The One Thing That’s Stopping You From Getting What You Want

Election
Election

Insecurity is at the root of all our failures. It’s like a poison that grows slowly, strangling our personal growth. Everybody is insecure about something. Almost everyone you meet is confident in some areas while pathetically unsure in others. That’s what makes us humans a big bundle of contradictions. How can the person who goes out with strangers on OKCupid not have enough self-assurance to send in a resume to their dream job? How can a twentysomething who kicks ass at their job be too shy to ask someone out on a date? Take a look at your life and where you want it to go. I guarantee that one of the major things holding you back from achieving your goal is due to insecurity and fear.

In many ways, you are your own worst enemy and sabotage yourself more than anyone else could. However, you will meet a lot of people throughout your life who will feed off your insecurities like vultures. Like, for example, someone who makes you feel stupid. With most people, you’re witty, smart and confident but then when you get around a certain person, you freeze up and become a bumbling idiot. Why does this happen? What is it about them that makes you feel like such a fool? It’s certainly not accidental. People who make you feel stupid are almost always doing it consciously. They talk at you rather than with you and pepper every question to you with an air of condescension.  You hate this person for making you doubt things about yourself that you’ve always known to be true but, most importantly, you’re mad at yourself for believing it. Remember this: the only stupid thing you can really do is give someone the power to make you feel dumb.

You will meet people in this world who make you feel like you have bad taste in clothes, music and movies. This is ridiculous. You should never have to justify what you like to anyone. Just own it. That’s what the cast of the Jersey Shore did. A major part of that show’s success was anchored in these people’s honest belief that the way they lived their lives was AWESOME. Their music, their clothes, their dance moves: everything was the absolute best. Regardless of how you felt about that show, you must admit that the confidence was endearing. The second you realize someone’s not looking for your approval, you become fascinated by them. “Who is this person who doesn’t need my acceptance to feel good about themselves?! We must be friends ASAP!”

You will have lovers who set you up to fail, like running after a carrot that will never be yours. You think to yourself that things will change if YOU change but that’s not how this kind of game works. This game depends on you having insecurities and low self-esteem. Your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t want you to ever be better. They want you to always be down, down, down so you need them to get back up again.

These kinds of people are like emotional vampires scouring the Earth and feasting on the weak. There was a time in my life when I surrounded myself with folks like this and let them decide for me what I liked and disliked.  I let them dictate how I felt. If someone thought I was stupid for liking a certain band, then, oh my god, they must be right. I’m stupid! But then I realized that to feel shame about who I was wasn’t getting me anywhere good. And life is about wanting the good things, not the bad things, right? Changes like this don’t happen overnight. You have to reach a breaking point. You have to be willing to get the confidence you need in order to survive. And even then, you’ll still have insecurities. You always will. It’s just a matter of how much they weigh you down and prevent you from getting what you want. Just please don’t forget one thing: any person who makes you feel bad about yourself is an asshole. Take solace in knowing that they probably hate themselves more than you do. TC Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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