The Invisible Cage

Do you ever feel stuck in a role that you feel is not supportive of your personal growth? Do you find yourself shrinking into the background when an alpha acting friend, family member, co-worker, or boss comes around? Many people do not realize their own power, and therefore willingly submit to serving others in their lives against their will. Could you be a victim of not realizing that you are an ADULT with the power to make your own choices?

No matter how much people criticize you for your choices, nag you to change, judge your actions, and belittle your feelings they cannot change the fact that you have a RIGHT to be yourself and go after your dreams. No matter how many people judge you, knock you down, make hurtful comments in an attempt to discourage you, and walk around with their chest puffed out like they know best—NEVER turn your back on your own inner voice. Even adult children often feel a need to please their parents, earn the respect of their peers, and “play nice” in an attempt to see like the mature person in a disagreement. I am here to tell you that you build your own self-esteem with your choices daily.

If you are unhappy with your family, job, body, relationship, or any other issue in life—change it! It is your right to change your life, and living a life you dislike submitting to someone who throws their weight around is NOT the answer to living a happy life. There is a big difference between someone being truly wise in their advice to you, and someone being jealous of you.

It may be painful to accept this fact, but many people (even loved ones) set out to sabotage others out of their own lack of self-esteem. It truly makes many people uncomfortable to see other doing well in their lives, or even attempting to improve their lives. When a loved one makes a discouraging comment, cutting remark, or just in general seems to be “negative” about the positive changes you are trying to make in your life, mentally reclaim your inner strength to choose to ignore their negative comments. You do not have to dislike the person (disliking them changes nothing), and in the least have compassion knowing that they are speaking from their own low self-esteem. The truth is that no matter how “together” a person tries to act like their life is, if their life were so wonderful they would be too happy to put you down.

When a loved one makes a cutting, discouraging, hurtful, or inconsiderate comment–STOP! Reclaim your inner strength, mentally encourage yourself, and accept the fact that this person is “talking from a hurt place” within themselves. Don’t take their comment personally, don’t follow their negative advice, and don’t feel as if their negative comment has tarnished your chances of meeting your goal/s. Simply remind yourself that the steps you are taking MATTER, that you are making real progress, and that you are personally CHOOSING to not let your loved ones negativity impact you.

What should you do after the above? Simple, take some powerful “declaration” steps to prove to your inner self that you mean business.

Ex: a loved one says, “You will never find a job”.

Possible Declaration Step: Send out another resume with a smile on your face

Improving your self-esteem starts with improving your self treatment, self actions, and self talk. You must gain your own trust, and prove to yourself that you will not desert yourself even if everyone else does. This is a step in the direction of truly being your own best-friend.

Special Cases?

What about those who may be living at home with their now aging parents who feel they “must” listen to their parents, and feel as if their parents automatically know best? Easy, realize the fact you are an adult. If you currently have children then you are a parent as well, and therefore should start respecting yourself as one by following your OWN advice. If you are without children, then still realize you (assuming you are an adult) are of legal age to have children of your own, and are a mature and capable adult who could  intelligently learn to raise a family (and manage a marriage) of your own in most cases. Respect yourself. Cut the cords by choosing actions that declare your choice to change your life for the best, even if its against the opposition of those who you love most.

Furthermore, if you are unhappy living with your parents (or any current living situation, work situation etc), guess what? you can change it! create a resume, apply to positions, look into apartments in your area etc. Keep your eyes on the prize, and never shrug your shoulders accepting that your life has to be an unhappy one. It doesn’t! change it.

Image: luigi diamanti /


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