Every day, we have to subconsciously control our inner voice that constantly tries to draw our attention away from whatever we are doing. The inner voice that runs through our heads can motivate us to do better or pull us down even further from where we already are. Unfortunately, it seems that we are conditioned to be more receptive to negatively-charged sentences than positively-charged ones. That explains why we have a more challenging time dealing with the notion that we are not good enough than accepting those which confirm our worthiness as human beings.
Self-affirmation is something I am not apt at. I am still baffled as to why certain individuals can absorb the concept and mechanisms of self-love better than others. Nevertheless, I admire those who conquer their days with courage, confidence and without letting anyone or anything stop them. Perhaps some people are born to love themselves better than others. Whether that is true, if possible, I will let science figure it out.
It goes without saying that I do not look highly upon myself. If you were to ask me of its origins, I do not know. However, there were times where I spent days thinking about where I could improve myself and how to fix my shortcomings because I wanted to fit in. For example, when I was studying abroad last year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I went through a brief period of depression, fuelled by negative self-talk that served fuel that fanned the flames. Fortunately, I managed to free myself from the shackles of depression through multiple coping and support mechanisms.
Continue reading if you cannot stop telling yourself that you are not good enough.
1. Have faith that you are giving your all.
The fact that you are reading this means that you are still alive, which is good enough and all right. At times, there is nothing wrong if all you have done on a given day is breathe.
There will be days when life throws rocks at you. You cannot escape those moments. Believing that you need to sort everything out all the time is a sign of wishful thinking at play. Instead, have faith in yourself as you journey through life, including the highs and lows of it. Life is not only difficult but also unfair. However, the quicker we acknowledge and accept it, the less impact life has on us when the world comes crashing down on us.
2. Verbalise and embrace three good things about yourself daily.
When I greet the sunrise, I attempt to pinpoint three gifts that I am blessed with. This is perhaps the most difficult habit to incorporate into my lifestyle due to my belief that I do not have the right to view myself positively.
However, as I read more and more articles online that focus on mental therapy, I learned that we could train our brains to view the good more often than the bad. Not only do I highlight three good things, but I also try to embrace them and view them as part of my reality.
The accepting part is harder, but we do not progress as human beings if we do not permit ourselves to welcome uncomfortable truths. Personally, these uncomfortable truths also reflect the positive aspects of myself. Working to identify and keep the positive elements in my life diligently has altered my way of thinking in more ways than one. Consequently, it has helped me to see myself more positively.
3. Seek help from the people around you.
Always remember that seeking assistance from the people who you trust is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, calling for help means you are brave enough to search for some encouragement from your trustworthy friends to keep going when the ride gets difficult. Do not underestimate the benefits of shooting a short message or making a brief phone call to tell them that you are struggling. If history has anything to say about humanity, it is that humans are born to help and support each other for its survival. No one should face the tough times alone. At times, however, it is wise to ask for a helping hand to make those tough times more tolerable.
If you are having difficulty with the act of asking for help, begin by taking small steps. Get used to the act, and do not be shy when you are approaching people. Again, receiving assistance does not mean you are weak; it symbolises strength and virtue to approach another to become stronger in the future.
4. Look for a healthy valve to vent out your negative internal monologue.
I am sure you have a hobby that you enjoy doing. It could be writing, taking pictures of flowers, swimming or reading a book. Each of us has at least one activity that puts us in a relaxed state during stressful times. Identify the hobbies that calm you down and hold on to them. Determine what triggers you, and look out for red flags which tell you that things are about to get out of control. Tune in to yourself and learn to address your needs first before attending to the needs of others. The only person who knows you best is you, do not neglect this matter of fact.
Final 2¢: Everyone is one of a kind.
It is imperative to acknowledge that everyone has their own version of negative self-talk playing in their heads. Hence, everyone has their own way of managing and responding to them. Therefore, it is essential to utilise resources that yield benefits to you, be mindful of yourself and understand the things in life that serve your best interest.
Dealing with the less-than-ideal amount of love I give to myself is something that I will have to do for the rest of my life. There will be days when I feel like I have made giant leaps and vice versa. But, no matter what happens, as long as I am still doing the best that I can to make my life worthwhile, I do not wish for anything other than happiness.