When they say that, it all starts with you—how you present yourself, how you talk to yourself, how much (or how little) you listen to the little negative voice in your head (or the negative people around you)—they’re right.
For what seems like too long, I have stopped writing. I don’t think it’s about a lack of ideas or topics. It seems as though I have lost my voice. My confidence—in myself, my abilities, and what life can offer me. I don’t know how or when it stopped, but I do know one thing. I cannot stand to see myself like this anymore.
Taking a step back, I realized I started listening to the idea I thought some people in my life had of me. In reality, I don’t know what they believe, and perhaps what I held as the truth for more than a year now is an absurd, erroneous idea—that I am not good enough.
The nagging belief that I am not tall enough, not blonde enough, not a wordsmith (yet), not the one making everyone laugh with my stories, or able to speak with confidence about the goings-on in the world.
I have always competed with everyone, even strangers on the street, especially women who I thought were taller and more beautiful than myself. I have beaten myself up, tried to read about subjects to impress others, and even picked up a new, foreign language that I’d quickly forget. This is because I simply wasn’t learning for my own pleasure.
It’s rather amusing to realize that you’ve spent your whole life trying to please everyone around you, and it’s exhausting to try to play a role that isn’t you. Now, I have reached a point where I need this negative self-talk to stop—immediately.
The harmful self-bashing has destroyed parts of me, my confidence, and the love I should hold for my body and myself.
Now, the question is: How do I not fall into the trap again?
I don’t want to forget what makes me feel good. So how do I let others around me stop taking so much space in my life?
Remember, people will try to put you in a box.
Stand your ground.
Be yourself no matter what.
Be aware of your values, what makes you feel good, and what drains your energy.
Spend time alone, whenever you want. While the company of others can be rejuvenating, to know yourself, you need to spend time with yourself.
You know that feeling inside of you that tells you not to date this person, not work for this boss, or not go somewhere?
Listen to your gut.
The thing is, you have a million beautiful complexities, but not everyone wants to see them. Most people won’t let you shine, so find the ones that will.