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You can overcome anything. Sunday August 10, 2014

I grew up as an immigrant child. When we first moved I could not speak the language and was constantly afraid and intimidated by unfamiliar things. I grew up poor, and the more I came to realize this, the more I felt worthless and insignificant. My parents worked long hours and I would often be left in the care of a much wealthier relative. I would spend hours in her sitting room quietly staring at a display shelf. I hated being there, because every time I looked at that shelf, I was deeply intimidated and felt completely eclipsed by the things that other people had.

She placed photos of her son's graduation on the same shelf as a set of vintage encyclopaedias. As a child I felt weak and hopeless, lamenting the impossibility of ever having a display shelf like hers. I would always leave her house hanging my head in self-deprecating shame, wondering how I would ever be able to go to university when I was struggling so much at school. I barely knew how to use the dictionary, why would I ever find the need for encyclopaedias? How would I ever be as impressive as other people? I placed my self worth on who I thought I was, instead of focusing on the potential of what I could become.

Now, 15 years on and a great deal of assimilation later I have a Masters degree and am hardly ever intimidated by the same things. Bit by bit over the years I fought against the odds. And sometimes when I look back I realize how unnecessary it was to have felt unreasonably devalued and illegitimated.

But, like every other human being, there are still many moments when I feel like an obstacle in life is too big, too scary, too much, and that it can't ever be overcome. In moments like that I stop, take deep breadth and remind myself of all the challenges in my past which were once thought to be utterly unconquerable.

Slowly, but surely, I'm convinced that when we are committed, we can eventually outgrow our biggest and most frightening challenges. Adversity can vary from person to person. Sometimes you may find that you are completely down on your luck, stuck in a comprising and unfortunate situation. I hope that you are able to remind yourself that even the greatest odds can be overcome. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, persevere and before you know it, you will have climbed a mountain.

Your potential is always much bigger than your problems.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 6:45am

"Your potential is always much bigger than your problems"

I very much liked this comment at the end of your post.

I'm sorry you felt intimidated, but impressed you overcame and are now comfortable with who you are. That in itself is a very large mountain to climb.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 9:07am

Was going to say the very same thing. Your potential is always much bigger than your problems. What a marvellous saying to remember! Thank you, Taylor, for your wise words. I was brought up an immigrant in a European country, and can remember feeling like this so often. Decades later, I have only just reached the stage you, a much younger person, have reached. Well done and thank you.

Julia Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 10:16am

Yes I believe you can overcome anything too. That image of the encyclopaedias and the degree photo on the wall or bookshelf!!! Desolation city. But well done Taylor and good to read of your experiences and achievements .

Anonymous Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 10:21am

"Your potential is always much bigger than your problems"

This is the perfect saying tor me personally, after a difficult week which is ending on a much more positive note.

Thank you for sharing your story and your determination.

Di Murphey Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 2:13pm

Taylor ~
I deeply appreciate reading of your perspective as a child immigrant. It is especially revealing to understand how you overcame the struggles and hopefully can now use them to reach out to others with your wisdom.

You write "Keep putting one foot in front of the other, persevere and before you know it, you will have climbed a mountain." I love this! In neurolinguistic programming (NLP) it is called "chunking it down" and, indeed, before you know it while making the struggle into smaller bits, you have climbed a mountain.
Best wishes & thank you for sharing your remarkable journey,
Di Murphey

Anonymous Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 2:39pm

Having a really bad day. Will try to use your post. Thanks.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 10th 2014 @ 9:09pm

I was inspired by your blog, Taylor ! I agree, that if we learn to break things down into 'bite-size chunks' we can focus on just one chunk at a time. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, we get a sense of achievement each time a small 'chunk' is dealt with!! SIMPLES!!!!

Silvia A Mon, Aug 11th 2014 @ 1:50am

thumbs up!

Anonymous Mon, Aug 11th 2014 @ 11:51am

Thank you Taylor! After a whole life of wanting the academic life and degreecof doctor. At 58 I finally decided the nae sayers could not have their way. I am midway through the 3 years of course work in a doctorate in ministry degree taking the science and theology focus. I have a complicated immune disorder and I am working full time. There are plenty of
reasons I should not even try this! Even if I can't pull it off I will know I at least gave it a shot.
You have a great day. Thanks for your inspiring words.

Tim Clayton Mon, Aug 11th 2014 @ 12:58pm

What an inspirational post, and person! Well done for giving us all perspective to so many of us.

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