unleash the rebel within
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DESCRIPTIONhttp://www.unleashtherebelwithin.org/ This inspiring book will revolutionize the way you see the field of personal growth. Smart, witty, progressive and fun, Unleash the Rebel Within is the field guide for life.
UNLEASH THE REBEL
How your inner rebel can transform your life
Copyright © 2014 Avanda Press LLC.
All rights reserved.
Published by Avanda Press LLC.
Printed in the United States of America.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher; exceptions are made for
brief excerpt used in published reviews.
Cover Image by 2FacedDesigns
This book is available at quantity discounts for bulk purchases. For information, please contact Avanda Press LLC.
This book is dedicated to my brothers, Ernie and Jason. You are the best, and I love you.
1 The Golden Child 3
2 The Rebel Within 7
3 Why Get in Touch with Your Inner Rebel?
4 Self Acceptance 41
5 Your Inner Rebel Can Help You Take Risks
6 Harnessing the Power of Your Inner Rebel
7 Reinventing Yourself 83
8 Get In Touch with Your Inner Weirdo
9 Get In Touch with Your Inner Teenager
10 How To get There 99
11 Weighing the Pros and Cons
12 Recommended Reading and Resources
13 About the Author 129
I would like to give my thanks to Dr. Emily Sommerman, whose wisdom inspired me to write this book. I would also like thank my parents, who tolerated me during my
teenage years. And to Walter, thank you for tolerating me now.
THE GOLDEN CHILD
On the outside Christine appeared to have it all together. She was thin and pretty with beautiful thick long brown hair, she had her law degree and she worked over 60 hours a week at a firm where she had a promising future. She graduated at the top of her class in both undergraduate and in law school. She easily made a six figure income and was frequently asked out by successful men. Christine came to see me because she was miserable.
A people pleaser, Christine had done everything “right” in high school because she wanted to make her parents happy. Her two older siblings had frequently gotten into trouble and she didn’t want to cause her parents any more suffering. She went to law school because that is what her parents and boyfriend in undergraduate expected from her. “That is what everyone was doing. Going out and getting ‘real’ job,” Christine said sadly when she was in my office. “My parents always encouraged me to get a law degree because they had never went to college. I hated graduate school, and I now hate my job. I think being a lawyer just isn’t the right job for me.” Christine lived alone, and although she was asked out on dates frequently, she wasn’t attracted to the type of men that asked her out and because of her job she had little free time.
“I guess I never thought about what I wanted to
do. I always did what my parents told me to do. I know they are proud of me, but I am envious of some of my high school friends who are doing things that are more creative.”
If you have not already gotten in touch with your inner rebel, you might have been suffering as a child and teenager to be the perfect child. You know the one. The one who was the track star, the straight A student, the one who never stayed out late, the one who volunteered at the homeless shelter on Christmas. These are all good things, but if you find yourself in an identity crisis when you are 20, 30, 40, or beyond… with a feeling that something isn’t right, you might have been denying your inner rebel. Ask yourself these questions:
Was I doing things for myself or for other people? Did I not do something I wanted to because I was afraid of what others would think? Was I constantly seeking approval from my parents or peers? If I did do something that wasn’t approved, did I feel sad, guilty or remorseful for months, even years afterward? Did I take a career path that was expected of me, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do? Do I rate my self-worth on what other people are thinking instead of my own values? Have I not followed my heart, instead following what my (or others) religion tells me is right?
THE REBEL WITHIN
“reb·el - noun, adjective, verb, re·belled, re·bel·ling. noun
1. a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country.
2. a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.”1
In literature there is traditional iconography of internal conflict, you have a good angel (typically on your right shoulder), telling you what you should do that is good, pure and right. On the other shoulder (typically the left) there is a little devil whispering temptation or sometimes dishonesty.
When reading this book, imagine your inner rebel as the little creature on your left shoulder- the rule breaker, the one who does what people don’t want them to do. Imagine that little devil rebel smiling with playfulness, mirth, and having a loud persistent voice. Or, if you are like me and the thought of a little devil parasite sprouting out of my left shoulder scares the crap out of you, choose a rebel friend that is a little less terrifying. I have chosen to personify my inner rebel as my inner
1 Miriam Webster Online Dictionary
teenager, my younger self in her black turtlenecks, all smarty pants, rebelliousness and full of sass. She is unstoppable. She is perched on my shoulder with her dreams and aspirations, she is telling me what to do. She is sarcastic, doesn’t listen to anyone, and is insanely funny.
By no means should you quiet that saintly and virtuous little angel who is sitting on your right, we will discuss appropriate times for that little beast to speak loudly and clearly. But for the moment, imagine that little angel tightly bound and ball-gagged so your rebel has a chance to be heard.
Why get in touch with your inner rebel?
I’m not trying to be morbid, but we can kick the bucket at any time. Life is so wonderful, and so precious- so the argument is, “why wait to be who you are truly supposed to be?”
By getting in touch with your authentic self, you can have a fuller, more meaningful, and happier life by getting in touch and being more honest with who you truly are. Instead of being who other people want you to be, or think you should be, don’t waste your life trying to make other people happy.
Your inner rebel can help you define who you truly are; can help you make choices, help you through pain, trauma and other casualties of life as a human being. Your inner rebel can help you get in touch with your sexuality, your sense of self-worth,
the way you make money, your views of the world, and help you live a more fulfilling life. A life not filled with regret, or repression. Your inner rebel defies convention and traditional thinking, it could care less what your grandparents, parents, or snotty high school peers think.
Your inner rebel can also help you in the process of finding out what works for you, or what doesn’t. If you have been doing everything that you are “supposed” to do and you are still not happy or your life seems empty, getting in touch with this part of you can help you tap into your true self.
Your inner rebel can help you start caring more about what works for you, and caring less what other people might think. It gives you the inner resources to find your own happiness, your own love, your own essence.
I am seeing more young clients who come to me with depression, anxiety, and feelings of being “lost.” They have been hiding their sexuality, their passions, their wants and needs because of fear. Fear that surrounds them in the form of parents, religion, culture, money and peers. Or they become so consumed with someone else, they have no idea who they are, or who they want to become. I also have older clients who have been suffering from depression for years because their life seems so mundane, void of purpose, and uninspiring. They feel that they, too, have been “lost” for years.
This book is meant to inspire those who feel they have an “inner rebel,” or want to get back in touch with their authentic self. It is meant to be used to provide exercises and thought provoking questions to find out who you really are, and what you really think. It is meant to challenge how you think of yourself, and how you view others.
Getting in touch with your authentic rebel self, especially if you feel that you have been “lost” for awhile, can take some time. If that little devil on your shoulder has been muted or absent for years, it will take awhile to get your sassy partner out of its coma and back to full strength.
When doing the exercises in the book, you are encouraged to go as slowly, or as quickly as you like.
For Christ’s sake, please don’t start shooting heroin, or having unprotected sex with strangers in a club. And please don’t blow up a building or start blowing people away with a machine gun, that isn’t what this book is about.