I was studying for a high school exam one evening when my grandmother brought me a snack and started to talk to me about life. Almost out of the blue, she told me that no matter what you do in life, “always think big.”
Her message served as a beacon for me to follow and lead me out of my limiting beliefs. I began high school as a 6 foot tall and 200 lb young man, but on the inside I was struggling. You see, I allowed the people in my life inside my head and let them wreak havoc.
Growing up, I developed a stuttering problem and was bullied often. I could have easily fought back, but I never really did because I wanted to be liked, make friends and fit in. My home life wasn’t much better. I couldn’t seem to win my father’s approval and no matter what I did, I never seemed to get a pat on the back. He always told me what was wrong, what I was lacking and was ultra-critical of me in anything that I did.
I was desperate for external validation. My sole purpose in life was to tell others how great I was so that they could in turn tell me that I was okay, that I was good enough, and that there was nothing wrong with me. In other words, I was giving away my power to others’ judgement.
At 16 years of age, I began to pitch in the local baseball league. One day I took the mound against a team that I could dominate in my sleep. That day I was trying something new with my pitching mechanics which would make me better long term but it was playing havoc with my control. I couldn’t throw a strike. The harder I tried the worse it made it. That’s when I looked into the stands and I saw my Dad sitting there. It was rare for him to come to a game and of all the games for him to come to it had to be this one.
I saw him after the game and all I wanted was some kind words…. He looked at me and said, “That wasn’t your best game,” and walked away.
A few years ago, I finally realized why all this happened to me growing up and that I was 100% responsible. The universe was giving me situations to take my power back, make peace with the past and let go. But I never stepped up. Instead I would compromise on what I truly wanted in life and was plagued by so much guilt that I could never have what I wanted. I had a choice to make. I accepted self love, my power and my value to others at the deepest level.
Three weeks later I got a call from my father. He was upset, which had me concerned because my father doesn’t show emotion. As I anxiously listened for his words, he told me he was going to need a minute. He told me, “I never told you I was proud of you growing up and I should have. I’m just not very good at that kind of thing…. I’ve just been thinking about it recently.”
Isn’t that interesting… As soon as I saw myself differently inside, I got a call from my father giving me what I wanted to hear.
Understand how immensely powerful you can be. It’s no coincidence that my father called after I took responsibility for my life. Your external environment will mirror your internal environment.
What can you get complete with in your life? What situation or pattern frequently exists in your life that you don’t like? It’s not an accident. You’re responsible for their origins.
Acknowledge that greatness that already lies within you and become the best version of yourself.
This Post Has 10 Comments
What a moving story! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you very much!
Terrific story; great reminder that we have more control over our lives than we think! Thanks.
Thank you Duane. Indeed we do. 🙂
Thank you Greg, that is how my life was growing up. I have an older brother, and always played second best. I took control of my life 9 years ago, and my life is so much better.. Thank you .
Congratulations Patrick. What changed 9 years ago? What sparked you?
Great article Greg!
Thank you for sharing! Great story.
My experience, personal and having interacted with people for 85 years, tells me that your experience, Greg, at least in one form or another, is the norm.
How sad that we have to rediscover our greatness,. How sad that so many never do.
Isn’t the latter where all greed and self-absorption stems? How is it possible that most people do not have the sense of really belonging, of not feeling connected (deeply connected) to it all (and I mean, “to it all”)? Our negative conditioning in the early years has such a powerful grip and that makes transformation back to who we really are our most profound challenge of life.
Thanks for your vulnerability (the wrong word. I should have said “openness” or “strength”) in writing this. As long as we hide behind the mask, often times invisible to the self, we are truly vulnerable.
Thank you very much of sharing your story. It’s touching and I feel moved.