Almost 17 years ago, I chose to suppress and repress a part of myself that I perceived wouldn’t be accepted by the people around me. Today, on the 13th February 2013, I have made a decision to show everyone that part of me – what I’ve been hiding all this time. It’s nothing too major, in the big scheme of things. I’m not coming out or anything of that nature. For me, this is actually a big deal and I’m sure for those of you who have felt different in any way, it would be just as challenging to take this action step for yourselves.
For those of you who know me and have known me for quite some time, you may already be aware of this but for those of you who don’t, this is something I wanted to share with you because of the impact it could have on your lives and even your children’s lives.
When I was younger, up until 15 years old, I had big ears. I know that the build up I’ve created around this may seem silly, but my ears were a huge issue for me and that made me feel different to the point where I didn’t feel accepted. To some degree, my big ears made me an easier target for ‘bullies’ or ‘challengers’ when I was younger, even though my ‘bullying’ episodes came from much deeper roots.
In 1996, my family immigrated to Australia from South Africa. I was starting fresh in a new country. I knew what I had been through over the last 15 years, especially when it came to my ears and so I decided, together with my parents, to get my ears pinned back. At the time, I felt this was the right step to take. It seemed appropriate considering this was a new beginning for me and I wanted it to be easier than the last 15 years. So, I chose to fit in with the crowd. I perceived they would accept me better that way. A week before school, I had the surgery on my ears. The recovery was excruciating! I would not wish that surgery on anyone.
My business, Be Who You Wanna Be, and my personal philosophy is centered around helping children, as well as adults, be accepted for who they are. As you can probably tell, I had a huge void in this area. I perceived I wasn’t accepted for who I was so I felt I had to change myself, physically, in order for people to respond to me, appreciate me and care about me. It’s a shame that we feel so overpowered by the opinions of others, that the opinion we have about ourselves can be diminished to such a degree.
My reason for sharing this is two-fold. Firstly, I wanted you all to see that I have been hiding a unique part of myself for quite some time and I am just as different as most of you. Secondly I want to show you how easy it can be to sub-ordinate to the opinions of others in order to fit in. No matter who you are or where you are in the world, nothing will bring you greater fulfillment in life than being who you are. We are all so beautiful, special and unique in our own individual ways and just because we may look a certain way, behave in a way that doesn’t fit in with people’s standards or be something other than people’s expectations, does not mean we have to change ourselves.
I am a big eared guy. It may not look like it on the surface, but I’ll always be that kid. No amount of surgery will ever change who I am. Michael Jackson was a perfect example of this. No matter how much he changed his outer appearance, he was still that kid inside who felt he wasn’t noticed for who he was.
Be yourselves! Embrace your differences! Stop trying to change who you are to suit the world around you. The world needs to learn how to appreciate and accept who you are, as you are. The only way they’ll do that, is if you stand strong and tall and accept everything that’s different about yourself.
[headline_georgia_medium_centered color=”#000000″]“Don’t Change So People Will Like You. Be Yourself And The Right People Will Love The Real You.”[/headline_georgia_medium_centered]