Ambition and Small-Minded People

To be successful you must have a few things as your core beliefs to achieve long-lasting success. I believe those things to be integrity, ambition, and stickability to never quit. I am lucky to have a reservoir of all those traits, and admittedly sometimes those traits get buried underneath stories that no longer serve me. The more dangerous aspect of being successful, though is you become a target. Often it is those closest to you. They tend to be jealous, narcissistic, and fear-based human beings who only know how to deal with success-minded people by hurting them. I am calling it the small-minded syndrome.

As I rose in the levels of leadership, I had wonderful mentors who offered council on how to grow and implement strategies to continue the platform of success. Along my journey of self-discovery and greatness, I had various and sometimes close members of my family say very hurtful and occasionally devastating proclamations. Such as, “this will never work”; “you are never here when we need you”, and my personal favorite, “you’ll never move out” with a sneer and scoff. They wanted to keep me “small” because their life is small. They were unable to make the commitment to make their small, unfulfilling existence into something they could truly be proud of. They resented not being able to be courageous in their life; therefore aimed to keep me small in mine.

 

The little jabs that are seemingly innocent at first, when reflected upon become a glaringly obvious lever of manipulation and belittling. It took me a long time to realize that what my friends and family were saying was not only debilitating to me, but indirectly to them. It is a direct reflection of how they value their lives and themselves when they bring people down with sometimes seemingly innocuous comments. They might even perceive themselves as being funny, which I have written about here. I am realizing that the people verbalizing to inflict wounds are not usually bad people. I believe that most people love and express themselves in the best way they know how, and sometimes that way is royally fraked.

There are people in society who do not have a life of their own, so they must tear down others to feel better about their small life. This is not to say that it doesn’t hurt just as deep. Because It Does. Holy hell it does. There are some people who know just what buttons and emotions to press to sustain massive internal damage that can leave us wrecked for days. It can continue to hurt for some time after the initial barrage after you process the hell you’ve endured, and the effects can last for years. They say forgiveness is really a gift to yourself, but I have a hard time forgiving those who have deeply hurt the ones closest to me. To be honest, I do not think I’ve ever fully processed the people who have hurt me the most. I am not sure I want to.

There are times in my life where I felt untouchable and kicked ass in every aspect of my life. When anyone tells me I can’t do something, I take that as a personal affront and avenge to prove them wrong. And I do, almost every time. It often comes at a cost, though.  Everything worthwhile has a cost, and it’s a cost I will gladly pay. You find out who really loves you and wants you to succeed. And who wants to keep you small and on their level of comfort. This is when small-minded people feel threatened the most, when you are ready to have a mindset shift. It is also the time when the disparaging and denigration is at its peak. I have come to the conclusion that this is a defense mechanism, and it saddens me. It still hurts like hell when someone close to you assaults you with words. The person who wrote, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was an idiot of epic proportions. I would much rather have someone throw a stone at me than words that penetrate and sometimes break my soul open. Cuts bleed, scab, then heal and fall off. Words though? They penetrate and can become a black hole of self-doubt, pain, and anger. They can fracture families and leave a permanent rift that will never be healed. Words become thoughts, thoughts become actions, and actions can have devastating results. Verbal abuse leaves a much longer affect on the soul and harder to remedy on one’s psyche than physical.

that is pain

Any kind of abuse is traumatic and shouldn’t be underestimated, but one is more sinister. It is much easier to hide from a physical and psychological aspect.   It often takes place through self-delusion and denial brought on by low self-esteem from being broken in the past. These pieces are often buried deep, and sometimes we think we have gotten past them. This is where small-minded people are so insidious. Because they are usually weaved into your life, and sometimes pretty intricately. And they know us. The clinically narcissistic ones use that knowledge to inflict the worst kind of psychological pain.  Some even take glee in it.

Everyone is a work in progress. I have hurt those I love, and some of them deeply. The difference is I am willing to apologize, and learn how to corrective action so I don’t hurt them again. Small-minded people have no desire to better themselves because that would take effort and a commitment to go outside their comfort zone. They would much rather tear others down instead. I am working towards accepting and almost feeling pity for those with small-minded syndrome. Except the hurt goes deep, and I’ve got a long way to go for that mindset switch to occur.

