Be Brave, Comrade.
Before all else comrade, know that you are not alone.
Those thoughts you have, especially the incredibly audacious ones — that is what makes you unique, that is what makes you special. Every time they laugh, ridicule, and point fingers at you, they are merely offering a glimpse into a system that isn't designed to appreciate young free thinkers, disruptive innovators, or unbridled free spirits like yourself. You are merely a seed that found itself in arid soil lacking the nutrients of passion for embracing diverse beings that challenge the status quo.
I used to be where you are right now, always trying to fit in so I could be accepted for who I was not.
I hid my passions, my innermost talents and was ashamed of who I really was because no one could see what I saw or understand the amazing world I described. But as months turned into years and the promotions, awards and pay raises kept coming, I realized that absolutely no amount of money could heal the emptiness of an unfulfilled life. Seeking happiness externally, as it were, guarantees unhappiness internally. You know what that pain feels like too, don’t you? It’s the deepest part of your soul desperately begging for your true self to emerge. And though you might disagree, the world needs you now more than ever to embody the reason you were truly placed on this planet.
But like you, for a long time I ignored my brilliance due to fear of rejection. Yes, you too are a Picasso in your own right, one that is capable of moving mountains and changing the world forever. All I wanted, however, was to be accepted by my band of brothers and sisters. Caught in a painful double bind, being true to myself meant rejection by a system that provided safety and a deep sense of belonging. On the other hand, becoming part of the system meant watching my soul die a slow, horrible, and painful death. I suspect you are probably in a similar situation wanting the best of both worlds but being forced to succeed at one while sacrificing the other. If not, you’re either very blessed or completely dead inside.
Nevertheless comrade, read on.
Yes, this article is for you: the rejects, the harshly judged, the unloved. I know all too well that feeling of tenseness in your heart, that pang in your gut every time you stand on the cliff’s edge thinking of leaping over the chasm of despair to live the life you deserve. It seems impossible, impractical, and totally ridiculous …. but it isn’t. Everything you want and deserve in life is on the other side of fear my friend. Unfortunately, you’ve become paralyzed by the thought of how stupid you’d look if you tried to jump across and didn’t make it to the other side. How do I break this to you gently? NO ONE CARES. It’s your own hypercritical mind that turns stepping over a puddle into sailing across an ocean. Your fear of failure is an illusion that places finite limits on the infinite potential of the human mind; the sooner you come to grips with this truth, the sooner you will be liberated.
Sound like poetic B.S.?
Esoteric wisdom usually does.
Look back on your life and take notice of how many challenges you’ve overcome to arrive at this present moment. The broken bones and broken hearts, the dysfunctional family, the divorce, the loneliness, the suicidal thoughts, the depression, the rejection letters, the feelings of not being good enough. You didn’t survive every challenge the universe has thrown at you because of dumb luck. No comrade! The only reason you’ve made it this far is because of who you really are: an unstoppable force of nature that makes the impossible, possible. Your outermost layers of self-doubt are not the true you, just as a diamond wrapped in newspaper doesn’t turn into trash.
The problem isn’t you and it never has been.
The problem is what you believe. Furthermore, without realizing it, you’ve misperceived your thoughts and emotions as yourself, while being unaware that you can purposely and deliberately modify personal beliefs to better serve your life.
Look in the mirror and you’ll see the only thing standing between you and everything you want in life. It’s not the system, it’s not “the man”, it’s YOU that continuously cling to the limiting beliefs that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy of love, or that the life you want is impossible to achieve. It’s all such self-depreciating bullshit. Looping such negative patterns over and over in your mind will turn them into undeniable personal truths. That’s how a precious gem believes it’s a worthless clump of dirt. So, how does one break negative mental patterns and absorb new empowering personal truths? Simple.
Be brave, comrade.
Start by digging deep into your soul and writing down what you want to accomplish in this short life. As simple as this may seem, many people are deathly afraid of the thought because they see life is one big pass or fail test. To some, writing down personal goals means accepting the possibility of painful failures if they don’t materialize. So instead, the safe alternative is embraced: set no goals and make no plans while hoping that the universe will provide a path to “success” because they are goodhearted people. After all, it’s impossible to fail at something that was never specifically desired in the first place, right? If you don’t know exactly what you want in life then you will not be able to recognize it when it presents itself.
Next, begin modifying relationships with peers who are emotionally toxic. Peers are those individuals who have massive influence on your mind. It would be foolish to work in a coal mine wearing white and expect to stay clean; likewise, a pessimistic peer group will pollute your mind with self-doubt, ultimately becoming the personal truth that validates a shitty, unfulfilled life. Always love your family and friends, but if they don’t belong in your peer group — remove them. Your mind is your most precious asset, so protect it as such and hold extremely high standards as to who or what influences it.
Most people do anything to avoid pain, to include believing complete and utter bullshit as a defense mechanism. To avoid the pain of being considered unhealthy and overweight, they believe they have a genetic disposition. To avoid pain of heartbreak, they believe that work keeps them too busy for a relationship. A solid peer group will call you out in a heartbeat and snap your ass back in line when you start making excuses that take you away from your goals. Most people spend so much time avoiding pain that they don’t even know what they really want in life. Instead of running away from the pain of what you don’t want, why not focus on running towards the pleasure of the life you deserve?
Even an unhappy, unsatisfying life can seem pretty good if you can tolerate the pain.
Unfortunately, most people keep their minds preoccupied to avoid the emptiness. But once the party’s over, and it eventually always does end, they are forced to come face to face with everything they hate about their lives. Every now and then the universe throws a curve ball that pushes you well beyond your pain threshold: you’re told you have cancer, or maybe someone you love gets hurt. That’s when the window of change temporarily opens up and you start searching for new beliefs that explain this new reality. For some, this is the opportunity they use to grow and change their life for the better: they quit smoking or stop taking loved ones for granted. Wait too long to make a decision, however, and the window slowly closes as you adapt to the pain.
You are so much more capable than you realize, comrade.
Be brave and stand up to claim the life you deserve. Don’t seek external validation of your greatness, just simply be great and do great things. As soon as you are unshackled from the limiting beliefs that keep you bounded to the earth, you will soar to heights you never thought possible. And when you get there, I promise you will meet others who also freed themselves and you will realize that you were never alone on this journey. Remember, as you step up to the cliff’s edge, focus your eyes on where you want to land and take the leap of faith.
I’ll meet you on the other side.
* Disclaimer: This article reflects Darryl’s ideas only and is notrepresentative of the US Government, DoD, US military, or the US Navy. **
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