Dear young people, this is a clarion call to self-realisation. A love letter meant to awaken you to the realities of peer pressure, lost identity and a fake personality.
Sometimes, situations surrounding one’s growth from childhood to teenage to adulthood determine one’s personal convictions. It sometimes leaves a child wondering who he or she really is. Again, there is this sensitivity that one’s parents should have been this or that or should have had some more stuff.
You might find yourself at a crossroad, wondering about the personality to take on. You might even despise your family or be ashamed of your parents, family, tribe, race and culture. You might find yourself rejecting who you are just to blend or be accepted in other people’s preconceived notions about you. When you feel this way, STOP right there and remind yourself of who you are.
Yes, it might seem difficult to be yourself and live out the good values you have been raised with, especially in a world that embraces being fake and immorality, but it is not an impossible task. In fact, when you are confident in yourself, you will care less about what the world or society presents your way. You will simply be unapologetically you!
Do you then conform to the happenings around you and despise your parents and family? NO! Rather let the listed points below enable you to stand firm in your values, believe in yourself and not be ashamed of your parents and family irrespective of who they are and what they do for a living.
#1. Let your upbringing inspire you
One of the things you have no control over is your upbringing. You don’t get to choose where you are born and how you are raised. With this fact established, don’t be ashamed of your upbringing. Instead, let your upbringing inspire you to do well and become a better person.
In life, some people are born with a ‘silver spoon’ while others grow up to find theirs. Whichever is your case, let your family and upbringing inspire you. Either you change the narrative of your family positively, push forward or enhance that which has been handed down to you or become self-absorbent and mess things up. The choice is yours. And I hope you choose wisely.
#2. Don’t forget who and whose you are
From teenage to adulthood, one can lose his or her sense of self. This happens due to various reasons such as peer pressure, conformity to perceived ideologies and several others. So please, don’t forget who and whose you are.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by your peers and surroundings. Stand out. Be you. There is nothing wrong with being divergent.
Be guided by the good morals and values you have been raised with. Those values might look and sound ancient to many, but those will set you apart when the time comes.
It doesn’t matter where you find yourself, even if it is in another country, be you and don’t forget who and whose you are. Be a good representation of yourself, your family and your country.
Don’t adopt or blend in so much that you lose your sense of self. Don’t put yourself in a tight corner by taking up another personality. Anybody who doesn’t like you for being you can excuse you.
#3. Be comfortable in your own skin
You don’t have to lose your racial background to be accepted. Be comfortable in your own skin. Also, I dare to say that you don’t need any form of cosmetic surgery to boost your confidence level.
Try as much as possible to avoid people’s perceived notions. You are exceptionally beautiful the way you are. Maintain your natural looks and endowments. It is good for your health and well-being.
Be unapologetically comfortable in your own skin. Be you!
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#4. Stand firm in your value system
You might be tempted sometimes to bend your values. Please don’t fall for this sort of temptation. Values such as trust, integrity, sincerity and others are hard to mend when bent or broken. It is better off not broken. So, please keep your integrity come rain or shine.
Let nothing trick you into losing your sense of character. On the contrary, you will gradually and slowly destroy your personality and reputation. Remember, nobody wants to deal with a chameleon in human form.
Stand firm in your value system as long as they are great ones. You wouldn’t want to be excused from the room because you can’t be trusted. Remain a good person.
#5. Respect your parents
Please respect your parents, grandparents, step-parents and guardians. No one will ever love you the way your parents do. It might not seem like it or be the way you want it, but they genuinely love and care about you.
Listen to your parents when you know they are doing right by you, and also seek to understand why they are taking some actions. But, if your parents are directing you towards wrong acts, then you can decline.
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Your parents are there to guide and guard you. They want the best for you. No matter how they look, never be ashamed of them. Don’t despise them. Never be like this young lady here who despised her mother due to her inferiority complex. Rather be like this other lady that cared for her homeless mother.
#6. Never despise your family
Family is everything! Never trade your family for anything in the world. Love your family. It doesn’t matter if they are rich, poor, homeless or live in a mansion, cherish your family. There is something special about the people you share a bloodline with.
Never despise your family. You can make history and change the narrative of your family. If there are no graduates, push yourself enough to get to school. If you are from a poor home, try as much as possible to legally change the story. Anything is possible to anyone that believes.
Your family matters a lot. You are not an Ireland; you came from somewhere —family. Appreciate your family and never despise them. Be proud of your family.
"It doesn’t matter where you find yourself, even if it is in another country, be you and don’t forget who and whose you are. Be a good representation of yourself, your family and your country."
#7. Love yourself
Irrespective of the struggles between good and evil, to be you or not, and several other vices, love yourself! Don’t hate yourself. Yes, you might have some habits or attributes that you need to change, but you shouldn’t hate yourself.
It is through self-love that you get to change things in your life.
Love yourself. Don’t beat yourself too hard. Keep trying and keep making progress. And if every other thing fails, don’t fail to love yourself.
If you are privileged to have parents who are alive and trying their best to give you what they can afford in terms of clothing, education, shelter etc., be grateful for that. Never be ashamed of them. Appreciate them and show them you understand they are trying by becoming the best possible form of yourself. Remember, in life, tables turn. So, be good and remain so.
If you are also privileged to come from a rich family that, you get to have anything you want and need anytime and when you will be grateful for that too. Don’t be disrespectful and proud. Be humble and considerate of other people as you do not know their story. See the provisions from your parents as a privilege and not as something you deserve or are worthy of. Appreciate your parents too. Make them proud and be good.
If your parents are no more and you are struggling seriously to make ends meet and go to school too, well done you! Please don’t be overwhelmed by your current situation. Let your tenacity and zeal keep you going. Don’t be ashamed of what you are going through. One day, the struggles will be over or less. Keep pressing on. Help will always meet you just when you need it.
No matter what, and irrespective of what anybody thinks, DON’T BE ASHAMED OF YOUR PARENTS, RACE, AND FAMILY!
Let’s continue to dazzle as we appreciate our families and be ourselves too.