O’s Success Tips: You Are Not Defined By Your BODY

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No matter how hard I stared or how much I prayed it just kept disappearing, eroding my pride along the way. I wanted to hide my flaws, but couldn’t find a place to hide it. I stared again, watching as another strand fell helplessly to the ground, another follicle lost…and with it another opportunity to smile lost…

It was a high-school Biology class that marked the beginning of an internal battle that I would wage against myself for years. Like an innocent lamb lost in the wild, I was exposed to the bitter concept of dominant/recessive genes. A concept that stated, amongst other things that I had a high probability of experiencing thinning of the hair…My post teenage evolutionary years was a melting point of every physical eyesore a teenager could imagine, from the dreaded pimple break outs to the imaginary hair loss . I was in a constant state of intermittent external self analysis. Analysis that made me subconsciously aware of every seemingly defective component on my body, defects that ranged from the size of my nose, to the zits on my skin, to the hair follicles that barely held on to my head scalp. I would stare in the mirror frequently for long periods, somehow searching for self satisfactory perfection. But that perfection was always one zit or hair follicle away. I searched in the bottles of Proactive and Minioxidil for perfection, but instead I found chemical weapons that would prolong my battle.

A battle that would last all the way to my early 20’s, until one day I stumbled across a man stuck in a chair, with a baby playing on his lap. But he never touched the baby; instead he just stared as if the child was not there. Lost in space as his mind drifted to the moment his bike lounged several feet in the air crashing to the ground breaking his 5th and 6th spinal vertebrae. Paralyzed from the shoulder down all he could do was stare as he fought back tears reminding him that he could never hold his own child, but amidst those tears he smiled. A smile that warmed my heart and shed light to my self centered obsession with my body. There were people out there with greater physical loses, undergoing much difficult circumstances and here I was worrying over the loss of a 50 milli-gram hair follicle. My mind instantly flashed back to a song written by India Arie on self discovery, a discovery made after she shaved off all her hair after an all too common and prolonged battle with her body…

To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY
I am not my hair

At that point I realized that it was never about my hair or my zits. Locked up inside was the true me. I had to end this battle, so I pushed a pair of clippers through my entire scalp, until I had lost everything I feared to lose. And for the first time in the mirror, I saw me. The true me.

“Love all parts of yourself, and if you can’t love them, change them. If you can’t change them, then accept them as they are.” Cherie Carter-Scott

We spend most of our lives searching for the perfect body, subconsciously waging a mental war against our bodies, a war orchestrated by the external noises of the media, telling us what beauty is and is not. But if we take a moment to turn the noise down, and focus deep within, we would find that beauty is not what others think about us, but what we think about ourselves. Search deep enough and you’ll find the beauty that lies within.

Okechukwu Ofili
Africa’s #1 Success Coach
Copyright © 2008 Ofili Speaks, Inc. All rights reserved



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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