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We all have closets to come out of ways that we are bigger than we we let on acting humble when were actually very confident brushing off a casual for fear of seeming. Too full of ourselves dreams that we dont even let others know about our sexual orientation. A secret desire there are many ways we keep parts of ourselves hidden sometimes knowingly sometimes not but very often we keep the best of ourselves hidden.
No matter. How brightly we shine or our levels of success we achieve unconvinced. Many of us keep significant parts of ourselves locked up kept in a closet.
Just waiting to come out every time i see the commercial by a certain credit card company that asks whats in your wallet. I want to ask whats in your closet. So what is in your closet.
What parts of yourself are you holding back and how would you like to go beyond. What you currently believe youre capable of now. I know many of us are fully aware that were holding parts of ourselves back.
And some of us have no idea and some of us are confident that were living up to all that were capable of even exceeding our expectations and therein lies. The closet maker expectation expectation by definition is a predetermined outcome. So how do you go beyond your current expectations of what youre holding for yourself our expectations set us up for a strong belief that somethings going to look a certain way in the future like the walls of a closet.
Our expectations. Surround us with boundaries our expectations set us up for these these strong beliefs that things are gonna look a certain way in the future and in fact. Most of us grew up with a set of societal expectations that actually look exactly like we expect as adolescents.
Were expected to get a job. Most of us do is as new adults. We are expect to go out into the world and accomplish big things most of us do as grown ups.
Were expected to get married and have children most of us. Do and for some of us our families may have more specific expectations for these outcomes like the type of job.
We should get the type of person. We should marry even the number of children. We should have expectations are set all the time sometimes imposed on us by others.
Most often set by ourselves and sometimes we rise to meet these expectations and sometimes we rebel against them. But almost always were disappointed. If we dont reach the imaginary boundary set by an expectation.
You see the problem is somewhere along the way we buy into these expectations. We allow these expectations to predetermine the outcomes of our lives. How far we think we can go what we think were capable of the levels of success.
We can achieve the amount of happiness. We think we deserve even the compromises we make in life. We learn to take the good with the bad or is it really the bad with the good because all that is good or could be good in our lives is limited by the expectations.
We set for ourselves. This is a pretty typical family photo from the 70s. My moms marlo thomas hair.
My dads white eye our long bangs and short pants. Although im not convinced those short pants was an intended fashion statement. But i see something else when i look at this photo.
I see a young boy trying to pull away from everyone else i see a young boy withdrawn and afraid who often resorted to creating his own world as a child. I would gather up all the ceramic figurines that my mom had painted that were all around the house and i would strategically place them at the base of a tree where i imagined the roots grew. I would create an entire world above ground.
But wishing that i and all these ceramic figurines. Lived underground hiding always wanting to be a few feet from everyone else in this photo.
I see a young boy who felt like he didnt belong who didnt expect much of himself. Now maybe you dont know what it feels like to feel like you dont belong or maybe you do or maybe youre like countless people. Ive spoken to that have said they felt like the black sheep and their family not sure how far they could go in life not sure what to expect of themselves.
Or hey. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones. The confident ones you know the cool kids.
The cafeteria table who were positive they would blow away everyones expectations doesnt matter really because we all have closets to come out of whether we feel limited by our own expectations or limited by the expectations of others or we thought the sky was the limit at the end of the day. An expectation is still a predetermined outcome. So no matter how far we think were gonna go there big the goals were gonna set for ourselves no matter how much we think were gonna exceed the our expectations the fact that matter is its just a step or two beyond.
What we predetermined for capable of weve predetermined the outcome creating sort of these these glass ceilings in our lives. That we often bump up against that maybe we put a crack in it or at best. We bust through and we stand proudly atop the glass ceiling.
But there we are just a step or two beyond. What we predetermined if were capable of and theres more in you theres more in all of us just waiting to come out so. How then can we break free of these limiting expectations and live a life bigger than we ever imagined perhaps even to what i call a life of awe.
A life were youre awestruck at how far you come how can you break free and finally live up to your full potential or for that matter. I learned to live a life thats bigger than counting your blessings feeling grateful and fulfilling your dreams. But a life for you are genuinely awestruck at how far youve come because you know what for the young boy or girl who start out in life and feeling like they didnt belong they may not have very high expectations for themselves.
But think about it regardless of our starting points in life. Its the expectations. We have for ourselves the expectations others have for us that keeps us living in a closet.
I certainly didnt expect to come out of the closet at 44 years old after having been married and raised three kids. And when i did my mom said to me in the only way my mom could.
She said. Do you think its because you moved to new york city laughter. I said no mom i promise you im not gay because i moved to new york city.
But you know what she wasnt entirely wrong because it was the first time. I had ever lived amongst such a diverse community of people people who would ask really probing questions like are you sure youre not could you be maybe this collision between our own limiting expectations and the fact that others can see more in us than we can see in ourselves is what i call validation paradox. The paradox is that while were trying to find our true selves and all that were capable of we are inherently limited by our own predetermined expectations.
We actually need others who can see more in us than we can see in ourselves to bring out our best. We actually need others to unlock and open the door to our own closets in order to really exceed our expectations in africa. Theres a term in boone.
Which loosely translates to i am i because of we this ancient term understood all along that who we become as a result the people around us that we need to surround ourselves. With people who can see more in us than we can see in ourselves who can see our potential who can see us for our good in our bed. Who can see our greatness and believe them think about how many times.
Weve heard stories of people coming out proclaiming their new truth. And no one around them is shocked saying things like i kind of knew that i was waiting for you to figure it out how many times have you heard stories of people who defy the odds. Only to thank their teacher or mentor for seeing more in them than they saw in themselves how many times have we seen oscar award recipients thanked their peers in their community for helping them become who they are maybe these closets.
We think were hiding in our more like glass shower stalls fogged up but far more translucent than we realized look i dont have any answers here coming out of the closet is hard reaching your greatness may be challenging. I just know that when we hold on too tightly to the way we expect life to look it rarely does. But when we lean into the strengths of others.
When we hear their words of praise and their voices of confidence. And we let them see us for our good and our bad. And all that we are it opens.
The door to an unimaginable amount of awe because when we dream alone. Even our high as divisions for ourselves are limited by our expectations. Even our biggest goals are too small so whats in your closet.
What expectations might be holding you back what parts of yourself are you ready to let shine bigger brighter and bolder than ever before. What glass ceilings are you ready to shatter and let others set the bar for you because they can see more in you than youve seen yourself so go ahead come on out thank you applause music you .
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