Whatever the reason, I make it my mission to show you that you don’t have to give up your soul and be like “this guy” to succeed. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, if I can do it, then you can certainly do it.
And I promise to tell you about all of the clear, actionable, concrete steps (along with all of the messy, awkward, emotional lessons) that I have taken to get here.
“But Tiffany, why would you do all that?!”
Because, as I level up, I want Undercover Awkwards – like you – to be standing next to me. Even though I’m a therapist, this site is not about offering you psychotherapy. I love doing one-to-one work, but there are only so many hours in a day and only so many misfits in an hour. In this amazing platform that is the Internets, I can reach out to way more people.
And, unlike in my role as a therapist, I can share with you all my ego-crushing foibles, along with the all of lessons I’ve learned that have helped me move on up. Here are some misconceptions I’ve encountered when speaking with my fellow intelligent, socially responsible, upwardly mobile brothers and sisters:
1 . “Nobody at the top will help me because people at the top are selfish.”
Says who?! People “at the top” are people just like you and me. Guess what, if I make it to the top, you’re coming with me. There are plenty of people all around you who want you to succeed. Stop your pity party and turn your precious gaze to those who really do want to help you. Then, accept said help.
2 . “Success means money and money will turn me into a greedy, conservative Republican.”
If you suddenly become a GCR when you make six-figures, then the reality is, you were a secret Koch operative all along – like the Jason Borne, only more ass-wholish.
Truth is, money is a tool. If you are able to get more of it, while serving others, then you can use this money in whatever way you want. Your value judgments about people with money are simply defenses that you use to validate your desire to stay comfortable, rather than experiencing the pains that come with growth.
3. “Really helping people means total sacrifice, like working 15 hours a day. In a homeless shelter. While making minimum wage. And living in my mom’s basement.”
First of all, if your mom lets you live in her basement, lucky you.
Secondly, from my experience and from the experience of the many people I’ve talked to, this “give it all you got with no thought of your own well being” kind of lifestyle actually leads to huge rates of bitterness and burnout.
There are plenty of ways to help people. Sacrificing your body, mind and spirit ultimately robs you and everyone else of the powerful contribution you could’ve made if you didn’t buy into the martyrdom of “selfless” altruism. There are ways to contribute to society, while also feeling rested, fulfilled, and inspired.
Buying into the martyrdom mentality is just one more way you keep yourself from taking real risks.
I’ll leave you with one of the first and most impactful quotes that I had the privilege of encountering:
“Tiffany, excuses are like assholes. Everybody has one and they all stink.”– My Dad