In a world where we are more connected than we have ever been, real communication feels like a lost art. We continue to hide behind a virtual reality of texting and social media to say what we are really feeling inside, often saying things we would never say to someone’s face/admit ourselves or portraying to be some “tough-exteriored” robot in regards to our thoughts and feelings when we are really soft on the inside. Our virtual selves do us more harm than good, masking the people we really are and enabling us from growing or making any real strides as human beings.
As a young man, I was one of those people who hid, which might come as a surprise to people who know me well. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I have always been very wise beyond my years and attribute that fact to my observant nature, my passion for helping others, my way with words both written and spoken, and my ability to relate and actively listen in one-on-one scenarios. Now, I am not the most outspoken person (I am typically the quiet introvert who sits at the back of the room and says something profound when you least expect it), but my advice has always been sought after and appreciated because I am fair, honest, and have the utmost positive view on life as a whole. While all of this has always been true when it came to the needs of others, it has not been very approachable when discussing the topic of “me”. My “hiding” nature was strictly internal. I was not an open person or emotionally available to deeply discuss personal matters in any sort of detail when the topic was myself. I did not talk about my feelings and say what was on my mind very often. I was scared of both rejection and having to face myself after the fact. I have been a mess for most of my life and it was not until I decided to own my mess that I started to see a change.
How can you make a change? Start by thinking about who your true friends are. If you have true friends, you know, those people who genuinely care about you and make an effort to understand your life, you need to know that they are here for you. They care about you more than you probably realize. Talk to them. Open up to them. Paint a picture of where you are at and allow them feel your pains and insecurities. Do not be afraid of being judged or thinking that your issues are stupid. We all have our stuff and it needs to be talked about. Trust me, it helps to really open up and share not only when you are in a rough patch, but all the time. Lastly, do not be afraid of rejection. I hope I am not bursting your bubble here, but life is full of rejection, whether it be in jobs, dating, recreation or being denied the permit for that awesome shed you wanted to build that was just too close to the edge of your property line. The moment we start to take it as a learning experience and move on is the moment we really grow up.
Stop being a prisoner in your own body. Start opening up and talking about what is going on in your life. Own who you are and learn from who you have been. The changes you experience will be life-changing.