Low Self-Esteem is something I have struggled with since as far as I can remember. What caused it? I don’t really know, all sorts of things can trigger it from how other people look at you to how you look at yourself. I think mine was a mixture of both.
As I’ve mentioned in a lot of previous posts, I have been mocked for my appearance quite a lot on and off throughout my life. To the point that I then started to believe for myself that I was never good enough to look at. The issue here is, once you start to agree that you’re ugly or not good enough, the more deeper it gets, making it harder to overcome.
I spent most of my adult life severely depressed about how ‘not good enough’ I had become. Particularly with certain social groups and men. I was never matched with guys who were in the good looking category, and if I ever did get a good looking guy they always saw me as just a bit of fun and never anything deeper. Only to then end up in long-term relationships with other people. The thing is, whether intentional on their side or not. When you have men treat you this way over and over again, you do tend to give yourself a negative outlook on yourself that you’re just not worthy of anything.
I never thought I’d love the idea of covering half my face with a mask, but yet I found it gave me comfort a little when I was out and about, my eyes were one of the few parts of me that I always got compliments on so I figured if I had the rest of my face covered maybe I’d look a little better. But this is not how I, or anyone should look at things.
The issue at hand here is, we constantly feel like we can’t win. If you act confident in yourself or love who you are or how you look, then people will refer to you as arrogant or bigheaded. If you are going to act like you’re the worst looking person ever, then guess what? You’re going to feel like it.
But it is easier said then done to just change your mindset on your confidence and appearance.
We can all easily stand around and say ‘I don’t care what people think’ or ‘I know I’m beautiful in my own way’ but it can become a bit of a rollercoaster if we don’t actually really feel or believe it. The thing is there’s a lot of things you have to consider and think about when addressing issues with low self-esteem.
Firstly I thought to myself: is it really about me? Or what I think should be me? What I mean by that is, am I feeling ugly within myself or not good enough because of the way that I genuinely look at myself and feel, or am I going along with what I’m seeing on social media and what I think is right and wrong ways to look at myself?
Because here’s the thing, when you think about it really, we are never the ones who initially look at ourselves and think ‘Wow that’s a horrible reflection’, we grow up in a society that leads us to believe that certain things are beautiful and cool, certain things are not. It’s growing up and having that one weird haircut people mock you for, or not being as slim as what all the other people in the school think are ‘hot’.
There are so many things we grow up with around us that make us feel like we’re in some permanent reality contest and social media has only added fuel to the fire.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as addicted to social media as the next person. Social media has sadly taken control over all of our mindsets because we have let it. And when it comes to social media… everyone is always living their best life aren’t they? We don’t post selfie’s of us first thing in the morning with scatty hair, we post filtered pictures of us looking the sexiest we possibly can. We don’t spend time posting about how we cried in the toilet over the nasty thing some bitchy girl said to us on a night out, we post a whole status about ‘I don’t give a shit screw you haters’ because we are trying to convince ourselves that this is how we feel. But it is so much harder than it seems to really feel this way.
I think one of the main issues I’ve always had is, whenever I try and act confident or say I’m happy with myself: there is always someone there to either turn around and knock me down a peg or two or call me bigheaded. And this is the biggest problem.
I have come to learn that people sadly are threatened when someone else acts confident. A lot of the time when someone was being a dick to me and putting me in my place so I wouldn’t think I was pretty, it said more about them then it did about me. Because bitter sad people react in bitter sad ways.
I can’t stop the negative comments made at me, and of course, I am not going to be ‘attractive’ to everyone. One of the great things about humans is we all have different tastes and nobody looks the same. But just because someone else might call me ugly doesn’t mean that I have to believe them!
