Frustrating Self-Improvement

I think the most frustrating part of self-improvement/self-discovery is that we can often pin-point the exact times, dates, people, etc. involved in causing some kind of less than desirable behavioural/characteristic change in ones life but once you do it’s extremely hard to say, “oh, that’s why I turned out the way I did? Oh, well, let’s just learn from that and move on, shall we?”

For example, the way my brother treated me growing up affected how I am now. He would always make fun of me for being a “try-hard” for putting myself out there, for being different, and often times just listening to a different kind of music than he did. It was always catch-22 though – when I did start to change myself for his benefit, he would still be on my case about “copying him” and “get your own taste.”

I know, frustrating right? Unfortunately for me I didn’t have a whole bunch of internet memes telling me to ignore the “haters”.

All I really wanted to do was be friends with my big brother, but we all know that sometimes that’s just not possible. It was absolutely clear my brother needed another brother to play with and being friends with your younger sister was not cool.

I understand. I don’t blame my brother and we get on better than ever these days. The most important thing is I’ve recognised why it is I shy away from expressing who I really want to be.

What I really can’t understand is why can’t it just be as easy as seeing that and choosing something else? I’ve had years of telling myself, “don’t stand out, don’t be different, unwanted negative attention ensues.” Why does it take more than one, “okay, I change my mind! Be as weird as you want!” to change? If the intention is there, why hang on to the negativity? Is it merely the amount of time I told myself those lies that is the reason why? Do I then have to spend the next 28 years of my life undoing the damage?

I guess if I knew the answer to that I would have absolutely no panic at all anymore. I could live the life I’ve always dreamed about with nothing holding me back.




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