Please believe in me.
These words are hard for me to speak, yet at the core of my being, I’m hopelessly tearing myself apart trying to ask for this.
I’ve spent my whole life doing everything I can to make you, society, my teachers, my friends, my lovers and my family, and especially my parents say these four simple words…
I believe in you
It’s been a life-long struggle, and if I were really honest, I would break down and cry uncontrollably expressing how much this means to me. It’s my biggest insecurity.
In 2010 I left the Navy to become a full time musician. I don’t know what “full-time” means to you, but for me it certainly didn’t mean making a comfortable living. I slowly went into debt. My parents would check up on me and ask how it was going. I did everything to avoid the conversation, because the truth was, I was afraid to tell them that what I was doing wasn’t “sustainable” since I was spending more than I was making. I felt ashamed that I wasn’t a success.
In 2012 I transitioned into becoming a full time life-coach, while still playing music on the side. Again, I was searching for a way to prove that I could generate a comfortable income, without working a “conventional” job. That’s all I wanted… just their approval.
I fought for years to have my parents see me as a success. They would ask me “are you making enough money”? My honest answer was no, but I would dance around the question again, not wanting them to see me as a failure. They would ask me again, and again, and again and again, and I never had the results they, or I wanted.
It was torture.
I desperately want people I love to believe in me
I want a blank check saying “we believe in you, whatever you do”. I want that so bad, and though it’s hard for me to admit, I want it from my parents and most of all from my Dad.
Wait… me? The rebel? The risk-taker? The Untethered Soul, wanting approval from my parents?
That’s exactly who I am.
And you know what? Even after all these years, I still don’t feel like my parents unconditionally believe in me. If you asked them, “do you think your son will succeed at this coaching thing?” I wouldn’t be surprised if they said no.
But what a gift they’ve given me
After thirty-one years, I finally saw the truth about where my approval really comes from.
The same place that love comes from, the same place that wholeness comes from, and the same place that self-esteem comes from.
I’ve made it.
I have arrived.
I’m a success simply because I choose to be. No one could have ever given it to me, and I’m so grateful my parents let me see this for myself.
The funny thing is, my biggest complaint about my parents is they are too controlling and never let me fail. They never let me figure things out on my own. Turns out they actually did the opposite of that.
They didn’t give me the approval I was so desperately seeking and through that, I had to get it for myself. What an incredible act of courage.
What a gift.
Now I welcome disapproval and I’m grateful for those who believe in me, but I no longer need it.
It turns out, my parents did an incredible job, and they provided the perfect container for me to learn the tough lessons in life, and they didn’t come and save me. I so appreciate that.
Success was an inside job.
I wish I could end this article by giving you the freedom that I have. If I tried it would look something like me telling you that “you made it” and “you are a success”, but I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m following in the magnificent footsteps of my parents.
You get to figure it out on your own.