Everyone who knows me knows I like quotes. Recently, I found a quote that says “We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves” (Eric Hoffer).I liked the quote and I tried to apply it to my life; I applied it to a level where I was comfortable because I believed I was being honest with myself.
However, during workshops with Conroy Wilson and Michael WA Holgate (from the Ashe Company) in June 2017, they stirred up my dirt. I sat through the sessions as they peeled away my false comfort, and caused me to dissect the stories I created around my experiences.
I realised that, until that workshop, I have never been truly honest with myself. I have created stories as a crutch for brokenness, to justify all my actions and behaviours that sabotage me. I realised that I have been lying all this time as a copout because I wanted to have an excuse for areas I did not want to address.
- Fact: My father last visited me when I was about 5 years old.
- Fact: October 2016 I reached out to him via telephone after I got his number that day
- Fact: We had a light discussion for about 3 minutes where I invited him to call should he ever wish to speak
- Fact: I have not received a call from him.
My lack of relationship with my father has played a significant part in my growth and development. Throughout the workshop I came to realise that from this experience I had spun a web of deceit, I had crafted stories to which concretised negatives that I:
- Was unworthy of love, of meaningful connections and of happiness
- Would never be enough, I had to work extra-hard to compete for affection
- Was less of a person, that I was damaged
As I assimilated these, they manifested in all areas of my life. I became timid and aspired for mediocrity. I sabotaged many opportunities that I wanted because I believed that I was not good enough. Who was I to try to go to France or Chile to work/study? How dare I fully commit to master languages when I would not get an international post that requires me to travel? Even in job interviews, I paint pictures that do not really reflect the person/worker I am.
For example, my current boss told me that during the interview she had her doubts about me fitting in the role because I seemed so inflexible and, working in Project Management, required flexibility. However, she prayed about it and I was the one she chose. Now, working with me, she realised that she is happy with my performance because I am not inflexible as I presented and that I really am a fit.
Throughout various points, although I really want something, the seeds of inadequacy and unworthiness led me to act contrary to my interests. I have believed my lies and have accepted that my dreams were impossible for me because I did not believe I was capable, deserving/worthy.
That little seed of self-doubt, I watered it with my stories. It became rooted in my psyche and infiltrated my core beliefs. I created barriers to my potential which I curled up beside and licked my wounds.
No longer. I now stand ready to break through my self-imposed glass ceiling. I know it will take time but, according to Confucius “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the 1st step”.
Michael and Conroy started me on the path to becoming empowered and their book “Your Empowerment GPA” is inspired. I urge you to read it as it guides us towards being the best versions of ourselves.