February 4, 2015
The Importance Of Personal Experience
“Preconceptions are previously formed opinions, or ideas, you have about yourself,”
Overcoming barriers to change is not as easy as seems. When I was a teenager, I had no problem fitting in or making new friends. “Social butterfly” is a term that described me perfectly as an early teen. But when I turned fourteen years old, I hit a barrier that at the time seemed like the end of the road for me. I lost my grandfather, who was my best friend; it was the biggest obstacle and loss that I had to deal with. Then I began to completely change. I was more reserved, never believed in myself and began to doubt every step I would take and every thought that I had.
My negativity started to weigh me down and took a toll on my life. “A negative attitude is a barrier that can restrict you from making healthy contact with others,
(Elias). I believe that this idea and concept tied in with the way I was feeling and in turn, acting around people. I had a negative attitude, which restricted me from really interacting and socializing with new people. Because I lost a person so dear to my heart, I had hatred towards the world. I never wanted to speak to anyone; I only wanted to be alone. The first two weeks after my grandfather passed away, I would come home from school and lock myself in my room. Because of this isolation, I lost the desire to interact with the outside world. The negative barriers that I had put up did not allow me to intermingle or even worse, relate with my peers. My pessimism towards people and the world started to affect my personal, professional, and love life. “A negative attitude is like having a shackle around your heart and mind,”
(Elias). I would doubt what people would say to me, especially if it were a compliment. I began to have negative self-talk everyday. One of my worst nightmares became English class. I had trouble with writing essays. I gave up easily because in the back of my mind I told myself, “You can’t do it Nora. Give up.” Then my negative attitude began to cloud my judgment. I literally felt that I had a shackle around my mind and heart. I never thought I could reach any goal, so I stopped setting goals because I was afraid of failing. Failing felt natural. It felt easy, painless and numbed any feelings I had. I would avoid applying for jobs because I was afraid of going into the interview and them judging me. I always had doubt inside of me. When it was time for me to apply for school, I still had the doubt of not being accepted. Even though I had the grades and the volunteer experience, I did not think it was not good enough. My head was filled with only negative self-talk. The more I doubted myself, the less action I took in the real world. I had made an invisible bubble for myself, never overstepping my boundaries. When it came to my love life, I could not trust anyone and I did not think I was worth anyone loving me. I allowed men to mentally and emotionally take advantage of me. It came to the point in my life where I began to experience severe depression. I began to slack off in school and stopped talking to my friends. I just wanted to be alone all the time. I hated the world on a different level. However, things began to turn around when I met my boyfriend, and he changed it all for me. I started to feel alive again. This is when my process of change began. I started having the positive self-talk with myself almost everyday. When the negative thoughts started to come about again, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to highlight all the positive assets that I had and tell myself that I could overcome any problem thrown my way. “When a person you value highly believes in you, their beliefs and actions influence you to believe in yourself, increasing your self-esteem,” (Elias). As my relationship grew, so did my self-esteem. My boyfriend would tell me all the