It has a lot to do with manifesting too. I have come to learn a lot over the last couple of years that manifesting and law of attraction is actually a big thing and it does influence the things that happen in your life to an extent. I learned that a lot of the negative dating experiences I had in my past were actually manifested by me. Because I believed I wasn’t good enough for them. And the thing is, when you have this mentality that they can do better than you, it doesn’t matter if the guy is a good guy or is attracted to you or not, the way you behave and the way you manifest it all can influence how it turns out. The universe is a bit creepy like that you see 😉
It was only very recently that I was out with friends and I ended up kissing a guy we knew, a guy that all of us girls think is hot. I spent pretty much most of the evening confused as to why he wanted to kiss me and convinced myself he was just a drunk slut and I was just the nearest person available. I even said to him later on ‘I didn’t think you’d touch me with a barge pole’.
It was only the next day when I was talking to some girlfriends about it that one of them said to me ‘Zoë, you need to stop allowing people to think you’re not good enough! You have even told the guy you made out with that you think he can do better and then act surprised when guys don’t stay with you and it’s not normal behaviour. You need to acknowledge that you’re hot and any guy is lucky to have you.’ (Of course, the original rant from my friend involved a little bit more swearing and was more aggressive in nature but you get the point).
It took my friends aggressive voice note for me to actually sit back and think to myself. Shit, that’s a fair point. Why was I allowing myself to actually imply to guys that they can do better than me?
Why do we constantly compare ourselves to partners exes or assume we’re not someone’s type because we’re not good enough? Whatever happened to just clicking with someone, accepting that you two liked each other and being happy and comfortable?! It’s madness that we bring ourselves down so much.
So I decided to take a step back and look at myself in the mirror. Do you know what? There isn’t anything wrong with me. I’m healthy, I have great skin, I have small boobs – they’re not much, but they’re mine, I’m well proportioned, I am not horrendous to look at. I just allowed myself to believe I was because I was obsessed with being accepted in a certain way.
I am also a great person to be around. I love to make people laugh, my ADHD can make me really entertaining and I am always there for my friends if they need me in a crisis, I am also someone who tells people what they need to hear not what they want to hear. People would be lucky to get to hang out with me or be with me and it is NOT big headed or arrogant to say that.
We all need to love ourselves more ❤
I am now at a point where of course, I do have my ‘slip up’ moments where I suddenly question if I should like how I look or myself, but all in all I am much better off now that I am not constantly beating myself up over some shitty guy who didn’t text me back, or that the clothes I wear don’t match the latest fast fashion craze, or that the next guy I date had a hot ex girlfriend. (It’s important to always remember it is literally not important at all whether you think an ex is hot or not, an ex is always an ex for a reason).
I’ve actually started smiling a lot more now, I never used to smile at all but do you know what? Smiling makes me feel better and prettier, not because I think I have an amazing smile, but because when I smile it releases so many positive feelings I can’t describe and if I get just one smile back, it makes me feel great. We all need to love who we are in our full glory and be happy about it rather than care about the opinions of social media trolls or threatened individuals.
So here is a few things that I think might help anyone out there who is struggling with low self esteem or any mental health issues which has a negative influence on confidence. I have a particular few mantras that I try to remember to say each day (not always exactly word for word, but the points are the same):
I am confident in who I am and I love myself completely.
I may not be perfect, but I’ve learned from my past and I’m working towards a good future.
Anyone is lucky to have me around.
I am beautiful as I am and all that matters is how I see myself.
It doesn’t matter how other people see me, what matters is how I am looking at myself.
I AM good enough.
Also, if the above isn’t enough. I learned a while back when I was having psychotherapy, a little reflective task where you look in the mirror and basically go all the way down your body but only saying positive things about each section of your body. It is important that when you do this exercise that you are not thinking about what other people might say is bad about you. Think about what’s good about it all.
E.g. “I have a butt that a lot of girls would die for” or “My eyes are a rare but beautiful colour”.
It’s actually surprising what you can learn about what’s good about yourself rather than always focusing on the bad.
We are all beautiful in our own way and we deserve love and respect – most importantly from ourselves!!