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Naked Emperors

by Cynthia Occelli (writer), Los Angeles, CA, December 09, 2010

The world is full of people imagining regalia adorned emperors. In truth, we're all naked.

Lately, I've witnessed several situations where individuals devalue themselves and put others on a pedestal. Here are a few examples:

1) My friend, a former actress, is starting a new career and is terrified of contacting a key person because she is afraid that he will look down on her lack of a formal education.

2) A woman emailed me saying that, although she really wants to, she doesn't post comments on blogs because her ideas and writings aren't as good as other people's.

3) I attended a dinner and a few of the guests were multi-millionaires. A male guest, who is not wealthy, kept making self-deprecating comments such as: "It's such an honor to meet you, regular guys like me don't have the brains to do what you do."

I once put everyone else on a pedestal. If I met a couple who appeared happy, I made mental pictures of the positively blissful relationship they had and noted how pathetic I was because my relationship had failed. When I met a wealthy person, I imagined the trouble-free, power-filled life they led and detailed all the reasons they were better than me.

When I met my ex-husband, he had three Masters degrees and was a high level executive earning more in a month than I did in a year. He invited me to attend a business conference with him. The idea of being in a room full of educated, well-traveled and successful people terrified me. I knew that I would stick out like a sloth in a pack of tigers. Thankfully, I was born hardwired to run toward my fears. I went to the conference, attended the seminars and the social events. What I learned changed my view of people forever. I couldn't connect to the conference attendees on the level they connected with each other; I didn't speak the language.

However, I could connect to them as human beings. I gave them my attention and listened to who they were, not what they did. By the end of the conference, at least fifty people knew me by name and lit up whenever they saw me. It turned out that everyone had wounds, unsatisfied desires and fears. Everyone. Beneath the surface, people are just people.

Many years have passed and I now coach some of the people I formery aggrandized. I've learned that, across the board, wealthy, famous, loved, beautiful, and successful people experience as much struggle, grief and insecurity as anyone else, often more. No one is exempt from life. Remember this when you find yourself on the brink of giving your power away. We are far more alike than different and the thing that makes another better than you is your belief. A side note: sometimes people attempt to equalize a situation by being loud, bragging and even belligerent. This is the same energy as groveling in unworthiness; it is just expressed differently. Be you, the real you--be human and see them as such. The rest will take care of itself.

The world is full of people imagining regalia adorned emperors. In truth, we're all naked.



About the Writer

Cynthia Occelli is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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7 comments on Naked Emperors

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By Glenn T on December 10, 2010 at 11:34 am

Well written. As an amatuer economist, however, I can't help but think that perhaps there might be another force at play here. Don't you think that being an attractive woman might help in allowing you to break through otherwise impassable socio-economic barriers? It's been my experience that good-looking women are rarely bound by the same restrictions as the rest of us.

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By Cynthia Occelli on December 10, 2010 at 02:48 pm

Thank you Joseph, I couldn't agree more.

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By Cynthia Occelli on December 10, 2010 at 03:02 pm

Hi Glenn,

Your take is interesting. If we're talking attraction and socio-economic barriers, then other women shouldn't have welcomed me because I could pose a threat to their interests and my race should have worked against me, the way both did in school.

There is a point of connection, on a human level, that transcends surface biases. There is much power in being able to "see" people.

Moreover, good-feeling people, meaning confident and self assured people, are often MORE attractive than simply good-looking people. I encounter this daily in the plastic fishbowl of Los Angeles. Being physically attractive here isn't that special. Being charismatic, secure and relatable is positively magnetic.

In any situation, you'll find what you're looking for. Look for what you'd like to find.

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By BusinessLife on December 10, 2010 at 06:06 pm

I used to think being a 'beautiful person' offered you more in the business world. I have since changed my mind and agree with you, Cynthia that it is the passion, insight and a joie de vive that exudes from someone providing the honey that has a way of capturing the attention of most anyone.

Oh, that more men were intellectually stimulating, ready to explore all that life has to offer and embrace every moment with raw emotion.

Someone like this...it was a precious memory and a time of great self-discovery.

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By PATRICK PETION on December 14, 2010 at 12:53 am

wow Cynthia that a great article, but you know what the truth is our society is the real problem, the media the polical drama make you think that some people are less than while as you said putting others on a pedestal. The truth is we are pure potential we can do anything if we put our mind in it. their is no king or super human mind we can all try to be our best. we are potential that truth that what we are we can do anything doesn't mean that we have to do everything.

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By Cynthia Occelli on December 17, 2010 at 02:54 pm

Thank you Patrick, I agree with your point. Our high tech, low touch society has gotte it wrong.

I work with a lot of people who suffer from a sense of inferiority. This post speaks directly to them. There are so many opposing voices and messages, I have to do my part to offset them.

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By MUGISHO N.THEOPHILE on December 23, 2010 at 05:04 am

Cyntia, great peace. where there is will, a way is always possible. In everything you will have to do, you are the one to make the first step. If you discourage yourself, no one will motivate you better than yourself. We all are huma beings, if A can do something great, Why not B? The coplex of inferiority is a real empediment to achievement. Try to fail and not fail to try. Try,try and you will get a way out.

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