Make me, Break me.

I said out loud to some friends yesterday that I had stopped caring about being very successful. Now before you rise an eyebrow, let me explain my definition of ‘successful’ before I made that comment yesterday.

Successful means being the best at everything I do. Having people know that I am really smart, witty and worthwhile to have around. It’s a strange definition for success, I know but that was what I thought. It is only recently that I’ve been able to nail down why I thought this way.

I was bullied growing up. It wasn’t physical, it was emotional. People would deliberately leave me out of conversations, games and just seemed to go out of their way to make me feel left out. I cried a lot and it affected my self-esteem. So one day when I was 16 and again at about 23, I made up my mind that I was going to be BLOODY successful by rising to the top of my profession very quickly. A secret plan ensued: I was going to be the best. I’d make them regret leaving me out! It’s amazing how these things follow one through life. I’m 31 now and I have the benefit of hindsight so I’m at an advantage. I got married early (like a good African girl), was desperate to have kids and did. But still I didn’t really count these as success.

Success

Measuring success (freedigitalphotos.net, 2010)

I continued to push myself to go where I didn’t really want to go, to be who I didn’t really want to be. I was in deep competition with…myself. Oh well. It’s a 15-yr habit but I think I can break it.

The sad thing is I realise that over time I started to leave people out as well (Actually, most people who bully in whatever form, were bullied themselves). A friend of mine once told me, “It’s hurting people hurting people”. If I didn’t understand someone or I didn’t like them, I’d leave them out.  I bring this up because I believe making ‘confessions’ go a long way to a solution (or betterment).

I want to measure success by peace of mind, a family that I love and loves me, a job that doesn’t rule over me and nurtured friendships. I don’t have to be the best at everything I do (what a relief!). It will take a while to sink in but with this open confession, I have no choice. It’s funny that the same experiences that made me who I am, have the potential to break me to pieces. Thankfully,  I no more have anything to prove.

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Comments

  1. Great attitude, I am with you. Measuring your success by the real rewards is what really matters.

    Teri

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  2. Hello. I’m giving you the versatile blogger award. Check it out on http://www.versatilewoman.com/2010/11/my-first-blogging-award.html

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  3. hey i just had to comment on this i am going through something similar , most times i feel left out when i am with friends and it has sort of affected my self esteem. i felt its a phase that would pass away but it has been going on for some time now but i keep praying to God to help me overcome this issue…i know he would.

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    • Dear Missy, you may be right that it’s a phase and it will pass. It can be hard to push oneself out of that poor self-esteem. I remember wondering if it was me or my friends that had the problem. It was probably half and half. Please don’t let it get you down. You sound like a lovely lady. There’s something unique in you that no one else in the world has so remember that. God always counts you in. You are not left out. I’m glad you stopped by! 😉 K

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  1. […] 5. A post that didn’t get the attention that I felt it deserved . . .  Make me, Break me […]

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