The smartest and the most gifted of people tend to have a hidden self hatred for themselves because they have this obsission to be perfect and admired without realizing that they are only detroying the individuality within them, hence increasing the self hatred, which is a painful and destructive path to go through.
BUT, when the person musters the courage to look within themselves and realize that person inside is special... Sub7anAllah. It's a blessing and when one begins to encourage that individuality to emerge and embrace it, one can only describe it as a feeling of freedom.
And from THAT positive realization, your life will seem more clear, less complicated and everything will fall into place. However, one must never forget that person they used to be in the past, because that's the individual who helped them become the person they are today. =)