Exercise, Music, and Pushing limits

I will admit that I am totally, 100% addicted to exercise in a way I never thought possible.  If I go a two days without it, I’m like Jonesing for a fix.  It’s weird, but it’s a good weird.  Every time I go to Sphericality, I reminded that I made a good choice.  I finally had the chance to take a class with the owner of said gym, Dorian, and she did not disappoint.  Like most of the other classes I have taken there, there was a focus on form.  Dorian seemed to take it a step further, and went around the class and tweaked our movements if need be.  Kelly also did this.  This is one of the reasons I am coming to love this gym.  It’s almost perfect for me.

I love music.  I don’t play it, or sing it, I just thoroughly enjoy it.  It is apart of my soul.  Yesterday, my friend Jenny had her first open mic at her place in Bath, PA.  There were a couple of firsts for me.  I read poetry (okay, I had done it once before), and I played music for a genuine first.  I played the cymbals.  Yes, I know that’s not much.  For me though?  It was HUGE.  I have always thought I didn’t know how to keep a beat, at all.  Yesterday I proved myself wrong, because I was according to Jenny able to keep a beat.  I also felt like I could before I asked her.  It was a night of firsts, bonding, and just celebration of a new, eclectic space.

I pushed through a few boundaries, reading my poetry in public and playing music.  For me, there are very few things more vulnerable than those two things.  Reading my inner-most thoughts out loud to the public is something that I am working on overcoming this year.  This was a first step.  Was it uncomfortable?  Hell to the Yes.  Was it worth that feeling?  Hell to the yes.  Happiness and freedom lay outside your comfort zone, and that is where I am pushing this year.

I am a different person than I was last year, and I’m pushing myself to be even more different next year.  When I say different, I don’t mean a caricature  of yourself.  I mean that you are becoming the best version of yourself, and finding your true calling in life.  Which may be so different than you ever thought it could be (like mine).  Be in love with who you are, or at the least be working on loving yourself.  I know it sounds weird (guilty) and new-agey, but trust me when I tell you when you feel peace with yourself and your mission, there is a peace inside of you that rivals no other.

Nature and Stretching Yourself

Your comfort zone is like a muscle.  It must be worked, or it atrophies.  So today, on my little jaunt into the woods I walked down to the stream alongside the trail.  I used to backpack all the time in the Adirondacks.  I would scamper and scramble over rocks, boulders, streams, etc.  It didn’t bother me at all, I actually really enjoyed it.  I was used to it, and had pretty decent balance.  Fast forward to today.  I don’t do much backpacking (alright, any backpacking), and the scampering has stopped as well.  This is because there aren’t a lot of boulders or mountains here where I need to do that kind of stuff, and I just don’t hike as much as I used to.  I canoe way more, and that has become my primary outdoor activity.

The

The “Wick” Creek.

So today, I decided to do some scampering.  You have to start somewhere.  So I traversed some rocks to cross back and forth several times across this little stream.  Was it big?  No.  Did it feel good?  Hell yes.  Did it start to feel more natural and better the third time across?  Yup.  Little accomplishments matter, and celebrate them however you feel like.

Vices and Victory!

There have been in the past very few times where I feel completely relaxed.  It is generally been paddling, in the outdoors, or when I’ve been slightly buzzed.  I emphasize slightly because I did not drink to get drunk…think what you will about this.  I drank to get comfortable in social situations, this was especially true when I was with people I didn’t know very well.  Yes, I am pretty much putting it all out there for the general public.  I think it will help people, and yes, I am really uncomfortable with it.  Also not sure if I should do it.   That is always a good sign.

Stolen from the interwebs.  I always reflect more when out in nature...just this pic.

Stolen from the interwebs. I always reflect more when out in nature…just this pic.

There are times where we do things that we don’t really consider because they make us feel better.  There are always things that make us act in certain ways and do things that aren’t necessarily in our character because we are trying to compensate for something in our lives that is lacking.  It was subconscious for me.  I did it to hide myself from others.  Something I have been  trying very hard to break myself from.  The deceit (mostly of myself), the hiding, and the shame that I felt for myself.  I didn’t want others to see ANY part of that vulnerability.  It’s about letting people see who you REALLY are.  It is an all-consuming fear of mine-to be known.  That for some reason unknown to me, I have made quite public on this blog.

I used to drink to relax, to belong to something bigger than myself, and to distance myself from that part of me that  felt “outside” acceptance from others.

I no longer feel the need to do that. I feel comfortable in my own skin.  I accept, usually, who I am.  I danced my little heart out a month ago in front of some very important people to me, and it didn’t matter what they thought of my dancing.  I just danced.  I let them in, just a little.

Accepting yourself is the best gift you can give yourself.  It took me a long to find that in myself.  I feel at peace more than I ever thought possible.