How you see yourself, how you talk to yourself, how you handle your defeats is more important than how others see you or what they think of you. It’s a lesson I keep learning the hard way, the more you look on the outside for validation, the less you achieve, the less you accomplish, the less you do because what others think of you, their words, and their judgments can truly paralyze you.
Here’s a fact that’s never going to change, there will always be someone who doesn’t believe in you, there will always be someone who judges you, there will always be someone who doesn’t think you’re good enough for whatever you’re doing, there will always be someone who doesn’t think you are worthy of their time and attention and there will always be someone who criticizes everything you do. These people exist in our lives, they can be in our family or our friends, in our circle or our work and you can never run away from them but the good news is you don’t have to.
You don’t have to listen to their half-hearted advice or their unsolicited opinions. You don’t have to filter who you are or give up on your dreams because they all agree that you won’t be able to make it. You don’t have to see yourself through their eyes. You don’t have to let them dictate whether or not you deserve love. You don’t have to lend them your ears when they want to put you down and you don’t have to engage in their debates.
Here’s another fact, at the other end of the spectrum, there will be people who believe in you, who encourage you to go for your dreams, to take on more challenges, to step out of your comfort zone. There will be people who see you as more than enough and overqualified. There will be people who brag about you and how proud they are of you or how lucky they are to know you. Like a pendulum, you’ll always swing between these two ends which is why you should never really get attached to any of them because how you see yourself will always be more important than how others see you.
Because if others see you as bad and you are confident in your abilities, it won’t stop them from judging you anyway and if others see you as good and you’re full of doubts about yourself, then they won’t do you any good either. There will always be battles you can’t win and sometimes these people may be right about you but if you spend your life trying to prove everyone wrong then you’ll never truly live. What’s more important is not allowing these people to get to you or stop you from living the life you want even if it means losing a few battles and people along the way.
I am not sure of you but in my opinion, the most attractive people are the ones who know that their physical appearance isn’t the most attractive thing about them. They have a certain kind of confidence, they’re usually more fun to hang out with, and they’re the kind of people who are ready to love you for who you are. Not what you are.
Body image is no light subject. There are people who are suffering legitimate illnesses, mental and physical, relating to how they appear.
At the bare minimum, I assume, everybody feels as though they are sub-par at some point, in some way. I am in no way trying to diminish the suffering that people experience regarding their physical appearances. I just hope that, if even for a few minutes, you can hear me out.
I think that attraction that is not physical can end up being physical eventually, when you really grow to care about someone. Listen, I’m not going to kid and say personal grooming and cleanliness aren’t important, they obviously are. But at the end of the day, you need to be with someone who wants you for who you are, and respects how you want to present yourself. Not someone who wants you to look like they want you to.
How you choose to present yourself does say something about you, we can’t pretend it doesn’t. But one of the most powerful things it can say is that you care enough to take care of yourself, but you still know that it’s not the only thing great about you.
It always gets to me when I hear guys admit that they’re ashamed or concerned about their appearance. I guess it’s because I’m so used to hearing girls lament the subject, hearing that guys do as well is both refreshing (whoa, we’re all human? We all feel this way?!) guys you don’t need to be chiseled to be loved or admire. You only need to be confidence in your looks and skin. But equally disturbing because it’s so unfortunate that anyone has to think like that. Guys/Ladies are looking for real, loving, genuine, kick-ass people who lift others up and make them happy. If you are interested in girls (or guys) who are made happy by how in shape you are, it may be time to look elsewhere. (Fact)
The point is, even if you’ll never be able to be completely satisfied with how you look, you don’t have to be to still be a perfectly worthy and beautiful person. Love yourself for everything inside you, and you’ll be able to find someone else who does as well.
Most credit goes to Brianna Weist. My professional and senior colleague.
In the post, some valuable lessons of self-love and tackling anxiety are being explained.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
Even though I care for patients struggling with their mental health needs, I felt compelled to keep silent about my own because of the existing stigmas in our culture. I crafted a mask to hide that I was not coping, and my manager was dumbfounded to hear about my anxiety, saying, “But you are doing so well! So why?”
“Why?” was a question I desperately wanted to answer, as I began experiencing panic attacks before work, which resulted in lack of sleep, emotional drain, and worsening of my mental health. I’d wake up hours before my shift with heart palpitations and a feeling of dread and doom that wouldn’t go away.
Calling a friend before and after work to vent helped curb my anxiety. It helped me understand myself more and forced me to confront my ineffective coping mechanisms and derailing mental health. It is also what encouraged me to schedule my first therapy appointment, which has brought dramatic improvements in my health, mindset, and life.
2. “Sucking It Up” Doesn’t Mean Resilience
Although I felt relieved after quitting, I was consumed by guilt and anxiety, criticizing myself that I was pathetic and couldn’t just “suck it up.” I later realized that was the catch though: I had “sucked it up” for so long that I finally exploded because I was ignoring the real issue.
