Against Some Lies I’ve Told Myself

I’ve gotten very used to just accepting what has come into my life. In some regards, that’s actually worked out really well. I’ve got a job that pays well and offers flexible hours. I’m living in a cool old row home in a historic neighborhood. I’ve got a wife who loves and supports me and gives me the freedom to be myself. I have friends and partners that care about me and want the best for me. 

    But, the number of times that I have just laid down and given up when something became difficult, that number is far too high. Here are some lies I’ve told myself: “I’m just not good at math,” “I’m not attractive,” “I’m too shy,” “I can’t do XYZ.” Let’s offer some rebuttals to those untruths. 

    I may not have a natural inclination for mathematics, but I can still get better at it. Maybe my teachers didn’t know the best way to teach me. Maybe I could have asked for more help, insisted on more help. I can find that help easily now all over the internet. I know math teachers and engineers that I could ask for help when I get stuck.That would have been a real blessing back in my school days.

    Okay, I’m not a model or anything, but the number of awesome, funny, sweet, and sexy people who keep coming into my life is proof enough, that I’m actually pretty damn attractive.

    I was very shy as a kid, and still pretty shy until my late 20s. That much is true. I actually used to think I was an introvert. Nope. I’m very extroverted. I need to socialize frequently to thrive. “Shyness” was just low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, and insufficient social skills. Working as a barista, and later doing retail customer service and sales took care of the social skills. The self-esteem and self-confidence came from affirmations, courage, and lots of initial failures, but success did come.

    I absolutely CAN do XYZ. Thanks to the internet, there are tutorials and instructional videos for nearly anything. And if it’s something more complex, there are a vast number of mentors, trainers, instructors, online courses, or coaches who can help me.

    So, what am I doing about it?

    I am starting to live an intentional life. I am deciding who I want to get to know and spend time with. I am meeting people who encourage me to grow and become myself. I am spending time with people who share my values and interests. I am deciding to spend my time doing things that bring me joy and satisfaction and happiness, rather than just helping me dull the ache and pass the time. I am writing again. I am about to start relearning how to play the bass guitar. I am playing more tabletop games. I am talking to more people more often. 

    What’s the next step? I’m looking for ways to skill up in my career, checking out some MOOCs and looking at the local college course catalog.

    I may even study math again.

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