I grew up hiding who I was, in fear of being found out.
I was seeking to be successful and failing to find happiness.
Desperate to be liked, deeply disliking myself.
This is how my teenage years were and why I am now passionate about speaking out about it and helping those who have struggles which they need to overcome.
My core values are ‘Honesty, Courage, and Freedom’ and these are practices which I have developed, to enable me to not just survive, but thrive, as I am today!
By being honest and open about who I am, I have no shame. Shame struggles to exist, once it is spoken.
Yes, it takes courage. Courage to stand up and just BE ME and know that I will be judged for it.
But, it allows freedom.
Both of my parents were drug addicts and alcoholics, so my upbringing was tough.
This is a truth that I’ve been hiding from all my life.
Fighting the human need to connect with others, believing that I had to depend only on myself for survival, with being strong as the key to success.
Admitting, let alone embracing, any vulnerability was perceived as weakness, especially in my mind.
Fighters do not allow their opponents to see their faults, but how do you hide your faults if they are inside your own mind?
I couldn’t think of anything worse than being honest about who I was!
My friends all had ‘normal families’, I went to a ‘good school’ and I had a fear, deep within me.
As, at an instinctual level, we need our tribe to survive. And I was part of a tribe which I didn’t truly believe I belonged to…
I needed my friends so worked hard to keep up my appearance, metaphorically. I did this by working to achieve good grades. My friends were all academic, and so was I.
I believed I was nothing else – not sporty, attractive, or creative… my grades were my road to success.
Until the pressure became too much, and I chose avoidance.
Not very courageous!
And through my avoidance of school, my self-esteem plummeted. I was a confident child… a lot changed through my teenage years!
Luckily, I was supported by family (who tried their hardest to get me to attend school… but I was stubborn).
My cousins were home-educated, and I spent some time with them.
So, I knew there was an answer to my dilemma. I did not HAVE to return to school… and by this time I was so anxious, I could not overcome the fear.
I begged to be home-educated but got told I was too academic.
I had no freedom; In the education system, there is no freedom. You must conform.
So, without those grades, I was nothing.
As soon as I could, I began earning my own income. I was hardworking.
Is hardworking a core value? Not for me… I want more. It did allow me enough financial freedom to travel, for that I am grateful!
I began kickboxing at 19… That pushed my courage to its limits. From extreme anxiety, lots of losses, and ‘I’m not fit enough’ – to confidence, achieving the success of a champion, and becoming Fighting Fit!
At 22 I went traveling and found some form of freedom. I quit my job and ended my relationship… but it was without purpose. Freedom without purpose is not fulfilling.
Upon my return, I dedicated to my kickboxing – grading, fighting, and coaching.
Dedication and freedom had a few years of fighting, in the desires of my mind.
I had to dedicate to my kickboxing to achieve… which compromised my visions of freedom… but it was MY CHOICE. So, I was still free.
At 27, establishing a business and a brand during a global pandemic has not been without its difficulties.
I have spent my savings to survive and I am ‘stuck’ at home, in lockdown… but these are minor setbacks, in comparison to my mission. I have had plenty of losses and know how to embrace the lessons, move on, and learn, then come back stronger.
And I am grateful for the opportunities which have arisen!
I have had to learn how to operate online and I have connected with amazing individuals, all around the world. I have reflected upon and discovered more about myself, what my true desires are, and how to turn a passion into a profit… So, I am setting myself up for freedom; location, time, and finances.
It was only recently that I have truly embraced honesty. Hypnotherapy has transformed my life and my mindset, by allowing me to truly accept who I am, and be open about it.
I am hoping that by being honest, it will inspire others to share their own stories too, freeing themselves from the grasps of shame.
I have found honesty to have the most power. So simple, yet tough.
Above even the exciting-sounding courage and the fearless desires of freedom!
I no longer feel the need to hide who I am to ‘fit in with a tribe’.
I can embrace my courage, to give me the freedom to create my own community, honestly.