Adam Willemse | Life Coach

Month: April 2016

To come out is to challenge your beliefs

Things which do not grow and change are dead things.

Where does our beliefs come from? I’d say mostly our parents. They instil certain beliefs in us as we grow up and we tend to stick to those beliefs for the most of our lives.

Until we become teenagers.

As you might have experienced it yourself, this is the time we start to question everything, especially our parents. We start to question the beliefs they instilled on us. This is usually also the time we start to realise that we are different from other individuals. We start exploring our own identity. We also start to explore our own sexuality. I think it is easier for heterosexual people as they just keep carrying on in the way they were brought up to behave. For homosexual people this is the time they, or shall I say we, start to realise that we are different. We like the same sex more than the opposite sex. We realise that we get turned on by the same sex – god forbid! And then the inner struggle begins… I am not sure about girls, but most boys question their own sexuality more or less around the age of 14 to 15. They then decide or realise whether they are gay or straight.

Our beliefs are such a big part of us that we rarely question them. We rarely objectively look at our beliefs. Unless we are forced to when we realise we might be gay. We have to start to question those beliefs in order to successfully accept ourselves as gay. We have to challenge the norms of society. We have to realise that we have to almost perpendicularly go in against the norms of society.

It is said that gays are more evolved souls, since we have to go through so much shit to get to self acceptance and that there is immense personal growth involved. We do way more soul searching and introspection than the ordinary person on the street.

Think about these questions:

  • What do I believe about myself?
  • What do I believe I am capable of in my life?
  • What do I believe about other people’s relationships with me?

Let’s take it a step further:

  • What do I believe about heterosexuality?
  • What do I believe about homosexuality?
  • What do I believe about myself as a homosexual?
  • Which heterosexual beliefs are still of use to me as a homosexual?
  • Which heterosexual beliefs did I have to leave behind when I realised I was homosexual?

Did these questions challenge your beliefs about yourself? I truly hope so. Your beliefs can be limiting or empowering. I believe to challenge yourself from time to time is a good thing. Louise Erdrich said: “Things which do not grow and change are dead things.” Please do not stagnate. Keep on challenging yourself. Keep growing!

If you have any questions on this post, please leave a comment, or contact me directly.

What are you afraid of?

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime...

Okay, so you are contemplating coming out…or you have already come out to a few close friends… What is preventing you from taking the next step? What are you afraid of?

For me (and probably for most people) it was the fear of rejection.

I remember a conversation my mum and I once had in the car before I came out. She said that she doesn’t think being gay is a choice, because who in their right mind would choose to be disgraced by and shunted from society. That was such an “Aw, I love you mum” moment, but I couldn’t say it since I was still in the closet. To this day, this is still one of my main arguments when people tell me being gay is a choice.

Suppose being rejected is your biggest fear… Let’s start with and look at the bigger picture. Will it make a significant difference to the world (all 7.3 billion of us [as of July 2015]) if you came out? Not significantly, no. Would it make a difference to your continent? Not really, no. Will it make a difference to your country? Er, no. To your province or state? Nope. To your town or city? Well, depends how big the town is… City, no. Suburb? Maybe, depending on how many people you know in your suburb. Now it begins to come a bit closer to your skin. Would it really matter to your community? Well, maybe to the ones you choose to tell. Good point! To your friends? Same answer, depends on the individuals, or the specific circle. Now, let me ask you this, why only choose to tell some friends? Maybe, because you know how some would react, and maybe because you DON’T know how some would react. Am I right? I assume it will be the same with family?

Well, you assume you know how people will react. Never make assumptions (this one of the Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz writes about). Can you truly ever know how someone will react to a situation? Can you truly ever know how you will react to a situation? So, if you can’t know how you will react, how can you assume how someone else might react? The thing is you can’t. You’ll just have to see how they react.

The thought that keeps bugging me while I am writing this is, if someone reacts really negatively to you coming out, do you really want that person in your life? If someone rejects you for something you innately are, is it worth keeping them in your life? Do you need that rejection and negativity in your life? Will it contribute to your happiness? I don’t know. Am I wrong? All I’m saying is that unhappiness should never be tolerated. And that losing people along the way is a fact of life. I know, I know… I am one to speak… I hate losing people. I am a collector of people. Losing a friend is horrible, but sometimes it is inevitable… You maybe know this saying (cliché?): People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Man’s biggest fear is the fear of the unknown. However you look at it, all fears boil down to the fear of the unknown. How do you overcome the fear of the unknown? By making the situation known. Unfortunately you will have to gather your courage and just come out to know how people will react.

Leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest fear in coming out is or was. I would love to hear from you.

Alternatively, please contact me if you need any advice on how to come out, or if you have any questions about the above post.