No you are not! Whatever it is has already happened and today is a new day. Feeling like a disgrace can completely take the wind out of your sails when you’re trying to leave that stuff behind and it doesn’t help you to make yourself better. If anything it puts you on the defensive in situations, and gives you a big barrier to overcome. It’s certainly not very empowering. You’ll feel nervous and ashamed around other people and that won’t help you feel better about yourself. Most likely you’ll spiral downward rather than picking yourself up and moving on.

Consequences may follow you but your actions and choices today can start you on a new road, one where you build towards the person you mean to be, someone you can be proud of being. I know plenty of people who have done things they’re not proud of and now are doing some world-changing stuff helping other people. They are using their past and their story to make this happen.

You have to own your life before you can do anything about it. You have to admit to yourself that you’ve done some things you wouldn’t want to repeat, and then draw a line under it and move forward.

What about the people that called you a disgrace in the first place? It can be hard to change yourself when you always have their voices, real or imagined, telling you that you’re a disgrace. Even as you go about turning things around, these people may not believe you’re serious, or they might even wasn’t you to fail. Some will never believe it. But you’re not doing this for them. You’re doing it for you and to inspire anyone else who will be inspired by you to do something different with their life.

Take what you have, use it, and step into the life you deserve – which is not to say ‘with no disasters or challenges’ but ‘being the best version of yourself that you can’. You’re here to help and inspire people to do the same.

You’re not a disgrace. Not of you refuse to be one.