I would call myself a late bloomer. Although there was always greatness within me, I was unable to see it until my later years (I define later years after 35). It was masked by a negative self image, poor self esteem and a people pleasing personality that lead me to be and do what others thought was best for me. Through the years I lost my voice, as I listened to the others guide my life in the direction of their choosing. I was naive. I was afraid to disappoint and was DEATHLY afraid of failure... So I took the easy route.
In my early days I always felt "different". I bit of a outsider looking in and always wanting to be one of the "cool kids". I got myself into lots of trouble trying to fit in. In fact, I completely changed the direction of my life by making the choice to "fit in" rather then stand out, or not be liked by everyone around me.
Deep down inside I knew there was something special and different about me. I was a hard worker when I was passionate about what I was working towards. I was an advocate for the weak and fought hard battles for people who had stopped fighting the battle themselves. I loved teaching and was curious about the world and the people in it.
But I was weak. I cared too much about what people thought of me. I couldn't say no. I wanted everyone to be happy so I became a cameleon. I lied about the type of music I liked, and movies I watched and things I had done, just to fit in. Have you heard of this band before? Yes! Love them (never heard of them). Yes! I LOVE CAMPING... nope. I really don't.
When it came to living my life I remember people saying the same thing over and over and over again (or maybe it was just the voice inside my head).
"You are SO EMOTIONAL"
"You are SO DISTRACTED"
"You have MAN LEGS"
"You never finish ANYTHING"
"You are so WISHY WASHY"
Thoughts that have been emotionalized and mixed with belief over the years, begin to come true. Your brain subconscious hears these messages and will take action. Negative thoughts, beliefs and even humorous self deprecation will be transplanted like a seed into your subconscious, and then, if watered and fed will grow to become the truth. Your life.
We all start as a seed. Then our subconscious gets watered, and fertilized with negative and positive experiences and thoughts, and we start to grow depending on what is feeding us. Some are fed to us as children, or teens or young adults both externally from the people around us, and internally based on how we internalize our external environment.
The more you feed it, the more it grows...
As I mentioned, I was a late bloomer. I still remember the day it all started to change. I changed my subconscious beliefs and I changed my life. What took 39 years to grow, I started to weed out, little by little and transforming my life into the the blooming garden of my dreams (stay with me here).
I still haven't erased the note on my chalkboard:
"January 8, 2015 Affirmation: I'm stepping up. I'm setting a new standard and I will make it happen"
I stopped believing the "old script" and I re-wrote my life on my terms.
I set a new standard for myself.
I found my worth.
I found my voice.
I stopped saying the things that I didn't want to believe about myself (that I believed true for all these years) and started affirming my new reality. I started planting new seeds.
Self worth, discipline, focus.
Just like a plant, I started taking care of myself and started "self-suggestions" in the form of meditation, affirmations, and visualizations. I stopped acknowledging the things I didn't want in my life and asking for the things I wanted.
And everything changed. No words can describe it.
I bought my first house, I started my own business and wrote my first book (still unedited and unpublished).
EVERYTHING BUT NOTHING CHANGED. My life circumstances didn't change, my finances, my job, my health, everything remained the same yet EVERYTHING CHANGED because I changed what was going into my subconscious.
From the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill:
"One comes to believe whatever one repeats to ones self whether the statement be true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over he will eventually accept the lie as truth. Moreover, he will believe it to be the truth [...] Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind"
I am 39. I was 38 when everything changed. And it is only the beginning. Unlike the "protegé" who learns early of his gifts, I am a late bloomer but I have the gift of 39 years of experience to help me grow.
Whats the moral of the story? It's never too late to make a change. It's never too late to bloom. Life is too short to live it unhappy and unfulfilled. People say that your strength begins to decrease as you get older. But if you never reached your full potential when you were young, you have the chance to become the strongest version of yourself.
Abraham Lincoln, Martha Stewart, Colonel Sanders... All late bloomers.
The seed has been in there all along... you just need to water it.