Love Yourself: Be The Underdog

by Tess on December 30, 2009

Warning! My blog will challenge you to be more, give more, live fearlessly, take more chances and show up in the world unstoppable, daring and bold.

                                               underdog 182x300 Love Yourself: Be The Underdog                                       Photo By John Gray

Our guest today is John Anyasor from HiLife2B. I find John and his blog refreshing. One of his goals is to help start an endless chain of helping people. (I think he already has!) We get back what we give in life and I'm happy to introduce John and help him with his other goal of becoming a professional blogger! 

To be labeled as one who is different, weird, not normal: in my eyes, it is a gift. To be underestimated, to be thought of as slow or dimwitted, foolish or ignorant, pathetic or even worthless: that is your greatest weapon.

When you're underestimated, you're forced to look within yourself to assess your true value and self worth.

Many a time, I've been labeled as the underdog - the one nobody should worry about. Berated for my weirdness, not because I had some sort of disease or mental illness… I just thought on another plane of consciousness.

Believe me, I tried to fit in with them. I would listen to their music, talk like them, walk like them. In a nutshell, I tried to BE them. But that wasn't me.

They'd say I wasn't cool enough. Cool? What does that even mean? When I'd ask them that, they'd just make fun of me even more. I was singled out as an outcast. I thought something was wrong with me. It never crossed my mind that something was wrong with them.

There are a lot more of them than there are of me, I thought. They must be right. What am I doing wrong. After a while, I resented them, all of them, for not accepting me. Even if I had come across someone I never knew before, I'd assume that they were just like my enemies. Popular and "normal".

With my hatred of them in full force, I closed myself off. I ate by myself. Worked by myself. I did everything by myself. Who are they? I thought. Why should I rack my brain to emulate them? All I need is myself. 

Many years I felt this way. I had this "me against the world" mindset. I began to believe that the rest of the world was like this. That if you were different, you'd be instantly alienated. A freak of society who'd no one would want to accept.

My eyes and mind were closed off to the light that would soon shine in my favor. I hadn't realized that I was the underdog. Nothing was expected from me; that would become my greatest weapon.

It should be understood that I didn't find this out on my own. You could say books had an influence. Teachers, mentors, family, they all had a part to play. They were the ones that opened my eyes. They showed me that I was not alone.

All this time I tried to reject who I was to fit in, when "who I was" was something that couldn't be changed. I should have embraced what made me different, what made me unique. Life is short; why waste it hating those who dislike me?

It was then that I decided to take pride in who I was. I soon discovered that I wasn't the only outcast. There were others, just like me. They were unique. The  popular kids looked all the same. These people looked completely different. I had to know who they were!

We talked. It's like we knew each other all along. For the first time, I felt happy. "You should have sat next to us in the first place", one of them said. "Why didn't you?"

"I don't know", I lied. "I haven't the faintest idea." Be bold enough to accept yourself. Because in the end, not everyone is.

John Anyasor is the creator of HiLife2B. There he gives advice on personal development, inspiration, and motivation. A second year undergrad, he seeks to one day break the cycle of entering the dreaded 9-5 to achieve the life he wants. Follow John on Twitter or sign up for his RSS feed.

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    { 1 trackback }

    Not Another New Year's Resolution Post?! | HiLife2B
    12.30.09 at 11:02 pm

    { 17 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lori 12.30.09 at 3:28 pm

    Hi John and Tess,

    I really enjoyed this, John! (And great guest, Tess!).

    Living almost a decade in So Cal, I often thought exactly what you said, “The popular kids looked all the same.” But, more in the context of the bleach blonde hair, surfer clothing, and not-quite-real body parts. It’s so crazy, by acting in a way they often thought was ‘rouge’ just made them all look the same. I’m sure I played a part in there somewhere, too, though.

    Very interesting indeed…

    I laughed when you said, “Cool? What does that even mean?”


    I’m proud to be a dorky chick. I’m proud that I might say goofy things sometimes, but, hey, why be normal??? ;)

    I enjoyed this, John. Best to you and Tess for the New Year’s flip to 2010!
    :) Lori´s last post…Shedding My ComLuv Profile

    John 12.30.09 at 3:51 pm

    Hey Lori! So happy you’re here :)

    ha ha, it’s just like the people who go against the norm just for the sake of being “nonconformist”. Accept you are and embrace it. If you like being a bleach blonde, go for it, but don’t do it because “the i’s have it”.

    Who cares what the “cool” kids think. Dorks rule! I’m glad you’re so goofy, because it makes you who you are. You’re not a pretender; you’re YOU and that’s how people truly connect. We connect with our real selves.

