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How I Know You Have What it Takes To Live Well as “You”

My small shelled mentor has never had a moment's doubt about who is in charge of living her life - and she lives hers with gusto (and sometimes lots of mud)!
My small shelled mentor has never had a moment’s doubt about who is in charge of living her life – and she lives hers with gusto (and sometimes lots of mud)!

The first three decades of my life were a pretty rough ride.

I just didn’t think I had what it takes to do a good job living life as “me.”

So I kept trying to delegate the responsibility to someone else.

For example, when I had a decision to make, I would waffle and wait, stall and stumble, ask others (ad nauseum) for their input, and frequently choose poorly even after all that.

I just didn’t trust myself. Even worse, I didn’t respect myself….or like myself.

It is hard to do your best job when you don’t like, trust or respect the person you are working for.

Today all that has changed.

Today I firmly hold the steering wheel of my own life, and I steer with confidence (if not always with impeccable directional sense).

What changed?

Well, for starters, I began to really grasp – on a much deeper level than just my mind – the unique opportunity that being “me” really is.

No one else can do it – and that is because there are no other openings. There is only one “me.” Only ONE.

But maybe for some of you, that reads like a tired cliche, especially if you feel like you’ve been in a headlock with yourself for the last day or decade. If so, I get it – truly I do.

So here is something else that changed. I realized I am the one with the most to lose – and the most to gain – by learning how to live well as “me.”

Yes, my parents would care, my mentors and friends would care, my pets would care if I ended up doing such a bad job at living my life I was no longer here at all. They would care.

But not as much as I would care.  

They would lose, yes, but not as much as I would lose. And if by some miracle I happened to find out I was good at living my own life, they would win too, but not nearly so much as I would win. I would be the one who would be winning the jackpot….and then I would give them each a share.

Perhaps the biggest thing that changed, however, is when I realized just how much EFFORT and TIME and CREATIVITY I had been pouring into my own “poor me” outlook on life.

The sheer determination it was taking to persistently see the negative in everything, to see the consistent worst in myself, to pick up and point out gloom and doom all around and within me – well, shoot. I could power a small space station and go exploring the cosmos with all that energy!

So I decided to do just that.

I decided to really give living life as “me” a wholehearted try.

I decided I would do my best, give it my best shot, really put everything I had into it….and then if I failed, well, at least I would be able to hold my head up high as I went down in flames.

To my own surprise, I thrived in the role.

I really enjoyed it too.

I enjoyed it so much – this “living as me” business – that I am still here, still doing it, still learning and growing and exploring and creating and connecting and loving and living – a full decade and a half later!

It may sound difficult, especially if you are in a mindset where you really see all the dark extremes so clearly – everything that could go wrong, all the things that have already gone wrong, all the times you let yourself down, all the times you let others down…all that.

But that is just mental stuff. That is just the learning curve in action. That is just the perfect light to illuminate all that you are going for, striving for, living for – the reason you are still here trying, even if you think you have given up.

I have been there too. I was there….and now I am here.

And this is how I know that you have it in you to live well as “you.”

Today’s Takeaway: What do you think? Do you agree with me? Do you know you have what it takes to live well as “you?” Are you still on the fence? Do you disagree? If you don’t agree you have what it takes to live your own life well, what do you think it might take to change your mind?

p.s. This post is from my free monthly e-zine, Good News for Recovery + Life

How I Know You Have What it Takes To Live Well as “You”

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Songwriter. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2019). How I Know You Have What it Takes To Live Well as “You”. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Dec 2019
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