For the longest time, my self-esteem was little to none. After hearing how stupid, ugly, and worthless I was consistently, it’s no surprise that my self-esteem was nearly non-existent. When I was younger, I believed what anyone said about me was true resulting in the opinions of others shaping the mindset I had for myself.
The goals that I had when I was younger disappeared when I thought about the chances of me successfully accomplishing or doing anything. I never applied myself in school because I just figured I would fail anyway. I didn’t join sports because I didn’t think I would be good at them. I never talked much because I thought anything I said would be perceived as stupid.
Looking back, it saddens me that the way I viewed myself held myself from the potential I had. It’s no surprise why my depression increased to a new high. I felt disgusted because I let opinions and negative thoughts about me affect how I viewed myself and the choices I made. I grew up paranoid of people watching me and judging my every move. I was treated terribly by multiple people constantly. One toxic person left, and another would enter. It seemed as if my life was a revolving door of toxic people.
When someone made a mistake, I would reassure them that it’s okay to make mistakes we’re only human. However, if I made the same mistake, I would send myself through a wave of feeling stupid and hopeless. I would consistently rip myself apart thinking that this is why I’m not good at anything. But why do I keep treating myself like this? I’m a person too. I certainly wouldn’t make someone else feel stupid for making a mistake. Why can’t I provide reassurance to myself too? I don’t deserve to be treating myself like trash.
Years of being so harsh on myself came into a new light. I wouldn’t talk to a friend the way I talk to myself. I couldn’t keep jeopardizing the opportunities in front of me due to the negative self-perception my mind created. No one can control my actions, mood, or thoughts. Only I can. I stopped letting the flashbacks of insults I’ve heard consistently replaying in my head. I let years go by feeling crippled by everyones criticism which altered my decisions and who I was. Losing sight of who I was made me realize that I can’t waste anymore time afraid of judgement or living for others. It’s my life, my choices, and my happiness. I’m not going to be afraid of judgement. It’s going to happen either way.
1. Self-Compassion Like I would with a friend, I showed compassion with myself rather than criticize and belittle anything I did. I viewed myself as a friend, not a worthless human being as I saw myself previously. I would console myself rather than make myself feel worse about saying or doing something I wasn’t proud of. It’s a waste of time and sanity to dwell on regret.
2. Self-Talk I became more conscious of my self-talk and tried pushing anything negative and harmful out of my thinking. Being negative toward myself and criticizing everything I’ve done has gotten me no where so far, so I figured being positive couldn’t hurt. Of course, it didn’t. I was probably one of the most pessimistic and anxious people there was. I worried about everything going wrong and didn’t have a good outlook on any situation or idea. I wasn’t going to become happy if I kept showering anything that came my way with negativity. Happiness doesn’t result from pessimistic words or thoughts.
3. Comparing Comparing myself to people took a toll on my self-esteem. I always thought that people were better than me because of how I viewed myself. I stopped comparing myself because everyone is different. I wanted to look for acceptance, so I became someone I wasn’t. Now looking back, I learned that I hated myself because I wasn’t myself. Now, I could care less how people view me and who accepts me or not, because I accept myself.
Don’t tolerate someone treating you like you’re worthless, useless, or a burden. Stick up for yourself like you would for a friend. You deserve to be treated with respect and to stand up for yourself just like anyone else. Do not belittle yourself and compare yourself to anyone else. You have a significant purpose.
No one has control over you. Only you have control of yourself. People will only get into your head if you let them.
Be grateful for the life you have and the person you are.