I grew up with a negative self-image. Feelings of rejection and pretty much wishing I had another body, another life, another personality, just another anything that was not - me.
I made choices about how, who, what, when, where, I would, could, go, allow, embrace, run away from or not – all steeped in a very faulty and inaccurate perception of myself.
Where did it all begin? Not sure really. It just seemed to be my reality for a long time. I would love to say that those thoughts, feelings, beliefs ended in my teens, but truth be told, it lasted well into adulthood. I surmise it’s the same many of people I encounter and speak to, whether one-on-one or in a group setting.
A negative mindset is not a unique state. It is not symptomatic to anyone in particular. There are countless men and women, young and old who have and are experiencing similar emotions or worst, in area of their life or another.
Some for well-known reasons, for others, like me – it was harder to decipher. No ultra traumatic experiences to recount. It just felt abnormally natural, ingrained even; like a second skin, DNA deep.
That... the natural feeling part, however is a lie; masked as the truth. Forming the assumption that because you feel or think a certain way about yourself, your entire life, equals who you are or who you will always ever be.... is a big fat lie. One you can most definitely change.
Among the many things that has helped me to see more clearly, two in particular, spring to mind, that is: learning to embrace my uncomfortable places and feelings and secondly, to confront them, whether processing it through my own external or internal dialogue or with people who I value and who value me.
Every meaningful change starts with some form of risk. Risks of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, having your process being open to judgment or shedding long held protection barriers to experience new emotions and freedom.
Being the best version of yourself requires complete self-acceptance and the ability to love you, all of you, the good, bad and inbetween. It is a beautiful thing, so bravo to you for recognizing where you are and stepping out– keep going.