As a wise man (or was it a woman?) used to say, our greatest enemy is ourselves.
Following the launch of my blog, you could not imagine how euphoric I was feeling. After months of just planning it out in my head, I finally took action and did something about it. What I didn’t anticipate was the pressure that this blog was going to bring me. Self-promotion has become the most stressful since having to post almost everyday isn’t my nature at all. The thing is, I kind of loathe social media. It may seem that I love it (posting on my Instagram and sometimes on Facebook, Twitter, etc.,), although I only have them because it’s the easiest way to catch up with my family and friends around the world.
I don’t like how it (social media) makes me constantly compare myself to other people. I hate how ‘self-worth’ is measured and felt with the amount of likes your photo gets or how many friends or followers you have. I hate how it creates this division between who you are in real life and who you are online. I mean, it’s good for some people who may be shy in those room full of people kind of situations and are only able to break out of their shell in this digital space, but I believe self-image will always boil down to you being content with the physical being you put to bed every single night – not your computer, nor smartphone.
That’s when I realized that I’m not the only one in this battlefield of ‘am I worth’ and ‘I can’t do’ its. My family is not omnipotent, as I would want them to be. And my friends go through the same millennial shit that makes me question our own existence… This made me mindful of everyone’s dissatisfaction being deeply rooted in the way that we actually view ourselves. We lack in looking inwards – accepting the flaws that we have and actually moving forward with them. We really do cut ourselves short when the moment comes and the degree depends person to person.
So how do we shake this demon of a feeling off?
In the beginning of this article, I was telling you why I hated social media. I cut it off because it made me feel bad about myself. This is a classic instance of how my self-doubt ran me over. On the other hand, if I were in an alternative universe where I had the confidence of Beyoncé, social media would not make me its rag doll; social media would be my ally. From these examples, there is one thing that brings them together: self-esteem. And the difference between them would be the amount I’d have for myself.
Discovering – or rediscovering – your worth, yet alone maintaining it is a long, however fulfilling process. The first step to combating it is being more accepting to our truth – and leveraging that – trusting more in our abilities and selves.
Trust is an important component in our everyday lives. It is the foundation of our relationships: the bridge that allows sides to connect. If trust does not exist, the value of these becomes null… worthless. The relationship that matters most in this constant battle with self-doubt, is the one that we have with ourselves. No one knows us better than the person we see in the mirror everyday and that is an evil in itself. The moment we start thinking that we are not worth anything we set our mind to, be the moment we let our self-doubt win.
So how do we develop that trust?
For the past few weeks, creating this article has been a headache because I had my own doubts in giving advice on this topic. What I do know for sure is that if I compare myself to the person I was a year ago to the person that I am today; my outlook towards myself has improved through my shift in thinking:
- Start letting go of the things that are beyond your control and be positively flexible
We have this tendency to visualize a certain reality for ourselves. This could be for our life goals or just a way for us to feel our worth even though that ‘picture’ hasn’t even happened yet. Though, when the moment starts to not go the way that we envision and we start feeling the pressure of not amounting to our expectations – we dig back into our dark holes.
Remember, that you can’t control life to be the way you plan it, especially in fine detail. What you can control is your mindset in attaining those life goals. If it does not go your way, find another way; don’t give up because it wasn’t what you anticipated. This will lift a huge load off your shoulders and give you more time to appreciate and learn from these obstacles rather than ranting about them and not moving forward. Be patient and steadfast.
- Give more time for yourself every day of every year
Ever since I graduated, I underestimated the power of me time. I remember a life before where my daily schedule was all about that home-work-home cycle. Committing yourself to your job is never a bad thing because you’re supposed to be doing that. However, not committing time for your wellbeing in each day of the 365 that we are given each year is no exception. And I’m not talking about the infamous ‘lying down on your bed and staring at the ceiling’ kind of me time, okay?
Tough love. When was the last time you exercised? The last time you read a good book or meditated? When was the last time you developed a new skill or took a walk outside just because? How about travelling to a foreign land alone? It’s in these experiences that we learn more about ourselves subconsciously. Just like any relationship, the more we give quality time to it (in this case, our mind, body, and spirit), the stronger the bond becomes and our value materializes.
Which altogether brings me to my last point…
- Never compare yourself to other people’s anything and focus on you, where you’re going, and where you want to be
Whether it be how they look like or how well off they are in life– don’t even start. They are doing their lives and are most probably comparing themselves to other people at times as well. I would used to look through my social media feed and think…
‘aww I wished I had her figure’
‘this person is already a millionaire, while I’m still struggling to keep minimum balance’
‘what is this effin’ life that I have?’
These are distractions and you are letting yourself get preoccupied by other people’s lives that 1.) You have no control of and 2.) Have no direct relationship to your own life. Rather than moping around and wishing you had their lives, why not put in the work to make your life yours? You want her figure? Start working out and getting on that healthier diet. You want to become a millionaire? Stop spending on the unnecessary and start investing on that amazing idea that you’ve been holding off for ages. Don’t let the fear of you not being good enough for those things result to your own failure.
Because you will fail a lot. It’s an inevitable fact. Though that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to reach your goals; that doesn’t mean that you’ll never discover your purpose. Like I said before, we all have our own timelines – and this is what makes each life beautiful; not one is the same because we build our life as we go.
Self-doubt will always be that hater that’ll never give up. Worst part about it, is that it doesn’t exist in our comments section – it’s living inside us like a parasite that only feeds on negative energy and disbelief, getting stronger with each bite.
So don’t let it consume you, because believe it or not, you know deep down you’re worth more than that.
As for me, this whole self-promotion thing is going to take some getting used to, but hey I’m learning. 😉