I grew up as an immigrant child. When we first moved I could not speak the language and was constantly afraid and intimidated by unfamiliar things. I grew up poor, and the more I came to realize this, the more I felt worthless and insignificant. My parents worked long hours and I would often be left in the care of a much wealthier relative. I would spend hours in her sitting room quietly staring at a display shelf. I hated being there, because every time I looked at that shelf, I was deeply intimidated and felt completely eclipsed by the things that other people had.
She placed photos of her son's graduation on the same shelf as a set of vintage encyclopaedias. As a child I felt weak and hopeless, lamenting the impossibility of ever having a display shelf like hers. I would always leave her house hanging my head in self-deprecating shame, wondering how I would ever be able to go to university when I was struggling so much at school. I barely knew how to use the dictionary, why would I ever find the need for encyclopaedias? How would I ever be as impressive as other people? I placed my self worth on who I thought I was, instead of focusing on the potential of what I could become.
Now, 15 years on and a great deal of assimilation later I have a Masters degree and am hardly ever intimidated by the same things. Bit by bit over the years I fought against the odds. And sometimes when I look back I realize how unnecessary it was to have felt unreasonably devalued and illegitimated.
But, like every other human being, there are still many moments when I feel like an obstacle in life is too big, too scary, too much, and that it can't ever be overcome. In moments like that I stop, take deep breadth and remind myself of all the challenges in my past which were once thought to be utterly unconquerable.
Slowly, but surely, I'm convinced that when we are committed, we can eventually outgrow our biggest and most frightening challenges. Adversity can vary from person to person. Sometimes you may find that you are completely down on your luck, stuck in a comprising and unfortunate situation. I hope that you are able to remind yourself that even the greatest odds can be overcome. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, persevere and before you know it, you will have climbed a mountain.
Your potential is always much bigger than your problems.
A Moodscope member.