experience good or bad could alter our genetic makeup. It could alter the shape a bit but not the core. We are who we are and how we deal with things (attitude) shows what lies beneath. No mask and amount of lying and pretending could hide the real character of a person because eventually, it will show through his actions. I rather deal with an obnoxious person with a good heart than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

How about you?

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