Have you ever seen those videos with kids that scream, steal other kids toys, shave their heads, tell you in your face exactly what you don’t want to hear? Those kids that have that big smile all the time on their faces and don’t give a shit about others? Or maybe you’ve seen them in real life too. They are usually the ” bosses ” in the kid playgrounds, parks, kindergartens, schools, etc. They are the ones that usually sit in the middle surrounded by the ” little” ones, ruling their small world with confidence while the other kids, the quiet ones listen to them carefully with their eyes and mouth wide open. What happens when they want something? They get it. No matter what others say or think about them because they know what they want and how to get it. What happens when the quiet ones want something? They cry.
I used to be that kid. That very naughty kid with endless energy, great confidence, and a very big smile. My teacher used to tell me ” Ranim, when you walk into a room, everyone looks at you! It’s just something about you that makes people turn their heads. It’s not beauty, it’s just the way you walk!” and I was only 10 years old. I think I knew more about life back then than I do now. I didn’t really understand what she meant until recently. It is all about being yourself, being CONFIDENT and LOVE who you really are. Do that and people will just follow because you will be glowing and spread that energy everywhere.
Along with these naughty kids that I am sure as you’ve seen, are the parents. The desperate, always ” sorry” parents. Those parents that are so scared of how much confidence and freedom their kids have that they try to tame them and make them fit in the box of society. Most of the time you see them running after these kids, being sorry for their outstanding behavior. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that kids should not be educated at all. I am so in favor of educating kids. What I am talking about is that ” always sorry” behavior. Like the time when my sister was 5 or 6 and fell asleep on the couch in our living room. While she was sleeping, my parents had a guest from Sudan whom skin color was black. She opened her big round eyes, looked at the man and asked my dad ” Why is this man black?”. My dad carefully and nicely explained to her that in Sudan and some other countries, people just have different skin color. She understood and went back to sleep. Now, this is a great behavior. But there are parents that apologize for their kids’ honest behavior. Like really, in my sister’s case, it was the first time in her life seeing a person that has black skin color, of course, she is going to ask why it’s interesting. Imagine you see someone with green or blue skin color. Wouldn’t you ask why? I know I would. If my dad would start apologizing to the man, yell at her for ” being honest” instead of giving her an explanation she would’ve been so confused and probably she would have assumed that you can’t be honest with people. And if you are ever honest, make sure you apologize for that. So thanks, Dad! Thanks a lot! You are awesome.
Another example is with guests that come to your house and forget to leave. There are people who think that asking them to leave is rude. But it’s not! Maybe you are just tired and want to sleep. My parents had guests like that. I remember one time they had some people over dinner and as always after dinner everyone would leave only one would stay. So I went to him and asked him politely ” When are you going to leave? We want to sleep.” He took his shoes and left. Why expressing a need is seen as being rude? If you think so, you might want to recalibrate your mind. This behavior, not being able to express feelings and/or needs or listen to others feelings and/or needs is making you sick, physically.
All of us are born feeling free, confident, empowered, loved, happy but then we either get yelled at, beaten, emotional or/and psychologically manipulated to show a face that’s accepted by a group of people rather than our true one. I cannot even say ” by society” because society is changing. Society is telling you to be you now. Only some people are still living with this old ” not taking you anywhere” package. And the shocking thing is that some of them take being honest as being rude. I can understand where is this coming from but what strikes me is their ignorance and total refuse of wanting to grow and develop themselves. Maybe this will help you, stubborn fellow, to understand in a more deep way what you are doing to yourself.
Perfectionism is a self-defeating behavior
Scientists and doctors are actually discovering now that ” not being yourself” might be the root of many diseases. Wearing that mask all the time is consuming your health. It is a huge drain on your mind, body and soul to frequently pretend to be, or feel like you need to be, someone else. It’s like you have a 24/7 job where you need to be this perfect human, not bother anyone, say sorry even when you are not sorry, not be honest and definitely be good. Be good in everything and at everything. And if you are not good, you punish yourself just like your parents used to punish you with bad words that minimalize your confidence even more. Until one day you wake up and realize that you don’t even know who the fuck you are anymore and wearing that mask becomes something normal and natural for you. ( Yes I wrote ” fuck” ) Oh, and you’re really lucky if you realize that! It’s a start. Because there are people out there that have been wearing that mask for so long that they start thinking that the mask it’s them. If you realize that you don’t know who you are anymore, you are lucky my friend. You can start from there!
What happens when you wear the mask for years? You start feeling tired all the time, bored, unhappy, depressed, empty, sick and fat ( because you try to fill that emptiness with food). You can’t really understand why you don’t have the energy to go to the gym or even go out with your friends like you used to. You start thinking that maybe it’s because you are getting old or it’s just your job or whatever other excuses you might find but guess what? It’s a lie and you know it. Somewhere deep down there, at the bottom of your soul where there is left a 5-10% of your real you, of that naughty kid, knows you are lying. Wearing that mask is taking all your energy, excitement and health.
Perfectionism is a self-defeating behavior. These behaviors take away your vitality, leaving you exhausted and without access to the powerful energy you need to create your happy life.
Signs of self-defeating behaviors:
- Stubbornness: needing to always be right;
- Blaming: inability to accept responsibility for your own mistakes;
- Inability or refusing to ask for help;
- Obsessing about perfection;
- Fear of taking healthy risks;
- Procrastination: always postponing things;
- Negative self-talk.
- People pleasing: at the cost of your own happiness or health;
So why is GOOD to be BAD?
When I say ” be bad” I don’t mean something like go hurt someone or swear or hit someone. Not something illegal for sure. What I mean by saying that is do something that makes you feel free. Something you don’t allow yourself to do just because you think it’s inappropriate. Why? Because it makes you feel alive. Because you are letting that kid inside of you to run like crazy after so many years of punishment and ” supposed behavior”. Because it will feel like a breath of fresh air. Going against your minds ” rules” is the best thing ever. You will feel connected to yourself again and I know this is scary for those who have lost that connection a long time ago. It’s so scary that it frustrates you to see others having this kind of behavior. You judge them and talk about them with others ” Look at her. She is so immature!” or ” This guy, who the hell does he think he is?” because you want that too. You miss feeling and behaving like that. But your mind is not letting you, it’s not giving you permission to live freely because you think it’s misbehaving and you are perfect, you can’t misbehave. But I am here to tell you that you can MISBEHAVE. BE BAD, BE NAUGHTY, allow yourself to be whoever you want. Stop living in a cage created by you and free yourself. You and only you can do that. BE BRAVE. What can happen? Think of the worst thing that could happen and you’ll realize it’s only in your head.
Let’s be bad together! Do something bad this week, something you don’t allow yourself to do. Maybe tell your co-worker, that one that talks a lot to shut up. Or go out on weekdays. Or run naked on the street. Or go hug a homeless person. Or call your mom and tell her everything you’ve been dreaming about to tell her, even if that may upset her. Release everything you’ve been holding for so long and stop protecting others by hurting yourself.
Be free, be brave, be yourself