Are you one of those people whom someone told when they were young, in school, powerless or needing help of some sort that ‘you wouldn’t amount to anything’?
If you are, are you now one of those who spend your whole life trying to prove them wrong, to show that you amount to something, to ‘show them’ that they were wrong, to prove that in fact, you are better than them?
Have you noticed that when you eventually meet some of those people, even after you have ‘amounted to something’ they don’t care, they still treat you as badly – they still think you are defined by being ‘a bastard’, ‘having no pedigree’, ‘having a bush accent’, ‘coming from the backwaters’, ‘not going to good schools’?
And, when that happens, what do you think of yourself? After all your hustling to achieve their approval or awe, after all you have ‘achieved’, do you really feel like you have amounted to anything?
I suspect this is what you missed from the start; because of the wrong message they sent you:
Fellow traveler, you don’t need to do anything to ‘amount’ to someone.
You are already a human being, deserving of all the love and respect and validation that life has to give, just as you are, however you are.
They didn’t know this. Even about themselves. And so they transferred that poison to you – that they already had an abundance of in themselves.
Well, it’s time for you to spit it out, and get out of that hole.
You don’t need any achievement, before you can ‘amount to anything’.
You already matter, just as you are. All the rest is extra.
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Chude Jideonwo is host of the TV and radio network #WithChude, which is creating safe spaces for conversations about mental, emotional and spiritual health across Africa. He is also co-founder of human flourishing company, Joy, Inc.