“Push your glasses up off your nose, Grandma!” she said, “Your nose is too small for them big framed glasses.”
Her raggedy opinion didn’t matter. I loved my glasses with their square, black and turquoise frames. And so did the outside world.
I pushed them up with my index finger.
We sat across her dining room table having a heart-to-heart conversation. She sipped an alcoholic concoction through a bended straw. I gulped down fruit punch in an attempt to hide my feelings with each swallow.
“One thing we have to do is work on your confidence,” she said. I continued to look in her eyes to prove I could handle the words rolling off her tongue with ease. She was the overly opinionated older cousin.
“Yes, I’ve been told that.”
“You walk like ugh.” She lazily moved her shoulders and arms side-to-side. I saw me within each sway. “You gotta own that shit.”
“That’s easy for you to say. That’s been you all your life. I’m insecure about things.” In my head I was taking a red pen and circling them all.
My forehead. My stomach. My voice. My hit or miss fashion sense. The countless jobs I didn’t get.
The men that didn’t respond to my messages on dating sites.
I had reason not to own my shit. So I thought.
“You’re the total package. You have your own place, car, degrees, you’re beautiful and you’re published.”
All of this was true but I didn’t want to fully believe the hype.
This was me just days ago. 30, single, educated, cute and Googeable. Yet, I couldn’t escape the thoughts in my own head about the one person I know better than anyone else.
I suffered from low self-esteem. I didn’t want to admit it and I didn’t know what to do about it. Until Now.
Don’t Give Insecurities Life
I’ve always had my share of insecurities. They ranged from things I could control to things I was born with.
As a person with a grand imagination, I walked the earth thinking someone was always watching and criticizing me.
My inability to truly love myself in spite of what I sounded like…the way my muffin top not so cutely spilled over at the waistline of my jeans…the way I could easily be overlooked in a crowd.
It was all holding me back.
Breaking free from self-inflicted insecurities is an essential step to dethroning the Queen of Low Self-Esteem.
You know how you watch a video or hear a song that moves your soul and the first thing you think is oooh that just gave me life? We do the same thing every time we dwell on our internal dislikes.
Pull the plug on the self-hateration.
This may seem hard to do at first thought. However, I challenge you to come face-to-face with your insecurities. Literally.
Grab a piece of paper and pen and create two columns. On one side write down the things you dislike about yourself. On the other, write the things you love.
Be honest. Like really honest.
Tear the paper in half, read over your dislikes one good time and then throw it away. And don’t grab it out of the trash later.
Take your list of loves and put it in a place where you can see it every chance you get. Being Mary Jane that thang. (I took a picture on my phone, because hey, my phone and I go together everywhere.)
Now, don’t worry if you have 30 dislikes and five likes. The scale isn’t in the numbers but in the value we place on our best attributes. We’ve lived with our insecurities long enough. It’s time to end that toxic relationship for good and go for the loves we’ve been halfheartedly embracing.
Kinda like that dude you’ve been friend-zoning.
Embrace The Results
I’ve written many lists before but never one like this. One where I had to stare at my own struggles while attempting to admire my greatness.
As I sat at my dining room table, I realized the things I disliked about myself came quicker to mind than the things I loved. Many of the items I’d labeled as insecurities over the years were actually either things I could change or qualities that attributed to my unique personality.
And my list of loves, well, they were all things that came natural to me, so I’d never given more than a second thought to them.
I’m humorous, nerdy, selfless, quiet, intelligent, supportive, self-published and so on.
Minutes later, I had little recollection of the insecurities on my list. Because I discarded the paper, I already started to refocus my energy; not on what I hated, but on what I admired about me. What made me Dory in a sea full of Nemos.
What about you?
Let this be the start of our journey together. The goal is to walk with self-love and confidence, ridding ourselves of negative thoughts, little to no actions, and decide once and for all that it’s time to walk in our greatness.
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