Your thoughts shape your vision. You see what you chose to see, because all perception is a choice. I have always had a feeling that I was good for nothing. My style, my tone, my thought process, my abilities etc..etc... have been always criticized by my mother. She did that of course with a good intention to change me for good. She was so worried about my carelessness and often reminded me how it's important to be mindful about every one, everything that concerns our life. Like what to wear, how to sit, how to speak etc..etc... because she worried about society's acceptance. She also had concerns about me being stubborn, and raising my voice against men/elders at home. A stubborn girl never had a good name in her family. It is criticized as "vayaadi" She was confused about my dressing and choice of life style, since she felt I was a no-female material. Of course I did not worry about going out or burn my skin under the sun... I did not dare to travel alone or speak out when injustice happened. I did not show any interest in cooking or house keeping or even watching soaps like other women in my family. Rather, my interests were on politics, cricket and I always had a set of male friends to discuss all these in detail. So, she was right according to what she knew. All her worries were reasonable for a mother like her. At that age, I didn't know what was right. I was confused. Since I trusted mom the most, I too believed that I was not good as others (like my sister or cousin or girl friends); hence my mom was right. I even tried hard to change myself, and failed miserably. I was forced to accept my mistakes, which I never thought as mistakes. I was asked to seek forgiveness for none of my faults from others who mistook me. At some points, it has created a huge identity crisis in me, because I was not the real me. In my twenties, my university friends were amazed at who I was. They often say they wish they were me, or they wish they were allowed to be me at least once in their life. I could not understand what was special in me for them to have such wishes. I always thought their visions were blurred because the real me was covered with my family's wealth & fame. I never thought that they knew me enough. My self realization happened only when I entered the job market. That too when I chose to work for the development sector against all the odds. I had to take a huge step along with my family's disagreement to move in here. Again the same amount of criticism, uncertainty, confusions.... but I chose to follow my instincts. Here I met a complete different sets of people. All are well educated, exposed, matured and from different countries. They saw me differently... The same qualities, the same life style, the same person in me was looked differently by a different set of people. My carelessness was treated as a gift. My ex boss used always praise me for having a "never-mind" attitude when it comes to taking criticism or complaints that are gender specific. You know, when the society can not kill your dreams, they assassinate your character. Worrying won't help because it is not about you, but about them. My stubborn character has been positively accepted as being assertive. I had a huge fan following in the team for being able to raise my concerns for myself or for the team. I am not someone who sit at the table and have no voice. I always raise my voice and make sure it is heard. If my voice is not heard, I don't continue to sit at the table as voiceless. Rather I would create my own table, and approach people who are ready listen. The world is yours, not someone else's. And that is something not criticized here at my work place. Finally the last but not the least... no one ever comments on my individuality for being who I am now. Yes, I don't dare to go out, travel, speak out, raise my concerns before others no matter who are they, or even have different sets on interest usually women don't like. So what, I am unique, and my uniqueness is accepted here. I have a huge set of friends, including women who are like me. Who think out of the box and share different ideas instead of following the norms blindly. Being with them motivates me, makes me be creative and successful in so many ways than being with my birth family that criticize my fundamental identity. I still don't blame my birth family for the criticism. Above everything else, it was their love that made them criticize my nature. All they wanted was to change me, so that they believed i would do well. It is their ignorance. But I am glad that I made my family elsewhere, and am allowed to be myself all the time. My husband, my kids, my friends, my colleagues, my acquaintance, my work mates etc..etc... do appreciate me for who I am and that's what important to me. It is the same me... same quality, same presentation.... but I have been looked at differently by two different sets of people. It is because people see what they want to see. They chose their measurements from the scale they have, and their perception is their choice. Just because someone doesn't like your style or choice or whatever... doesn't mean you are wrong. It is their perception only. You have no control over what they think or what they want. Be yourself, and never lose your identity. There will be people who would like the way who you are. Make them as your people, and move on in life.