How could I care for others if I could not care for myself?
While work drained me of energy, anxiety kept me from practicing self-love and care. It felt like my whole life revolved around work, but I had to keep “sucking it up” to find the energy to cook for myself or even take a shower.
Being truthful to myself about the work I am capable of and my emotions surrounding work is the most resilient action of self-love. I now think of myself as my own patient. If I wouldn’t tell my patients–or better yet, my family, friends, and loved ones–to return to something that harmed their health, then what excuse do I have for myself?
3. Set Aside Time for What You Love
When I found the space to pursue writing and integrate it into my life with my current nursing job, I started to feel whole again. I began blocking off time for myself, such as reading before my shift or taking bubble baths after work. It helped structure my life and remind me that there are so many moments in a day to be happy.
Anything will grow if you give it the time and space, whether that’s unbearable anxiety or blossoming mental health. So find time for something that makes you feel present, happy, and brings you back to life.
Have you ever observed people or yourself feeling taunted by social norms?
I’ve noticed the history of this for myself, spanning back to childhood, and I’ve noticed it time and time again for others I encounter in my work, where people have fallen into the hole of comparing themselves to others and comparing themselves to socially accepted norms and measures of ‘success’. Granted, it’s a pretty darn big hole, so actually, it’s not that hard to fall into! When I’ve witnessed this Comparison Conundrum as I like to call it, it’s like hearing a cry echoing from deep within the hole, which sounds a bit like this:
Everyone else is married now, and I’m not. Something’s wrong.
Everyone else is buying houses now, I guess I should too.
I’ve got this job but it’s not really a career like other people have.
They’ve found their passion, I still don’t know what mine is.
I’m falling behind.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
I want to ‘switch lanes’ in life but I don’t want to go backward. It’s too risky.
They are successful and did it that way; I should do it that way too.
They are thinner/more attractive/more fashionable/more successful/braver/stronger than me. I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.
I’m not capable like them, I guess I’m just not destined to have a life like them.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This hole is so easy to fall into because often we’re invited into the hole, with our mind reinforcing that we’re falling behind via negative thoughts, supported by well-meaning people telling us that we should do this and that. So, of course, we’d then end up in the hole when everything points that way. Our mind reinforces what we see and hear, telling us it is true and if only we could figure out what we need to be and do in order to be like everyone else, then everything would be fine, right?
Except, you’re not everyone else. You’re you. No one is like you. No one. You make your own decisions about what you need and want, and when it feels good to you. If you want a house right now, buy one. If you don’t, don’t. If you want to travel, travel. If you want a big career, have it. If you want to do volunteer work, do it. If you want to be single, be single. If you want kids, have them. If you don’t, don’t. Do what feels good to you, not what others tell you that you should feel good about. And when I say others, I primarily include in that all the advertising, all the propaganda and all the mass media messaging we see day to day that conditions us in a way that we don’t even consciously realize. Start listening to the one thing you can trust – your soul. Your soul is your true self, below any rampant negative thoughts that are leading you astray.
And you might say, “I can’t hear my soul. I don’t know what it’s telling me!”
To which I would suggest that you be still and quiet as often as possible. Listen without fear of what rises up from within you. You do know what you want and need. You do know what makes you feel good. And, let your signals guide you home.
Listening to the advice of others, proffered from their own paradigm, will never triumph over your inner knowing and divine guidance.
Do you compare yourself to others?
Do you compare your situation and status to that of others?
What prompts you to do that?
How does that make you feel?
If you’re feeling sad, alone, disconnected, lacking, not enough or plain old exhausted from it, then give it up. Chose to let it go and be open to exploring who you are and what is important and meaningful to the real you – that is, you below any negative thoughts, and conditioning and any fear. We all have negative thoughts, we have all been conditioned and we all have fear. If you are alive, then you have experienced all of this, it is impossible not to. But now you are awake, and you have the choice to either be defined by these things or to break free.
Being someone you are not, in an attempt to live up to social norms, means that signals will eventually intervene to help you. As Marianne Williamson says, “The universe is self-organising and self-correcting”. If you are not aligned to who you really are, your true self, the natural order of the world in which we live will eventually assist you to see this. Intervening signals are not always pleasant, but they are signposts to help us head in a new, better, healthier, more beneficial direction. When things in your life ‘turn to custard’, it could well be because you are not in your flow, you might have accidentally swum into someone else’s flow. So, get out of their river and get in your own
Here is my final word on this subject, and when I say it to you, know that whatever I write is really a message to myself as much as it is to you. For in saying it to you I am reminding us both:
NEVER compare yourself to others. EVER.
NEVER try to be someone else. EVER.
You were born extraordinary and unique.
Any time you compare yourself to others, trying to be something else or like someone else, you deny the beautiful individuality that you were gifted when your soul chose to come into this life.
Create your own norms in life. The norms of society have no bearing on you unless you choose them. At all times, be yourself. There is nothing more magical, perfect and beautiful than you being you.