    I can’t wait for the New Year. Not into the “resolutions” gimmick, but a new year is upon us. Time to be happy! :)

    And Tess, I can’t thank you enough for giving me a chance to guest post. It’s been a pleasure.
    John´s last post…What Life Feels Like at Almost Two Decades Old My ComLuv Profile

    Joy 12.30.09 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you for introducing us to an insightful writer:)
    “Labeled, berated, underestimated”….powerful adjectives to describe that part of your journey… “With my hatred in full force I closed myself off…” I want to say I’m truly sorry for this. You absorbed negative from others and began to feel that about yourself–huge lesson to us all. You then did the hard work to accept and love yourself; its takes courage to embrace yourself exactly as you are, and then to step out and find your “fit”. And now you encourage helping others; which is absolutely excellent. I think when you follow your heart, it soars higher than you can imagine, and in order to let your heart lead you have to “be bold enough to accept yourself.” Thank you for a heartfelt message:)
    Joy´s last post…My Letter……. My ComLuv Profile

    Quinn 12.30.09 at 4:39 pm

    Great article, this is a topic i have dealt with a lot in my life. We need to be true to who we are and accept our selves before we can expect any one else to accept us. I would never trade my individuality and personality for a chance to be one of the cool kids, my only regrets it took me so long to accept who I was and to start tying to live the life I wanted.
    Quinn´s last post…The gift of value My ComLuv Profile

    Lance 12.30.09 at 8:03 pm

    You have another great guest here today!

    One of my very favorite quotes, is one I think you will very much enjoy:
    “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs

    John, being that “round peg in a square hole”…it’s a very good thing. You are doing great things in this world, and that is because you are living true to your heart. Keep doing that. Keep following that path that is right for you…
    Lance´s last post…Sunday Thought For The Day My ComLuv Profile

    John 12.31.09 at 12:32 am

    @Joy Thank you for understanding me :). Yes, I have to admit, I did hate who I was. I became this bitter person who didn’t see the joy in life. I truly believe loneliness is the worst pain. When no one is there to listen, to see you grow up, or even to see you leave this world, it hurts. When you find others, like you, who you can share the burdens of the past and the aspirations of the future - that is when you know true happiness :)

    Glad to have meet you, Joy.

    @Quinn It matters not how long it took, but only that you are who you are right now. You accept who you are, just as I do. We’re better people for that. We’ve grown from our mistakes. Even though we’ve had to learn it the hard way, we’re much happier because of it.

    Thanks for your insights, Quinn :)

    @Lance I absolutely love that quote by Steve! It encompasses my entire being. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me. It’s been quite a pleasure learning from you. I look forward to your thoughts every Sunday. They make me want to attack the next day (even though that next day happens to be Monday : ) ).

    I won’t ever stray from the path I see before me. A light stands at the end, and I will not stop until it is reached.

    Thank you, Lance.
    John´s last post…Not Another New Year’s Post?! My ComLuv Profile

    Hayden Tompkins 12.31.09 at 12:54 am

    John, I love how you have come to find the strength of self-knowledge. Some people go their whole lives without really understanding who they are.

    You’re right, it’s not enough to know what you aren’t you have to know and accept who you are. Thank you for sharing your story and for being bold!!!
    Hayden Tompkins´s last post…How to Rock 2010! My ComLuv Profile

    Jannie Funster 12.31.09 at 1:09 am

    We are all freaks, we come to find out eventually, which to me means there are no freaks at all. No such thing. Just “beings of light with corporeal trends,” born of and to love, each of us on our combined journey towards complete trancendance.
    Jannie Funster´s last post…I Stenciled A Doll Trunk! My ComLuv Profile

    Peggy 12.31.09 at 5:22 am

    Nice to meet you John!

    Tess - thanks so much for introducing us to him!!

    John - if more younger people could get what you got earlier on in life, perhaps life through your 20’s and 30’s wouldn’t be so much of a struggle to find acceptance. Not that I didn’t like myself, it just took me a long while to figure out that acceptance starts at home…with my own Self first.

    Happy New Year!
    Peggy´s last post…Looking Back on a Decade My ComLuv Profile

    Positively Present 12.31.09 at 8:35 am

    Excellent post, John! I’ve always been one to cheer for the underdog so I really loved this one!
    Positively Present´s last post…a year of amazing: how to make this one the best yet My ComLuv Profile

    Tess Bold Life 12.31.09 at 10:47 am

    Lori and John,
    I’m going to sound old but I don’t even want to know what Cool means today!
    I want my grandkids to be uncool! Lori, I’m a dork as well. One of my daughters and I will greet each other with, “Hey dork!”

    I like that, 2010-the time to be happy! Your welcome John, you make a great guest and the world needs to know there are brilliant young people changing the world.

    Again you have such a loving way with words. Good insight on absorbing negative energy. We can leave that all behind with 2009!

    When the student is ready the teacher appears. Time is an illusion. You got it when you were ready…or at the correct time for you!

