I am going to tell you something you are probably very unaware of. You may want to take a seat for this one. People have a tendency to hurt other people. Shocking, I know. Throughout my life, starting as far back as I can remember, there have been bullies. Not all bullies are violent. Some only hit you with their words. Whether you have been hurt verbally or physically, your hurt matters. Don’t you just hate it when someone tells you your pain isn’t so bad? Like what gives someone else the knowledge or the right to decide how you are able to react to things that have happened to you? We all react to situations differently.
Another subtle bullying habit I noticed is that some people do not want you to actually take in their compliment. For example, a coworker may tell you “you’re so smart, you should be doing something bigger than this,” but once you go ahead and try to do something bigger and better, they feel as if you are a sell out. It will make you wonder, why did they give the compliment if they did not want you to start acting from a place of feeling empowered? It just doesn’t make sense. So anyway, in conclusion, people are very strange and filled with issues! Recently I was talking to a friend who struggles with self confidence. He was bullied as a child and in his culture it is common to speak to each other in a demeaning way. As you can imagine, his self esteem has suffered as a result. In the past, he has chosen to cope with this by ignoring his pain and putting on a brave face. After doing this for years and years, it has become clear that the only way to overcome this pain is to face it and comfort himself in the way that he was never comforted.
This conversation with my friend helped me to recognize the ways that I need to support myself and work on my confidence. Just because people doubt you, does not mean you need to doubt yourself. Support yourself and actively be on your side by building yourself up. One thing I realized is that people nowadays tend to glamorize this idea of doing it all themselves. Sure, that may make them feel self-sufficient, but it comes from a place of brokenness. It comes from a place of complete frustration after not having your needs met. It is beneficial to be self-sufficient, but you can also recognize that not having anyone to depend on or support you, goes against our needs as humans. It is not shameful to be vulnerable and ask for confidence and reassurance. The people who love you will happily give it you when you ask. If they refuse, then it may be time to consider whether you want that person in your life. A simple way to build your confidence and practice self love is by writing notes to yourself in the morning. You know all those romantic good morning texts you have sent to your signifiant other? Well it is time to start sending them to you. You deserve to soak up some of that generous love that you so kindly give away. You could either send yourself a text, an email, or write yourself a letter. Whichever method you choose, make sure to write it as if you are writing to someone else. Use detail and look at yourself from an outside perspective. So often, we tend to be hard on ourselves, not looking at your good traits and instead only focusing on our flaws. Our partners have flaws too, but we know how to love them and make them feel good about themselves despite their shortcomings. It is time we start doing the same to ourselves.
This exercise may feel awkward at first since true self love (the kind that goes beyond sheet masks and candles) is not exactly celebrated in society. Resist the urge to judge yourself or feel silly and instead fully focus on yourself and what you deserve. Your letter doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it could be something simple like this:
Good morning! I hope you have an amazing, fun, productive day today. Remember your greatness and don’t forget to show up in the world as your highest self. You are capable of showing up that way every single day! I love you, I care about you, I choose you, I respect you, I support you.
See? Totally painless and very encouraging. In life, you cannot guarantee that people will show up for you, instead you will have to show up for yourself. My favorite Maya Angelou quote says “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I could do was be on my own side.” In a world where people are determined to tear others down and media is designed for the viewer to see issue within themselves, Angelou’s quote has never been more true. Send yourself some love. You deserve it.
Let’s grow together.
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