Today as I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk's daily vlog (highly recommend), I heard him say something that really resonated with me in different levels, something that has been a theme in my past past and that is currently affecting a very important person in my life. This post is dedicated to her and everyone else going through similar circumstances.
Everyone has or has had secrets in their lives, what we often fail to understand is how debilitating they can be to us, how destructive and toxic they become to ourselves and everyone around us.
A secret is an underlying idea that if something is known we will no longer be worthy of respect, friendship or love. It grows like a cancer; the longer it remains buried and unchallenged the more it will contaminate everything around it like a virus that is constantly multiplying, unchallenged.
It devours any positive feeling it finds on its way, with its unstoppable merciless drive it will reduce hope and dreams to ashes.
Whatever is hidden will always influence what is in the light, until its also darkness. This cycle will never end until we realise the very simple fact that life is too short to live in shame and worried about judgement.
Most of what we hide are mistakes, things we have done in the past, things that we believe are not in line with who we want to be, so we bury them, pretend they did not happen, lie about them.
I have done this myself, it nearly destroyed me, it stopped any progress I was making in my professional life, created havoc in my personal relationships because it perpetuated a state that I felt trapped in, an emotional trap that dictated the way I thought and created limitations in mind, mental blockers telling me that whatever mistakes I did were perpetual and would prevent me from ever being successful, it planted this idea in my mind that I would never be happy, that I did not deserve happiness.
If anyone ever found out or knew who you really were, your life would be over.
In the end, it the above was nearly true, but not because of what others thought of me or my shame, but because of what I ultimately condemned myself, of what I reduced myself too.
If you are facing something like this, I have a few words of advice for you:
- Face whatever mistakes you have done head on, write them in a piece of paper,
- Surface your mistakes, make them known, to yourself and others,
- Forgive: If your mistake affected other peoples lives, seek forgiveness, but don't expect it. Not everyone has forgiveness in their hearts, remember that this is not a problem for you to solve. Forgive yourself, after having faced the consequences of your actions, its time to seek forgiveness from the most important person of all: yourself.
- Learn: Make sure you have learned from whatever brought you to this place. Make sure you understand the root of the problem, most of the time the mistakes we are deeply ashamed about are only symptoms of something deeper underlying, this is what needs to be learned, faced resolved,
- Move on: Yes, move on. This means.. literally.. move on! It is no longer your reality.
Someones opinion of you does not need to become your reality.
Life is short, you are going to die, soon, never forget it, live your life, be the best you can be, there is nowhere to hide from yourself.
p.s. people care a lot less about your mistakes than you think, in fact most people don't really care too much about anything at all, trust me on this.