“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” ~Sigmund Freud
If you’re anything like I was, you have an image of yourself that you want other people to adopt. You think people expect that of you or would like you better if that’s who you were, so you pretend to be that person.
Over time, you put on layers of protection to prevent people from seeing the imperfections that would undermine that perception. You refuse to admit to those imperfections. You may also blame others, the weather, or fate for any perceived failure—anything but yourself.
As a result, you can’t interact with people in a real way because you can never let your guard down and be yourself. So your relationships are less than they could be.
And you can’t really grow, because that would involve admitting you have a weakness.
I’ve been there.
I spent decades trying to live up to the image I thought people wanted and expected of me: the golden-boy, the successful one, the smart one.
I am an only child and the oldest kid in my generation in my family. With that came a lot of pressure, mostly self-imposed.
I got good grades in smart-kid classes, I didn’t drink, I didn’t do drugs, I started on my high school basketball team, I cou…