There was a time in my recent past when I felt like I had hit my lowest point, and I was struggling with my self-image.
I was unhappy with my body, unhappy for not knowing who I was, and was always afraid of being imperfect. I sat around my apartment for hours simply upset with myself and scrolled through Instagram looking at people who seemingly had it all.
I would obsess over my flaws and view them under a microscope on a daily basis. It was unhealthy, to say the least, it’s unhealthy for anyone to do that to themselves. What could I have done about it, though? I felt helpless and angry.
All of us suffer from insecurities, and only some of us fall victim to a low self-image. We only see ourselves in a negative light, and we fail to look for solutions.
There came a point in my life when I decided I wanted to change that. Fast-forward to today, and I’m a completely different person, filled with happiness and a drive to succeed. It wasn’t a straight path, but it was a path based on a couple of principles that I decided I would live by.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others.
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who has been meaner to me than I’ve been to myself. All these years I’ve been beating myself up for not being as good, as pretty, or as happy as I thought everyone else was.
I would gauge my own success by comparing it to the success of others. Of course, that’s a sure-fire way to squash your self-esteem and send you reeling into a negative downward spiral. Could my life actually compare to anyone else’s?
I had to learn the hard way that you cannot try to compare your life or what you have to the lives of others. We each have our own individual flaws, insecurities, obstacles, and ways we perceive success. Life is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of deal.
Putting myself down and comparing myself to others did absolutely nothing for me except worsen my state of anxiety. It was hard to even venture to the grocery store without feeling like I had been punched in the ego as I was leaving. I couldn’t stop comparing myself to others. I didn’t know how to stop.
I had to learn to admire other people’s beauty without questioning my own. I had to admire other people’s successes and aspire to become successful as well. Every time a negative thought crossed my mind, I had to tell myself that it wasn’t worth me being unhappy about someone else’s life. I had to either admire or aspire instead.
Throw out the idea that you are either better or worse off than someone else. Whose job is it to judge anyway? Thinking you’re better than others makes you arrogant, and feeling like others are better than you makes you feel unworthy. What if you were comfortable enough with yourself to not even have these ideas cross your mind?
Ideally, that’s where I would like to be. I can’t say that I’m there yet, but I’m getting closer. There’s really no need to make these assumptions. They are hurtful to anyone and everyone. Treat everyone like you would like to be treated. There is more to people than meets the eye.
As you work on staying away from comparisons, your next step would be to work on yourself.
Admire and aspire.
If you desire to be a better version of yourself, you have to take action. We can’t sit around and wish for good things to happen to us or to make us happier. We have to create those opportunities on our own.
Think about what upsets you, then go out and try to change that. I remember feeling upset about how my body looked. I remember thinking I wasn’t good at anything. I felt I was boring and uninteresting, and it made me feel worthless. There’s no point in sitting around and complaining though. It’s been proven to not work, so what’s your plan instead?
Work on yourself. You have to create value in your life. You have to do what makes you happy because nobody else can do that for you. Happiness comes from how you feel within.
I took action by taking initiative and began a solid workout regimen. Later on, I began to search for something I could be “good” at. I took up many hobbies until I found one that stuck. Slowly, I started to feel a change, not just physically but also mentally.
Working out was making me feel more confident. It was giving me hope and showing me that taking action is the only solution to my complaints. Simple as that. Achieving these physical accomplishments helped me to see that it takes work along with trial and error to achieve things.
As I gained more confidence, I ventured into trying new hobbies. I picked up hoop dancing, drawing, reading, and finally, writing. The last one was where I was truly able to shine. I was able to enjoy hoop dancing, drawing, and reading in private. However, when I started writing I decided that I would write for a blog. I wanted to challenge myself and put myself out there, so it made sense that I continued to move forward after that.
I have gained more confidence in my abilities, and I always keep in mind that I must leave my comfort zone and try new things. You’ll never know where your life can take you if you never try. Complaining is not the solution, taking action is.
I know what you’re thinking, it’s scary, it’s uncomfortable, and what if you fail? I have always had a fear of failure, but you can’t let that stop you.
When you try something new, you can’t expect to be good at it from the beginning. True failure is the failure to try. The only way to become good at something is by doing it. Screwing up is part of the process. This applies to practically everything in life.
Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
Failure should be seen as a learning experience. It is not embarrassing, and it does not make you a loser. Anyone who thinks that way has an incorrect mindset.
I have tried and failed at many things, even at creating businesses, but I can say I did that. I once had an at-home screen printing business, and it failed. I once took two months to create a Craigslist-style website, and once it was up, I hated it. I finally found a workout regimen that works for me today, but I had spent four years failing at it. Did I let any of these things stop me? NO.
I know that my friends and family know about all of my failures. Every time I had a new business idea, they knew about it, and every time it failed, they knew about it. Am I embarrassed? No. Am I a failure? No! What I see and what I feel is the determination to succeed without fearing the opinions of others. The only way you will go is up as long as you keep trying, keep failing, and keep improving.
Today, I continue to write for my own blog, despite my fears of not being the best writer or having the best content. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m doing what makes me happy, and in return I’m creating more opportunities for myself. Here I am, writing for thelifeandrhymes.com, and I probably would haven never imagined myself doing so if I had never given myself a chance for fear of failure.
Just recently I learned how to make jewelry, and I’m setting up my own business once again. This time I’m not afraid whatsoever. I’m not afraid to fail. I’m not afraid of what people think of what I create. I am simply happy doing what I love to do.
We can’t move forward if we are afraid of the things that could happen. We have to go out and experience it for ourselves and not be concerned with what anyone else thinks. We have to try, and we have to expect to fail a couple of times. Those who make it are those who never give up trying.
Always Face Forward.
Think of everything you are capable of. The only thing that is stopping you is you. Build upon yourself to become the person you want to be. You can’t sit around comparing, complaining, and being unhappy. You have to move. Move forward, take action, and learn from all of your mistakes. You can do anything once you start to believe in yourself, once you stop beating yourself up. Do these things, and you will find that you are confident, you are interesting, and you are priceless. Do whatever it takes to repair your self-image. You’ll never know what that feels like if you don’t try.
To read more about Rosie’s journey jump to her site Sweat Glitters