    One of our friends retired from school counseling a few years ago. I had that quote on a large sign for everyone to sign. I love that as well. Yeah to Steve Jobs and all the gifts he brought us.

    Thanks for stopping by…I’m going to rock 2010 with you!

    You’re getting way to profound! No, really I love it…especially the line about trancendance.

    You hit the nail on the head. Acceptance begins at home with our own Self. Let’s teach it with the ABC’s.

    Yes me too on the underdog thing. I wonder why. LOL
    Tess Bold Life´s last post…Love Yourself: Be The Underdog My ComLuv Profile

    Hilary 12.31.09 at 11:21 am

    Hi Tess - really interesting to meet John and to hear his story - and how he’s managed to overcome that so called inadequateness and realise he has unique strengths.

    John - well done .. and good on your friends, your family and you for finding out your strengths and realising that you are you. Excellent to know that you’ll be continuing on this path .. and want to help others learn and grow themselves .. good on you.

    Makes us all sit up and think this last day of 2009 ..
    Enjoy the year ahead - it sounds as though we will joining together .. every little smile, please, thank you and learning all helps bring others with us ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    Hilary´s last post…Blue Moons …. Last day of 2009 My ComLuv Profile

    Patricia 12.31.09 at 3:30 pm

    Wow a great find Tess and thank you for sharing all the connectors too…I just love being the different one…I think I learned that early in my family, and I was always seeking others who might be questioning and finding themselves. I thought everyone wanted to be their own best - wow was it surprising to me to discover that not everyone is seeking and that so many are following…so many, now that is even more scary to me.

    Good luck on this blogging adventure and I wish you well.

    Hulbert 12.31.09 at 6:11 pm

    Hi John, thanks for writing this inspiring post on being an underdog. I think most people find flaws in themselves that make it hard to accept, thus they have that me against the world mentality. But like you say, most people at one time another feel this way and opening up helps us be able to relate to each other on this level. Great post, and thanks Tess for sharing this. Hope everybody here has a happy new year!
    Hulbert´s last post…My 100th Post My ComLuv Profile

    suzen 01.01.10 at 8:31 am

    Well hi, you two! Fun combo! Tess, excellent choice! You’re right, John is refreshing! I’ve been reading his blog for quite a while (hint hint John) and I adore his enthusiasm!

    That quote Lance gave here absolutely says it all!!! I was born different, became more different, and today I love every spec of the “stuff” that makes me, me. If I could have loved me earlier, I wouldn’t have been sitting alone (I really resonated with that scene you wrote about) but I would have joined in IF and when I wanted to without being the least concerned about what anyone else thought of me. I think there is a wonderful self-confidence born of loving/accepting who we are and I credit that with making me fearless, able to go with the flow, and spread joy and love around. I could care less if anyone is annoyed by that - and some crabby pants people are - well too bad! Maybe the joy will rub off on them when they least expect it! I send it out, and let the Universe work its magic.

    Happy Joyous New Year to you both!!!
    suzen´s last post…Carrots, Eggs & Coffee Beans - A Recipe for Thought My ComLuv Profile

    Dawn 01.01.10 at 7:49 pm

    I understand being underestimated. That has been the story of my life…so much so, that I believed it for a very long time.

    I am in a major life change. those same people how one had me believing that I could not succeed, again rear their ugly words. This time, I don’t believe it…I have faith in myself, and know that I will come out of this stronger, and on my own two feet, because I can do it…not because anyone else thinks I can or not.

    Embracing yourself, and all your ‘features’ is essential. As soon as I learned to love myself, accept myself, even when I know I’m being flaky, I became empowered like never before.

    Rock on…embrace your place…and let the magic of YOU begin!
    Dawn´s last post…My Resolution~Learn to Let Love In My ComLuv Profile

    John 01.01.10 at 10:02 pm

    @Hayden - Hey Hayden, glad that you resonated with my story. The pain of the past can sometimes be a wonderful teacher. Looking back now, I’m no longer bitter towards the past. I see now that, because that pain, I am a better person. I love and accept who I am. I know the same holds true for you.

    @Jannie - Nice! Your response is fluid and awesome. I feel like all I can say is, “Exactly.” We cannot hide behind masks and play parts that we pretend to play. Sooner or later, we will all become transparent.

    @Peggy - Nice to meet you too, Peggy! It’s been an honor guest posting here on Tess’s blog. Once you find acceptance - once you finally see that “you are who you are” - everything you strive for becomes that much more important. You’re not striving for something simply because you’re supposed to or seem like you have to. You strive because you WANT to.

    Happy New Year!

    @Dani (Positively Present) - Thrilled that you enjoyed it so much. I too pull for the underdog. I’m always at the edge of my seat, waiting for him/her to make a move.
    John´s last post…Not Another New Year’s Post?! My ComLuv Profile

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