The book is about liberating myself from my fears. Freeing myself is the beginning of many things. First, it precedes my personal growth. Second, it improves my relations with others. Third, I come closer to actualizing my potentials. However, I harbor many fears. I fear that who I really am is inconsistent with who people think of me. I also fear that if others find out about this, I will drive them off. I fear being alone, because I see the importance of others’ impact on my life. The book is aware of all these. That is why it tries to offer insights which may help me change my negative perception. Enhancing my self-perception is the key to understanding myself. Before others can possibly understand me, understanding should begin with myself. If it happens, I am taking away the burdens I put upon myself. This, in effect, creates self-liberation. It feels better to be free instead of suffering in the domination of fear. The book is important because a few of the number of recommendations can already initiate the change in perception. I have become less fearsome now. Before, I used to be so fearful. I dread what others might perceive me. Everyday is an agony of putting a front which I am really not. I mask myself and pass myself off as a flawless individual. I want to follow my parents’ will to be called a dutiful child. It occurs to me to challenge their will sometimes just so I can decide for myself too. However, I fear that my parents will see this as a rebellion. As a result, my relationship with my parents cannot really be called perfectly meaningful. I may follow them always as parental respect. However, I do not find this obedience helpful in building my capacity for self-decision. I become depressed that I do not allow change to happen in my life. The only consolation here is being respectful of others and maintaining a good relationship. If I hope for self-growth, however, I must also consider myself. There is no sense in living in fear. There is no sense in keeping myself from the possibility of changing my life by making me decide for myself. This insight on defying fear to produce freedom is essential. Leaving my fears behind is accepting the fact that sacrifices must be done. First, I will not be able to please everybody. Much as I want, I cannot hold what sort of person I appear to others. I cannot control if they find me a freak or what. It is pointless to dread others’ perception of me. I can only wish that most of these people will think of me favorably. How do I do this? I should not avoid showing who I really am. At most, if I know my faults, I can act on them. For the things that are already good in me, it’s only a matter of maintaining them. If I lose others in the process of showing myself (because this self is hard to accept), it shall come to pass. After all, experiences can be painful at times. Growing can include growing apart. The most I can do is to show who I really am and loving this self sincerely. If I begin with loving myself, I can follow this with a love that’s meant for others. Swapping fear with self-acceptance is good to my life as a student, a person and a professional in the future. Shedding my fear is accepting that I am a human. As a human, I am liable to committing mistakes. This flaw should not stop me from loving myself. I want others to know that this is who I really am. I only hope that my classmates, the family and friends I relate with, and my future colleagues will be more accepting as I already accept myself. This is the only way I can be free. Loving myself—flaws and all—helps me emerge from my shell of fear. I become free and I even open myself for growth as, say, a student with the potential to be less imperfect. I also open myself for growth as a person with social and self-realization needs. I need my family to complete my being. I need my friends to enjoy peer relations. I likewise open myself for growth as a professional with imperfections in work ethics but certainly with capacity to improve on these imperfections. I always have the time to use in liberating myself, whether alone or in the presence of others. Becoming free starts with myself and this I like to happen now. Everyday is a chance to free myself from my personal fears. Everyday is a chance to have self-acceptance. Anywhere can be a place for liberating myself. It becomes more meaningful if this starts somewhere within me. My other freedom happens where and when others begin to perceive me differently in a positive way.
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