What do you think of you?
I met someone today.
That someone told me that they had recently come across a photo of me. And I cringed. Literally, my face scrunched up and the sound that came out of my mouth was anything but pleasant. This reply only lasted for about one second, but it was probably enough to let that person know what I thought about myself.
Their first impression of me, was this short, one second response and unfortunately, this has been a normal reply for when someone tells me they have just seen my picture, read a piece I’ve written or seen a video I filmed.
I’ve always believed that what others tell me reflects who they are and what they think. But, I never truly related that belief to what I’m radiating to people.
Though I have always been proud of the person I am, my self-esteem has consistently been a work in progress and my reaction to the reality of someone glancing at a photo of me mirrored this. I immediately started questioning the whole situation:
They saw a photo? Which photo?
What was I wearing?
What did they think of me?
Yes, I am an over-thinker. And not only did my overthinking lead me to those questions, but I felt as though I had to impress them with my personality afterwards. Because, somehow, simply seeing a photo of me didn’t do justice to the person I am or what I can offer them.
Amid this spiritual journey, I know there is nothing good that can come from these impressions I leave. For me or for others.
Self-confidence is our view on our own abilities to do something. Self-esteem is our perception of ourselves, usually as a result of social norms and what we believe ourselves to be.
For years, I have placed my confidence at the utmost importance knowing that if I wanted to succeed, I had to believe in my ability to do anything. It has helped me tremendously when it came to going after my dreams. But, I never realized that my comparison myself to other people’s standards was crippling and manifesting it’s way into my life through my conversations, my actions, and my thoughts or self-talk. My self-esteem was being pushed aside.
How am I radiating love and acceptance when I’m unconsciously showing people that I do not love and accept myself in all forms? And what the hell does it matter anyway?
Social norms are a thing, but they’ve never mattered to me, so I shouldn’t continue to measure myself against them. That photo is an echo of me; no makeup, no filters; in my truest form at the time. It was a direct product of how I present myself to people. I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I shouldn’t be ashamed of me.
And you shouldn’t be ashamed of you.
Believing, loving, and accepting ourselves are some of the most powerful traits a person can posses and also the most challenging when we’re worrying if others believe, love, and accept us.
Other people’s thoughts are just that, their thoughts. In no way should they hurt you or concern you because, at the end of the day, YOUR thoughts come to bed with you.
New Year’s Resolutions are not my thing, but from today on, I will continue to remember this message and I hope it helps any of you who are dealing with similar situations…
Do you also struggle with wavering self-esteem? What methods or techniques do you use to keep negative self-esteem at bay? I’d love to hear from you.