Confessions of a Shallow Person
The person I am today couldn’t be more different from the old me. Reflecting back on my past values and lifestyle fills me with shame about who I was. Now that I’ve thankfully changed, I have the distance and the maturity to see it how it was and reflect upon the past to show you it how it looked like in the hopes that others won’t follow in my footsteps nor repeat the same mistakes as I made.
Here are the top six mistakes I regret but thankfully was able to change:
I Was Incredibly Materialist
It began in childhood as a privileged spoiled only child who learned that material things were the sign of being loved. This led me to form my values around possessions. By my teen years, I became enthralled with name brands and fashion. I discovered luxury goods thanks to all the feminine magazines I read. Up until my mid-30s, shopping was my sport of choice and I attached a lot of importance to owning great things. In fact, I thought this was the proof of success as well as the key to happiness.
I Worshiped Rich and Successful People
From my teens onwards, I began to become influenced by the successful people I read about or saw on television and decided I must do everything to become like them. I did not look deeper past their success to ask if they personally were good human beings. It was only about their wealth and fame. This was extremely shallow of me but at the time, I didn’t understand the true worth of people.
I Saw People Only As Tools To Serve My Ambitious Purposes
In school, I tried to hang around the popular kids. The idea was that their influence would rub off on me and by association, my social value and status would increase proportionally to whom I knew. This game continued into my adult years, where I sought out people who could help me in some way, such as to give me business or boost my career, to gain access to someone even more valuable or to elevate my social status.
I Felt Disdain For Non-Successful People and Avoided Them Like The Plague
Since I only cared about my interests, I avoided getting too close to people of less status and influence. My thoughts were that they weren’t useful to me. In fact, I considered them to be at fault for their lack of status or success. After all, there are plenty of rags-to-riches stories so I never even considered poverty or hardships to be a valid excuse for not becoming rich and successful. I was heartless and lacked empathy.
I Thought Feelings Were a Sign of Weakness
You need to be tough to survive in business is what I fully believed. Those who showed too much sympathy or friendliness would get eaten alive. Sometimes you needed to lay off people to make more profits. That was just the reality in my world. This is no surprise since my role models used their power and influence towards profits and disregarded human factors. After all, “business is business” was the golden rule in my shallow mind. Either keep up or get out. I was a hard-ass when it came to work and ambition.
I Had A Zero Giving Mentality Unless It Served Me
Because I had no empathy for people, my philosophy was ‘Everyone for Their Own’. I was focused on what and who could benefit me. I never went out of my way to help others or give to anyone, unless it felt like a social obligation or PR move, such as Gala fundraisers or charity donations from my business. Deep down, I felt everyone should just work harder and never take hand-outs.
I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I used to be like this. I finally decided to talk about it in the hopes that it may be a lesson for some young, ambitious hustlers out there who have gotten their values all mixed up as I had.
Thankfully, I went through a life transformation with a wake-up call and a deeper path to purpose, which I wrote a memoir about. Today I coach other people on how to build a life of purpose and businesses so they can have more freedom to live how they want. I am a minimalist, an empath, and someone who cares deeply about others, with zero regard to their net worth, social status, and wealth. I’ve come a long way from the shallow, materialist girl I used to be. I am forever grateful that I woke up and made those changes.