I had to be torn apart to put myself back together again.
I had to be naïve to become wise.
Also, I had to be weakened by bullying for several years before I could finally realize my own strength.
I had to be cheapened by others before realizing my worth.
I had to feel hate from others before I could finally love myself, all parts of myself.
When I was young, I was a beautiful girl to look upon. However, I didn’t think I was so beautiful. Because my classmates had bullied me for so long, I thought I was worthless. And why not? They had drummed that brutal narrative into my head for years.
They wanted me to hate myself as much as they hated me.
Every time I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. Therefore, I would jokingly put myself down to keep from seeming arrogant. My classmates and a few others had brainwashed me into thinking that “to like or love yourself was arrogance.”
Turning Pain Into Power
Many of my bullies would accuse me of being just that, arrogant. They called me stuck-up, full of myself, snooty, snob, or crazy. And those names were tame compared to the other names I was called, which I won’t mention here because of vulgarity.
Some of them referred to me as “Miss Prissy,” “Empress,” and other sarcastic names. Moreover, these names seemed to come anytime I smiled or showed even a sliver of confidence.
‘You see? When people consistently tell you that you’re this way or that, and in large numbers, you begin to believe it too. Therefore, one of the hardest things to do is to change that mindset once it’s instilled in you, especially after you reach young adulthood.
Self-depreciation is so unhealthy because it often determines your outcomes in life. Furthermore, it breeds laziness and failure. Any success I had wasn’t enough to satisfy me and I would shun it. I always thought that I should be doing more and being better.
I internally belittled myself not only because I feared looking arrogant, but also because I didn’t think I was good enough. Thus, when someone would compliment me, I should have accepted the compliment and thanked the person for it. But instead, I’d say something like, “well, I could’ve done better.” I would always belittle my successes when I should have been celebrating them.
I have noticed that we may compliment friends and family on how beautiful, smart, or how talented they are. Also, we advise them never to put themselves down. However, we find it so hard to extend the same love and support to ourselves.
Additionally, there were times I’d say things to myself I would never have said to another person, much less my friends and family. It’s sad when we find it so difficult to love ourselves as we would others.
Since those days, I’ve learned that the best kind of love is the love you give yourself. Because, without self-love, you won’t be able to love others properly and healthfully. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I finally decided that I was going to love myself no matter how others felt about me. However, it didn’t happen overnight.
This was the beginning a long journey. I was taking on an exceedingly difficult task, which was reprogramming my mindset. Therefore, I had to purge all the negative stuff I’d been told for so many years and it wasn’t easy by any stretch. It would take reversing and undoing many years of abusive programming. And it was going to require a lot of grunt work.
When I rose to this challenge, there were times people fought against me. Why? Because they did not like and were threatened by the positive changes that I was implementing for myself. There were times when my own mind fought against me. But, I stuck with it because that tiny spark within me always told me that I deserved better.
I continued to vomit out all the garbage others had made me believe about myself. And it was difficult to cleanse myself of the negative thoughts and self-beliefs that had only kept me shackled.
It was a long fight, but it was worth it! Today, I’m happy, confident, and comfortable in my own skin, which means I’m free! My intention is for you to be free too!
Here’s what works:
1.Celebrate your successes even if you don’t feel up to it.
2. Make a list of your positive qualities.
3. Make positive affirmations.
4. Reward yourself.
5. Talk kindly to yourself.
6. Catch every negative thought and replace it with a positive thought.
7. Do things you enjoy most.
8. Stay away from toxic people if at all possible.
9. Surround yourself with positive people.
10. Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet standards that are unattainable.
11. Place no value on the opinions of people who aren’t worthy of your time and energy.
12. BE YOURSELF!
If you practice these twelve things every day, I promise you that you will see change in your overall outlook. It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen fast. But it will all be worth it in the end. I guarantee it!
With knowledge comes empowerment!