The most brutal prison you will ever live in is the fear of what other people think.
It can paralyze you from moving forward in your life and putting your wants and needs first. I lived this firsthand for many years before finally realizing how much it affected my life and happiness.
About nine years ago, my life felt like it was falling apart, and I could not understand how I let this happen or why it was happening.
I was sitting at work knowing my life was at a crossroads, my marriage was failing, and work had become unbearable.
After dedicating 17 years of my life to working my way up the corporate ladder, I knew it was time to do something new because every day I woke up to go to work, there would be a pit in my stomach.
My wife and I had been together for seven years, and we were at an all-time low in our relationship. Barely speaking to one another, basically coexisting in a house like roommates that didn't get along.
I had lost my desire for my job or to fight for my marriage because I could no longer make anyone happy, especially myself.
So I decided to change my job to run a start-up company, thinking having a new job I enjoyed would allow me to gain clarity in my life and focus on improving my marriage.
Well, that's not exactly how it played out.
Shortly after taking the job, my marriage ended, and shortly after that, the company failed. Talk about not feeling like you are good enough, it hit me so hard, and I didn't see it coming, but I should have.
Oh shit...here we go again...my life was in a tailspin, and I had no idea what to do next.
I'd been doing my best to make everyone happy. I tried to be what work wanted me to while giving my wife anything and doing whatever she wanted.
I did all this thinking it would make everyone happy, and when it didn't, what did I do? I blamed everyone else for everything happening in my life because, after all, I was doing what they wanted me to do.
How could it be my fault?
That's when it hit me like a four hundred-pound gorilla right between the eyes. The only constant in my life issues was me; I chose to do all those things, and no one made me do them.
Damn, it's me and always has been and always will be. This happened because I completely overlooked anything I wanted or needed to be happy with. I wasn't filling my cup because I was too busy trying to fill everyone else's.
Something had to change, and I knew it was me. I finally realized the only person who can make you happy is you.
I took a long hard look in the mirror and realized if anything was going to change in my life, I had to be the one to change it.
Not only for myself but the people around me as well. I wanted people to accept me for who I was, not for who I thought they wanted me to be.
That's when I started my self-development journey to understand myself better, what happened, and how I could change my life for the better.
I spent months digging into my childhood, teen years, and early adult to the present day, and what I found out shook me to the core.
BAMN...there it was...
I was not being true to myself by putting my life on the back burner, and I was doing this to myself while not even realizing it. I was so busy putting everyone else ahead of myself to be who I thought everyone wanted me to be because I cared what others thought or how they might judge me.
Looking back on my life experiences revealed a pattern of my fear of expressing who I was. For example, in elementary school, I was placed in special classes, and other kids made fun of me for being what they called dumb because I didn't learn like them.
I had no idea I was unconsciously carrying this insecurity or letting it impact my life choices. I'm making decisions for my life with a bias that I'm not good enough.
Think about that for a second; imagine trying to get a job, making new friends, or keeping old ones, starting a romantic relationship while telling yourself you're not good enough, so take what they give you.
Sounds miserable, and it was.
I finally figured out why I felt lost and discouraged, and it was all due to living in a prison of fear of being judged by others, and I would do anything not to face that fear.
It was right under my nose this whole time, and I didn't even see it.
I spent so much time working on myself to have the necessary tools in my toolbox of life to break down my actions and understand my triggers.
Going through this allowed me to address them as they came up so I would not fall back into my old habits of making decisions that weren't good for me.
During this journey, I discovered we all have a superpower: to be yourself and let the world adjust. There is one caveat, lead with kindness and compassion.
Many people like me are afraid to embrace their superpower because they live in the same prison of fear of what other people think.
If you've ever felt the way or can relate to what I went through, I want to help you get through it.
I put together a short ebook that is 100% free ebook to help you get started embracing your superpower of being yourself.
Remember, there is no such thing as the "right time." In life, there's just time, and you can choose what to do with it.
Have a fantastic day.