I came across this little article on one of my fave blogs and I wanted to share it. It truly hit the spot and if you are in need,…I hope it hits your spot as well! xo
At such a young age, I had no way to process the mean words tossed my way, so I built a shell around myself and often wished I could become invisible to avoid hurting. I tried to carry on as if others’ words could not impact me.
What I quickly learned as I went through life is that we all encounter many people along the way who will attempt to tear us down and break our spirit. What I couldn’t realize then is that it’s truly up to us to decide how we allow others to make us feel and whether or not we allow them to shape us into a person we are not.
That little girl in a shell grew older and carried with her each day, and each new opportunity, the same feeling of insecurity that formed in that little girl so many years ago. Even with all of the growth I’d experienced, those judgments don’t end when we leave childhood. We will always encounter critics along our journey through life. When I began college, I joined practically every activity related to my major. In my personal life, I went on dates and tried to play the confident girl with a smile. After I graduated from college, I had to go on job interviews and pretend I was self-assured. Once I got the job, I had to give presentations, speak at meetings, and continue to fulfill my role with confidence.
I pushed myself to achieve and continue moving forward, but I never felt truly fulfilled. I still remained insecure and began to question why I felt that way, why I was always stuck in my own head, and why I seemed to carry that shell on my back.
Ultimately, I realized that I felt insecure because I was carrying around the words and judgments I’d heard at different points in my life as if they were written into the code of my DNA. We have all had someone say something that does not reflect who we truly are, but sometimes we give it so much power that we allow it to define us. If we are not honest with ourselves, it’s easier to remain in that shell and continue on as if those feelings don’t exist. We then relinquish our control and convince ourselves that maybe we are that person as we continue on the same path.
While I did not have a choice to be surrounded by those kids in school, I have discovered the power in surrounding myself with positive people who have my best interests at heart.
It’s not always easy to let go of people we form relationships with, but if those relationships enforce the negative feelings we are trying to release ourselves from, they only become counterproductive.
People who truly care about us and deserve to be in our lives will not attempt to bring us down or carry the same judgments the people of our past have carried. Don’t lose sight of who you truly are and the unique qualities you’ve built within yourself.
It took me a long time, but I was finally able to recognize that the little girl with the shell is not who I am today. She will always be a part of me, but I cannot allow her to dominate my days or I will not be living up to my full potential.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey so far, it’s that people can only take from you what you allow. If you allow others to define who you are, you are giving them the power to dictate where your path will lead.
I’ve paraphrased the article..but you can find the complete version here!