They say that secrets don’t make friends, but I always like to say they make best friends. So let’s become best friends and let me tell you a secret. You ready? Remember it will be just between us…
There was a time in my life where I allowed negative perceptions of me control how I lived. Skies had limits because I was told since I was poor that it would be harder to get ahead in life, I was bullied at school because of how I walked so I had low self-esteem (my legs were ran over as a child so I had years of discomfort) and I was told that I should change my last name if I ever wanted to get ahead in life (I will get ahead in life because of my hard work and drive)
My message today is one of breaking free from something I like to call the “Box” and I want it to be loud and clear after you read this article that IT IS OK TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX!
Meaning, it’s ok to let go of all of the misconceptions people have of you, preconceived notions of who others think you are, and feel free to move on from any past mistakes in order to see yourself as an amazing human being that has the power to change the world for the better!
Unfortunately, we live in a society where some people decide to put us in “boxes”, which creates limits to what we believe we can achieve. For instance, have you ever been told that you can’t do something or that you weren’t good enough? Have you ever been held back because you subconsciously allowed someone else’s false perception become your reality?
I wish I could sit in a room with you right now and go over all of the boxes that are preventing you from being your best self. I would ask you to write down these words in huge letters: “IT IS NOW TIME TO LET GO OF ALL THAT IS HOLDING ME BACK AND EMBRACE ALL THAT AWAITS ME”.” Although it is easier said than done, crushing the box begins as a simple, conscious decision in our minds to stop allowing negative opinions control who we are. That is the foundation to a life of achievement and success.
I remember when this point really hit home for me; I was hanging out with a friend (thank you, Adam Farnes!) in college and he shared something that he had put together.
He went on and read facts about individuals who are well known to many of us for being great, but as you will see, they too were put in “boxes” at some point of their lives.
- Born in a log cabin in absolute poverty.
- Entire education consisted of 18 months of schooling.
- Failed in business twice, including a general store which lasted only one month.
- Suffered from depression and a nervous breakdown.
- Failed in eight major elections.
- Was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.”
- Fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination,” and “had no original ideas.”
- Told as a boy that he had no talent in drawing.
- Cut from his high school varsity basketball team for “lack of talent.” He went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.
- Missed more than 9,000 shots in his career as a professional athlete.
- Lost 300 games.
- Missed a game-winning shot 26 times.
WINSTON CHURCHILL (one of the greatest speakers and statesmen in England’s history)
- Teachers called him “dull and hopeless” and he flunked out of 6th
- Suffered from a speech impediment.
MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
- Experienced low levels of self control as a child.
- Was caught shoplifting.
- Was jealous and impatient as a teenager and was possessive of his wife when he was first married.
- Lived all of his adult life in poverty, even so far as making his own clothing from scratch.
- Struck out at bat 1,330 times.
- Turned down by the Decca Recording Company who said, “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” and, “We don’t like their sound – they have no future in show business.”
We would be living in a world without Beatles music, Disney World, Jordans, Oprah and iconic figures like Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi and Churchill if they all decided to live by someone else’s false perception. I believe that we are all on this earth for a purpose, and it is our mission to fulfill our destiny.
The next time we decide to harshly judge, put others in boxes or give up on ourselves, I say let’s all try a little harder to cheer each other on, to be happy when others succeed, to easily forgive and foster an environment that allows growth. At the end of the day, we all are in this journey together, and like my wise friend Shanita once said, “There is enough money and success to go around for everyone.”
By no means do I want to say I am perfect at this, but I will say I have come a long way from that little boy who grew up poor and thought that life had limits. I have come a long way from that kid that used to get bullied for being different and not wanting to accept what makes me unique. I have come a long way from allowing past mistakes hold me back from conquering my fears. To close, here’s a quote that changed my life forever, and I hope that by reading this honest and open post that you can feel a little better about letting go of your boxes, too.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
*Leave a comment below and let us know the “boxes” you have crushed in your life, Thanks for reading!