I feel like no one understands me.
I remember this line from my younger cousins going through adolescence and they thought they are adults and wanted to do everything their own way. They forgot that, that’s only a dream especially when you growing up in an African household. Most of the time they never got what they wanted and they would complain, “we feel like no one understands us”
That was just a throwback thought that crossed my mind first thing I thought of the line, “I feel like no one understands me.” However it’s completely incongruent with what I wanted to write about today.
There’s a part of everyone’s success journey that nobody likes to talk about. We celebrate all the achievements we are recognized for; we laugh and cry about all the bullets we dodged and everything in between.
But that’s not even the hardest part. There are so many success stories that no one likes to tell. For there might be some truth to the saying, “you are the average of the five people whom you spend the most time with.” That being the five people you spend the most time with at your current stage in life. At least that how I understand it. But then what happens to your childhood peeps whom you’ve since grown apart with, not because they weren’t good for you, or were toxic but because life dictated that you spend your lives differently – owing to differing career lines or parallel life choices. Probably, others weren’t just privileged enough and never got anywhere in life because there was no one there to hold their hand through it all. And now you are stuck with this group of five individual whom you have been forced to spend 80 percent of your time with, simply because you work together or went to the same college. And for some reason, you have been left with no choice but to name them your friends.
Dealing with yourself is certainly a whole drag, but having your old friends watch you achieve all the things they’ve dreamed of (and not attained) themselves is a challenge on a whole different level.
Sometimes the hardest part about growth is not the challenges you have to face on your own. It’s the lifestyle, connections, social circles that you may have to leave behind because some people fall behind; because you have passed so many hurdles and trials in life; that your outlook of this life shifts.
I still remember saying to myself “I feel like no one understands me”, when I was about the same age as my cousins. At the time, of course no one understood me. In fact, no one is supposed to understand you. Because Honey, you’re in a headspace that nobody else can be in. Only you can see the picture. Yeah, I know I cannot be entirely right. I can’t say teenagers are always right, though. I only use the world of a teenager as an example, because it’s the best way to adequately describe what I am trying to say.
As you grow, sadly there are a few people who you will be forced to leave in the past. Considering where you are and where you want to be, you will form a new reality based on a whole new target or goals that (according to you) will help you be whoever you want to be in life. And you will work your hardest to smash your goals, no wonder anything OR anyone that will try to get in the way will have to be done away with. This will be your season of self-sacrifice.
Now I’m not talking about abandoning your friends or people closest to you. Don’t get me wrong.
But you’ll need yourself more than ever to stay motivated. To tell yourself that you are ambitious, strong and that you are doing well.
And with all the conviction, you will go out of your way to do what you always thought you’d never even get close to achieving. Of course, you will excel in it. And you will be hella proud of yourself. But, do you think everyone will be happy for you and celebrate with you? Do you think your milestone will make others uncomfortable or jealous around you?
I’m here to tell you that you should never bother at all what people think. Because, trust me, the only reason they feel some type of way that you are growing out of your shell, succeeding and doing something substantial for yourself is because they were too afraid to take action. It has nothing to do with you. But you have to bear in mind that you are now a constant threat to them. Be aware of that.
Every time you work hard to get that lifestyle, freedom, money, asset, happiness (fill in the blank) and people are not happy for you, don’t even stress about it. Don’t even stop. Move on even faster, because that’s how you know that you have been doing something great and you are finally reaping your fruits of labour. Don’t worry about them, they will adjust.
But the good thing or the biggest lesson that you get to learn during such moments is that, people are triggered to watch you thrive and glow. And the more actions you take, the more you get out of your comfort zone, the more uneasy they get.
This will be the perfect time discern those who are for you or against you. In your quest to live in your authentic truth, you will automatically feel the need to surround yourself with people who support you and ‘understand you’. When it’s time, it will feel right to let go of anything or anybody that is untrue to you. You will have to understand that it is not anomaly that you are where you are currently in life.
Guess what, this where your growth happens. When things start falling in place for you, so will your real friends. It’s not about feeling proud about your life achievement and leaving some people behind. It’s about accepting that when YOU change, your circles inevitably change too. You will start to attractive new friends. And that’s not about being “too good for anyone”, it’s about dropping the ingenuine people who you used to be involved with. It’s about making space for people who support you and cheer for you. Likewise, you change to support those who support you.
Therefore, always be ready to let go of anything or anyone that is clearly not aligned with your inner truth and destiny. Then you will accept that it is true, “you are the average of the five people whom you spend the most time with.”