Tag Archives: self-confidence

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” -Tyra Banks

meI woke up late today and had to rush to get ready to head to school with Zack. I have an interview later and I couldn’t find my brush and nothing was going right. I felt like I was failing everything. The was supposed to start off good, I was supposed to be excited about this upcoming interview. But instead, I was thinking about how ugly I was going to look because I had to rush. I was thinking about how I didn’t prepare enough so I was going to fail the interview. I was being all around negative and hateful to myself.

Have you ever felt like you hated yourself, for one reason or another? Where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? Thankfully, I found several articles to help me understand all of this.

little 2However, I want to start by dispelling a myth that has changed the world. What is that myth? Well, many people today believe that girls get their negative self-image from dolls and cartoons they watch. For example, Dora the Explorer and other iconic kids shows used to be rounder in size (because they’re kids) but people were claiming their size was making their kids obese. Seriously? No, you want to know where I got my negative self-image? I got it from family, friends, and other girls who bullied me. It had nothing to do with Barbie’s unrealistic size. littleI never once thought, “I want to be her size, because it’s what’s pretty.” I saw Barbie as a doll, not as something to aspire to. I never once looked at the old Care-bears and thought, “Look at their size, I should eat more to be like that.” We need to stop blaming unrelated sources for the issues other females are causing. Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to fix it and it only gets worse as you get older. It turns from what other people are saying to you and about you, to what YOU are saying to you and about you.

Ok, back to what I was saying in the beginning. First of all, I want to say that I found an amazing video that I will add below. I hope you watch it because it’s important and goes along with what I said above.

little 3Now, I found an article titled “The Psychology of Insecurity: Where Does Self-hatred Come From?” This answers many of the questions I just posed above: where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? The article states, “Nobody is born with a gene for self-hatred – it’s an environmental and cultural development that comes from your place in society and your experiences.” This is so unfortunate that the people who are supposed to help us, only cause us to hate ourselves. But it’s not all because you were abused, the article also states, “You can feel insecure simply because your parents worked too much as a kid or had to divide their time among too many siblings. A child’s early identity formation is crucial, and if no one is around to teach them they are valuable, special, and loved, they can have a hard time feeling it later on.” The article ends with saying, “It’s difficult to pinpoint one underlying cause of insecurity. It can start in childhood or it can develop over time. It can cripple you mentally and emotionally, or it can simply make it hard to ask the girl at the bar for her number. But what really matters is that virtually everyone is insecure in one way or another. When you’re working to overcome to absorption of negative attitudes and beliefs about yourself, remember that almost everyone you know has gone through the same battle.”

This was such a blessing to find. Sometimes it’s a good reminder that other people go through this also. But how can I love myself again? How can love me the way I did when I was little? For this, I turned to another article titled “How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion” The thing that you need to focus on, according to the article, is self-compassion. The five things they give are as follows:

  1. Talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you care about
  2. Recognize that beliefs do not equal truths
  3. Embrace the concept of “good enough”
  4. Consider turning to spirituality or religion
  5. If you hate yourself for mistakes you made, make amends

gmaLet me talk about these for a moment. First, talking to yourself as if you were talking to someone you love is a good way to look at it. I would never have told my grandma that she’s ugly or fat because I never saw her that way. I saw her as this beautiful, loving, strong woman, who could overcome anything life threw at her. How do I see myself? Definitely not that way…more like the opposite. Second, recognizing the way you believe as not being true is a huge thing. I know I’m not ugly but I tell myself I am. Why? Because other people have told me that I am. Third, how do we embrace the concept of “good enough?” The dictionary says, “adequately good for the circumstances.” We don’t have to be perfect, no one is, but we can do our best and leave the rest up to God. That brings us to number four, turning to spirituality or religion. The whole topic in sacrament meeting yesterday was self-esteem and self-love. One of the speakers said that when you know you are daughter (or son) of God, how can you hate yourself? This hit home for me. No matter who I am or what I do, he will always love me. Perhaps I need to focus on seeing myself the way he sees me? Lastly, number five, make amends for the mistakes you hate yourself for. This could be easier said than done. I am one of those people who lay in bed some nights and a thought comes to my mind, reminding me of what I did wrong months ago and how stupid I was. It’s hard to let go of those things. I think this relates a lot to my post about learning to forgive people who hurt us, honestly, because we hurt ourselves.

beautifulYou may be wondering why I am focusing on this today. Well, for one thing, it’s one of my 30 before 30 items that I need to check off and this helps me hold myself accountable. I’m not going to say that I completely love myself today but I’m working on it. Second, the topic in church yesterday made me want to post about it. I guess that’s how the spirit works, isn’t it?

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. This post took me some time to do because a) I wanted to give you the best information I could and b) no one likes to admit they don’t love themselves. I hope you can check out the inner voice video as well as the song  and other articles I added below. Keep coming back each week for new content. I love you all and I hope this helps you learn to love yourselves as well.

