The hardest thing is thinking outside the box when you’re in the middle of it. Well, maybe not the hardest, but still, it’s really tough. And the worst thing is being stuck in a box without even knowing it (The Matrix anybody?). If you judge yourself according to the rules and standards of others the result is liable to go any number of ways, none of which get to the root of who you truly are. Think of the young child that rebels during craft time; this kid will eventually be labelled gifted or troubled depending on the criteria of evaluation.
It was Einstein who said “Everybody’s a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live its whole life believing it’s stupid.” And that’s really what it comes down to. A fish living in a tree-climbing world is bound toward failure and disappointment just like a mathematician tossed into a Vert competition with a bunch of pro skaters…unless the professor can pop a sick switch tre to tail grab.
False boundaries are a problem that we should all regularly address. Think about the things that make you feel insecure, tear you up or just nag at your confidence. Evaluate their importance and relevance to who you believe yourself to be, then consider their necessity. Do you have to play by these rules? If not, maybe it’s time for a change. Thing is, if you take a step back and look at your surroundings chances are you’ll notice that some of them are purely fabricated and not nearly as pressing or mandatory as you’d thought. And that’s when you should experience an Einstein moment, like “Wait a sec. I’m a fish out of water here, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad swimmer.”
Remember why you’re great from time to time. That doesn’t mean give up on the challenging parts of your life, it just means you should take time to distinguish tough from inapplicable. If you don’t look like Tyra Banks, you can’t look like Tyra Banks, but you can find a different framework to judge your beauty by.
So next time you’re halfway up that tree and everyone is above you looking down and laughing, ask yourself if you really care what’s at the top. If you don’t, take a deep breath, let go and do a triple back-flip into a world that makes more sense to you.