“Be A Legend In Your Own Mind” is chapter 28 in 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve by Andrea Owen that has stuck with me since I read it a few years ago. When I read that book, I created my own study guide to work through all of the topics I was reading about. This chapter is the one that stuck with me the most, and I printed the page from my study guide and hung it next to my makeup area. I see it every single day.
I may see it every day, but I don’t always look at the page’s contents since it has been there so long. But I get this feeling when I glance at it, even if I don’t read a single word.
One of my study guide sections was to answer how do I apply this lesson to my life. The first thing I wrote was, “I really need to start liking myself.” When I read this book, I didn’t like myself. I was trying to become a person who fit what I thought everybody else wanted me to be, and in doing so, I not only didn’t like myself, I didn’t know who I was. I had zero self-confidence, almost zero self-esteem, and I couldn’t understand how certain people in my life continued to berate me about things they thought I was doing wrong. I was trying my hardest to fix every single one of those things so they would stop telling me what I was doing wrong.
This chapter in this book was the first drop of rain to fall that I started to understand. The first drop of rain truly opened my eyes to how backward I had it. Life isn’t about becoming a person that other people stop telling you that you are doing things wrong. Life is about being the person that you want to live with for the rest of your life. Life is about learning and exploring what truly matters to you. Life is about putting yourself first and loving yourself.
I have become a firm believer that we cannot truly love other people if we don’t love ourselves first. In this chapter, Andrea said, “It’s about believing you are fucking awesome, because if you don’t believe it, how are you going to get that awesome life that you dream about?” And she said, “At the end of the day, it’s all about what you believe. And the most important part is what you believe to be true about yourself.”
I didn’t believe I was awesome. I felt whole-heartedly that I sucked and that I would never be good enough to be accepted or loved by any family member or respected by any friend if I didn’t fix what they complained about or told me I was doing wrong. This mindset is one that I realize was ingrained into me from a young age. I learned this mindset from my parents and didn’t have any active role models who taught me any different. I had to teach myself.
There are so many quotes that Andrea says in this chapter that bring me back to reality. Not the reality that I grew up understanding, but the reality that I am in absolute control over how I treat myself first. It does not matter what anybody else says. Yes, other people might give feedback, but I get to choose what I take and what I leave.
Another thing I wrote in my study guide is that “I need to stop thinking that I am still a failure at life.” No matter what I achieved in life, I still considered myself a failure because I focused on what other people were telling me. I was treating myself like shit and allowing others to do the same. I didn’t even care to like myself without other people liking me first.
Every morning I see this page on my wall, I remind myself that I want and need to like myself before I consider anybody’s feedback. When I look at this page, I get the warm, confident, fuzzy feeling that excites me. No matter the mood I am in, it changes.
The last quote I’ll share that I highlighted says, “So…what are you tolerating that prevents you from feeling like a legend?”
I was tolerating a lot of fucking shit. And even though I stopped tolerating some things, I kept tolerating others. Around the beginning of this year, I realized there were things I was tolerating to remain in my life that were bringing me down and casting a shadow over the person I know I can be. I had more drama and shit-talking in my life from people I was close to that impacted my everyday life. The drama and shit-talking weren’t aimed at me, thankfully, but it weighed on me because I feel and think very differently than the conversations I was taking in.
2021 is a year about not tolerating shit that does not positively impact my life. I want to feel awesome and amazing. I want to reach my goals in life and my career. If I were to continue tolerating things that keep me from feeling like a legend, I would never get there. I don’t hate the people who tolerate drama and shit-talking, I just can’t have them in my everyday life.
To me, being a legend in my mind means that I respect, like, and honor myself and my needs or desires first. It means that if I want to donate to a cause that touches my heart, I do it. It means that if I no longer want someone in my daily life who can’t stop talking shit about other people, then I will move on. It means that if I want to change who I am because I know the change will bring me happiness, peace, or success, then I’m going to do it.
I am not quite at the point where I can say that I am fucking awesome, but I’m getting close. And the growth that I’ve done to get to this point feels fucking awesome. It’s been a challenge that I am seeing has been so worth it.
I want to ask you, what are you tolerating that prevents you from feeling fucking awesome and like a legend?