8 Ways to Increase Your Self-Love by Elyse Santilli

A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love: Self-love is an action not a state of feeling good by Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D

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“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” — Rafiki

I have been doing a lot of reflecting these last few months. If you read my very first blog post you will know that my childhood was rough. There’s no denying it. Being dragged around all over by my sex driven, drunken, drugged up mom was only part of it. Being shipped away to Arizona with people I didn’t know where a lot of physical abuse happened was probably the best thing she could have done because that’s when I was able to be “rescued” by the most wonderful and selfless people I have ever had the pleasure to know….that would be my grandparents. As soon as they found out what my mother had done and exactly where it was that she had sent me, they set out to pick me up. It was my grandma’s birthday, September 23, 1999 and I was seven years old. I was a gangly little girl who had no self-confidence and thought she was the dumbest person in the world. It was a very dark time, in deed.

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These are my wonderful grandparents who gave so much yet received so little.

Because of my past and refusing to be more open with my grandparents, I was put in therapy. I know what you’re thinking, “Therapy is for crazy people. What am I doing reading a crazy person’s blog?” Well, a lot of people go to therapy and it’s not always because they are crazy. I was a neglected, abused, scared, and confused little girl and I needed help. I, of course, didn’t realize I needed the help but my grandma always knew best. I went to see my therapist shortly after I went to live with my grandparents, I loved her but at first I was very shy. She never would pry, she only asked a few questions and listened to me play. I loved playing with the doll house and stuffed animals she had, they were my favorite. Slowly but surely I began opening up. I never told anyone everything that happened to me in the past but I opened up more than I had and I began to understand how it had hurt me in the long run.

(Here is an interesting read for you on child play therapy Play Therapy for Abused and Traumatized Children: A Bibliography)

My grandparents did all they could to help me, though. My aunt put me in modeling classes through the community that are meant to help build confidence and I did it twice, I loved every moment of it. I even have pictures to prove it! I wish I still had that confidence in myself but most days it’s hard.

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This is my favorite out of all of my modeling pictures. I was in 5th grade.

In 2009, 10 years after being “recused” by my grandparents, my life fell apart once more. I was at school when my grandparents and an aunt and uncle were going on a trip to see my youngest cousin graduate Kindergarten. I couldn’t go because I had finals and in high school you can’t really skip those or you’ll risk failing the class. At the end of the day, I had a crazy amount of missed phone calls on my cell, which we aren’t allowed to use at school. All of these calls were from my brothers. I immediately thought something was wrong with my niece, who was born only a month before, or my nephew, who was a few years old. I called both of them back several times when the younger of the two answered and I was so worried. I remember his words so clearly “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this but grandma, grandpa, Doyle, and Cindy were in an accident. Grandpa and Doyle were air evaced to Springfield. We’re not sure if they are going to make it. Grandma and Cindy are ok, though.” The bus ride home was the LONGEST ride of my life. My best friend Dakota was there for me, though. He helped me when I needed someone the most.

Dakota
This is Dakota, he helped me a lot my Sophomore year. We were both new to the school and he was a great friend to me.

Within a month, I lost both of my grandparents and the realization of moving away was setting in. I hated it. I did it, though. I knew my family loved me and wanted the best for me but I struggled. I still struggle.

After high school, I moved out on my own because my family was moving away and I didn’t want to go. I moved downtown and lived with a pretty awesome roommate. I was living an ok life. I knew I wasn’t happy though. Nothing made me happy. All of my friends could see it. I was encouraged to see a doctor and a therapist. Yes, again, I went to therapy. I went for a couple of months and I was put on antidepressants. I couldn’t tell my family, I couldn’t let them know because they would never approve, they never understood depression. I had to move back in with family due to some issues I was having at my apartment and I stopped taking my medicine.

I thought I was happy, I did. I went without any antidepressants for over a year. Until I was about a year into my mission and I was put on them again. Of course, when I came home to my family, I stopped taking them because, like before, I knew they would never understand.

I am still struggling with taking them because I know there are so many people who don’t understand depression and the reason antidepressants are important but I know I need to take them. I am currently starting them up again and I hope to stick with it this time, for as long as I need them. It’s not good to continue to get on and off of them, especially when you don’t talk to a doctor about it.

If you feel like you have serious depression, you should seek help. Not everyone will understand but we all need to learn to take care of ourselves. Never discount the way you feel just because your family thinks you have a good life or because you see that other people have it worse. Depression is a chemical imbalance and there are many medications that will help. I will post more on depression later.

I wanted to share my story with you because I know that if I help just one person, I have done my job. Thank you for reading. Please know that you’re not alone, even if you feel like it at times. You can even drop a comment here and I will be sure to help you in any way I can.

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