I think most people at one point or another have what we like to call an “awkward stage.” Mine was more like an awkward saga.
It started in fourth grade with the perm heard round the world, and it lasted until oh I don’t….college? Yea, it took about that long for that perm to wear off….I’m pretty sure that stuff had kryptonite in it.
I was gangly. And awkward. And I had a huge gap between my two front teeth. My head was about two times the size of my body (mostly because of the enormous size of my hair….due to the uber perm) and my Fashion Bug clothes were not as fashion forward as one might have hoped.
In short, I was the ugly girl.
And the kids at school made sure to remind me of that. Daily. I was written on, given a super clever name that rhymed with mine, and even had gum put in my hair. Or y’know, maybe it was just sucked in by the gravitational force of the perm. We’re still not sure about that one.
But I lived it every day. And there was never any doubt. *I* was the ugly girl.
Now to be fair, by high school things were looking up. And from the outside, I had all the things that Teen Disney movies are made of. Captain of the Cheerleaders. President of my Class. Prom Committee Chairperson. Just where was Zac Ephron when you needed him? Singing in the locker room, I guess.
But outside changes or not, on the inside I still felt like her. The girl with gum in her hair. And when I looked in the mirror, it was still her face that I saw.
Truth be told even to this day, sometimes when I pass by a shop window and see my reflection it is her face I see staring back at me.
The ghosts of who we were are always with us.
But if we are to truly move forward as we chase this life we love, we have to start looking to the face of the future instead of always living in the past.
Step 5: See Yourself For Who You’re Becoming, Not Who You Always Have Been.
Whether it’s getting out of debt, building up a business, getting in shape, falling in love, starting over, going back to school, or all of the above….you cannot see yourself as the person you always have been, the person always getting it wrong, if you ever want to really change things. If you’ve tried to get in shape 100 times before and 100 times you’ve failed, well that’s who you were. And he or she is no longer with us. They’re off hanging out with my former self picking gum out of each other’s hair. The person you’re becoming is ready to stick with it this time.
The real reason we have to say goodbye to the past versions of us is this: If you head out in pursuit of these dreams carrying the weight of who you were, of every mistake you’ve ever made, then the very first time you hit one of those setbacks we talked about in Step 4 it’s going to be way too easy for you to just give up. To say to yourself, “Well, I’m always the person who gets it wrong, ” or ” Things never do work out for me,” or “This is how it’s always been, I guess this is how it always will be.”
Suze Orman has a great quote that we talk about in Spread the Love. She says, “So you need to make a promise to me. I need you to agree that the past is past and we are going to focus on the future. Whatever mistakes you feel you’ve made, whatever moves you wish you had or hadn’t made are irrelevant. We are free to move forward only when we remove the emotional shackles of regret.”
So here’s your action plan for Step 5 and as we step out into the rest of these 30 days. Write out every bad thing you tell yourself about who you’ve always been and how that will always stop you from becoming who you want to be. Now cross them out and throw away the sheet. We’re done with that.
Now here’s to who we’re really becoming. I’d say it’s a beautiful thing.
So much love,
Lord Almighty, I cannot believe I just posted that picture. I’m having heart palpitations. You guys must know that I really, really love you to put that up there for the world to see. So tell me, who is it that you’re becoming?