I was an introverted, average-at-school, dark skinned, serious teenager in a family and society that valued extraversion, good grades, fair skin, and entertainment (often at the expense of other people.)
I was often implicitly and explicitly criticized/made fun of for not being smart/pretty or funny enough and for living in my own world.
What I most longed for was to be loved, accepted and appreciated for the qualities that set me apart and made me who I was: trustworthiness, wisdom, being observant and reflective.
I graduated high school convinced that I was average, at best, at most things.
Soon after high school, in a different environment, a teacher called me “impressive.”
That shook my world.
And what happened after that changed the course of my life.
I went on to score the highest grades in my class and was offered a job to teach there.
I couldn’t help but wonder: had I really been average? Or had I just believed I was?
That experience sparked a deep fascination with the human mind, leading me to study psychology and build a career helping people question what they think they know about who they are.
A lot more has happened since then.
But my ongoing fascination with how our self-perception changes our reality has remained constant.
The thing that excites me the most is to keep working on expanding my own understanding of who I am and what I am capable of, and helping others do the same through writing, teaching, and coaching.
And to do this on my terms, which often involves ignoring anything that doesn’t resonate with me – even if “everybody else is doing it.”