This is one of the biggest issues that I’ve noticed as a college student among my peers. A lot of people become followers because they have no sense of direction. They’ve been sheltered and told what to do, their whole lives that they are more vulnerable to become followers. I had my first job at the age of 12 so I’ve always knew how to hold my own, but I realized that a lot of young adults struggle to stand alone. Teens must be taught how to own their individuality and have a strong sense of who they are. Nothing bothers me more to see a young adult with a high school mentality.
I found myself bouncing back and forth when young going from leader to follower to leader and so on. I struggled with self-confidence. Why was it so important that I gained your approval? Why was it so important that I fit in? Why when I was very young did I love ballet class and then one day I became so frightened and timid to that I threw a tantrum and clung to my mom until she took me home? One day I’m the student body president and the next day the wall flower.
Having found myself in a treatment program for alcoholism decades later I was fortunate enough to work through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous where I found many of these questions arising in my head. Thoroughly working Step Four I learned so much about myself. Many of the questions I asked myself are still puzzling, but I realized that most of my life I lived in fear. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of making an ass out of myself.
All I know today is that we all need to know have unique gifts. We ARE unique and have so much to give to the world! If we stop focussing on what we aren’t and start to focus on what WE ARE, everything is seen in a different perspective. I AM worthy. I AM a good person. I DO love myself for who I am. Let’s share this with our children and our fellows so that perhaps one day they can cease comparing themselves with others and stop trying to fit in and gain the approval of others who don’t give a shit.
2. Financial Stability:
When I first went away to college, I struggled budgeting my money. I found myself spending my money on things that I did not need. When I got a job while I was in college the issue became worst. I thought that it would be easier to budget if I had more money, but I had less money because I convinced myself that I needed things that I didn’t. Then when it came time for me to file my taxes I was lost. I was use to my mother doing all my paperwork that I didn’t even know where to start.
I’m still not good at the money thing. It’s not my passion but I know I have to be responsible enough to pay my bills in order to live a fairly comfortable existence. I have always been strapped for cash and lived pretty frugally. But today, again from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that helps guide me and teach me how to make right choices. But the main lesson I’ve learned is to stop living in fear and to always stay in faith. When the fear rears its ugly head my faith is shrinking. When the faith is shrinking Dee is taking over and trying to control the show. This doesn’t work for me; I’ve done it most of my life and I was exhausted and purposeless. Weird how when I live more positively and hopefully, great things appear in my life. We attract more of how we think and how we ARE!
And, by the way, it is important we teach our children how to budget, balance a check book, about credit card debt, etc. And doing laundry, sewing on a button, and ironing a work shirt is pretty helpful, too.
3. Mental Awareness:
When I left for college I struggled with anxiety and stress because it was difficult for me to deal with the new environment. I was never homesick, but the stress of managing classes, fighting insecurities and dealing with friendships was enough for me to mentally shut down. Growing up we don’t realize how easy we have it until we leave the nest. Instead of trying to keep us in the nest I wish parents taught us how to survive outside of the nest mentally. I wish someone told me that every challenge is not the end of the world, but an obstacle that comes along to make you stronger.
Today running my own business I excitedly realize that the more “no’s” I get, the closer I am to achieving that awesome “yes”. Whether the “no” is a rejection of my product or service, I get to learn and be open to the why. I grow. I get better. I don’t react nor take it personally. I survive and move forward to bigger and better things. And I know that this is how my Higher Power works for and through me. That everything is perfect at this very moment and I’m right where I need to be. With that outlook, everything is positive and hopeful. Way better than the other option of wallowing on the pity pot.
Another great gift I have today because of Alcoholics Anonymous is that I no longer have to do or think things through on my own. I’m finally comfortable enough in my own skin to ask for help. And I’m finally selfless enough (most of the time) to urge those in need of my help to please not deprive me of the gift of giving and service. It’s a win-win. Really.
Yep, because my Higher Power is always with me and has my back, I never again have to feel I am on my own. I just have to remember to stay in the moment, stay out of my head, and all is well.
Confidence is something I had to build along the years, but not enough parents teach their children to love themselves. Neglecting this issue is like throwing your child out to the wolves and leaving them to fend for themselves. With media being a major influence on the development of children we have to plant a seed in their minds to give them a sense of direction. The media tell children that they must be a size two or have curves to die for, but what are you telling your child? We should be taught who we are when we are young, so we don’t have to find ourselves when we get older. I love when I see viral videos of parents making their child stand in the mirror and telling themselves how beautiful and valuable they are. Self-love starts when we are young because kids are like sponges.
The sponge thing didn’t happen to me until I was in treatment for my alcoholism. For those 21+ days I got to concentrate only on me. I was definitely a sponge. It was a very exciting time for me and it changed my life.
I got to learn about the disease of alcoholism. I got to let go of all the negative thoughts about myself, “You’re a loser, Dee. You have no self-control. You’re a waste of space on this planet”.
I got to work the Twelve Steps and get rid of that fear-based mentality. I got to ask for help and be rigorously honest. I got a toolbox that helps me live a life in recovery. And I got a Power Greater Than Myself that walks me through life, that shows me how to love myself and you, and how to give back.
Yes, I wish I would have got this when I was a child. But that wasn’t my calling. I’m grateful it happened when and the way it did. That I did not have to die. And with this gift and what I’ve learned along the way, I diligently try to plant the seed in each and every one who enters my Dee Bubble how special they are, what unique gifts they hold, what an asset they are to the world and to mankind. And this is all extra special when I can share this with our keiki, our children, our future!
5. Be Original:
Growing up I wanted the latest brands and products to make myself feel important. We all begged our parents for the coolest trends just to go to school and look like everyone else. I wish I was taught that those things does not define me. I wish I would have focused more on building my character than I did focusing on getting things that I can’t afford to impress people who I may never even see again. I wish I was taught to love myself without those labels and stand firm and be confident in my own skin.
If only I had felt comfortable in my own skin when I was young… Again, not my journey, not my calling, not my purpose. But today I will impress upon you to please love the person you are today, right now, right here. You ARE awesome! You have a gift! Share that gift and inspire.
Build self-confidence in yourself and with those around you, especially the children. And let them know that there will always be Big Bad Wolves out there that will try to make you feel less than. That is THEIR problem and not yours. We all have our sicknesses so let them keep theirs and love the person you are. You ARE worthy! BeYOUtiful!
For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo and have a great day!