A while back, I attended a workshop called 'the language of healthy relationships' and I heard the question: 'have you ever dumbed yourself down to fit in?'. I immediately felt a rock in my stomach and heard a voice in my head.. 'uuuhhh yes!' Which lead to anger in the form of 'why the F*&% did I do that' 'What the F*&^% is wrong with me' 'God you're so stupid'. I'm sure you're also aware of how we can all be our own worst enemy..and so was I in this moment...
So why do we do things like that? The answer is, it all stems from three fears. Fear of failure, fear of success or fear of intimacy.. So which one is causing what?
If I didn't dumb myself down I felt like I didn't fit in and that's really all that we want as humans.. To fit in! In whatever way we can. We just want to belong somewhere and be a part of something/a group. On a subconscious level, I always suspected that I was dimming my light around others so they would let me in, but it never really sunk in until I actually heard it one day.. Dumbing myself down to fit in, WOW!
It sounded so horrible.
I'll tell you MY story..
At that time in my life I was not only dumbing myself down, but I was also trying to find a way to make myself look worse physically than I did - Just to fit in! That's incredibly ridiculous you might think, and yes, I'd agree..Not the smartest or most rational thing to do, but I'll tell you why I did it!
I had 'girlfriends' (looking back I see how insecure they were) and before going out on a Friday night they would toast each other with champagne for leaving me behind because that meant they would get more attention from the guys without me there to steal it.
Maybe they did it as a joke and thought it was funny but it hit me hard. Harder than I knew at the time.
Automatically I started feeling alone and found a need to look less pretty if I wanted to be with my 'friends'! Who else would I go out with? These girls were my 'friends' and I wanted them to WANT me there. To me, that would only happen if I could let THEM have all the attention they wanted. There's a possibility that they didn't actually mean it as harshly, but I was affected all the same. Which then lead to me thinking 'how can I numb this feeling of rejection? Oh yeah, drink more' and so I did. Heck at least that felt better than the feeling of rejection, - till the day after!
My danish teacher ( I bet that sounds strange for you english speakers out there, lol) gave me an F for a paper I wrote which was really epic if I had to say so myself.. AND SO DID HE! Now that doesn't make sense right? How could he think my paper was awesome but still give me an F? He told me that a girl like me couldn't have written something like that! Meaning pretty girls can't have brains too...?? I was furious. I never really took school too seriously. I hated it, but sometimes I would feel some inspiration bubble inside of me and I would act on it. AND THAT WAS MY REWARD? I was never one to strive for straight A's but this one time, this one stupid paper, I actually decided to give it my all, to be 'serious'. And after all that, the outcome was ridiculous.. From that moment on I took school less serious. What did it matter if I tried? An F and a discriminating label? I can't tell you the anger I had towards this guy but heck, maybe it was just the universe telling me to not put too much of my focus and attention into school stuff.
I was DONE. DONE spending ANY time writing papers that didn't matter so that teachers could label be as
'too pretty to be smart'!
Now you might be thinking, boo-hoo it's so tough being pretty huh!!
But it was! For me growing up I felt so much pain with it. I was so insecure at one point that I didn't even wanna take the bus because I would have to talk to the bus driver. I didn't see my beauty at all, it was a curse! Girls didn't like me because they felt like they had to 'compete' with me and the guys liked me for the wrong reasons which made me turn inwards even more. I kept thinking 'am I ever gonna find someone who would like me for ME and not how I look?'
I always thought ' I wonder how easy it would be to not bee that pretty' and ironically enough, other people probably think 'life would be easier if they were prettier or looked better' whatever 'pretty' means, I think you get my point. Growing up in a small town in Denmark is not to be compared with growing up in LA where it's almost a goal in life to look as 'pretty' as possible. But as a conclusion to all this, I easily learned how to out play the player and I became a master at the game but nothing made me happy! I still felt all alone.
Then I became friends with the guys. It was so much easier and more fun. Untill they got girlfriends who would then be jealous and didn't wan't their boyfriends around me. Then I was back with nothing once again. I can't even begin to describe how alone I felt during this time in my life. Not to mention a pretty rough messed up hate/love relationship with a guy who's ex girlfriend wen't to the same school and made her class of 23 girls talk trash about me and call my boyfriend telling him I did things I never did.
The stories continue but there are too many. All together I learned to dumb myself down because I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere. So what's left? Surviving..
We all deal with things differently but 1 or all of our 4 different defense mechanisms start to kick in.. 'Fight, Flight, Freeze, Facade' I wen't through all 4.. The facade seemed to work pretty well for me through out my teen years. Looking back I guess I had to to survive. I don't regret how I reacted or acted because it all made me who I am today and I wouldn't have it any other way. - such a cliche thing to say right ;P
Today I look back and think about how tough I am. That I've been through what I have & still realize just how AWESOME I am and how much untapped potential I have within me.. Nothing is gonna break or keep me down! I keep coming back stronger.
I still sometimes forget, but that's ok.. I'm human.
This is just me sharing my story and hopefully inspiring you to shine your bright light from within and not let anyone tell you that there's something you cannot do! Don't try to fit into a group that won't accept you for the amazing smart and beautiful person that you are. You don't need to change for anyone, it's the people you surround yourself with that needs to be changed. People WILL accept you for who you are.
I'll encourage you to watch this video if you haven't already seen it. Just sit with your judgements (because I'm sure you'll have 'em) and watch what happens at the end. We all have our own unique talent and theres NOTHING you need to change for anyone. BE YOU!