“Why can’t I be as beautiful as the others?”
“I hate my body.”
“I’m good at nothing, and I’m too stupid to get anything right.”
Insecurity – the lack of confidence on oneself. In other words: self-doubt. We can be so full of it that we forget how to control it. It has been a plague that picks no one, poisoning the minds, especially of the youth. It may dwell somewhere within us – within the fat thighs we try to hide, within every acne we try to conceal, and within every doubt that we’re never good enough.
Like many teenagers, I have been victimized by this silent killer which is insecurity. Mine mostly lie on the performance category, and I have always lived in the fear of not doing something good enough and eventually becoming a disappointment to others. That’s my weakness. That’s my kryptonite. And although it has driven me to do well in everything I do, it has also burdened me to a great extent. I’ve been trying not to disappoint others too much that I started relying my happiness on their judgments – which is wrong and definitely unhealthy.
We obsess ourselves too much on our flaws and on how we can rid ourselves of it that we fail to appreciate the real us. We constantly point out our own imperfections and let them affect how we see and treat ourselves. We starve ourselves to be deemed “beautiful” by society; we stop doing what we really love in the fear of being judged and being considered an outcast. And this lack of assurance often leads us to make wrong decisions. Maybe we don’t realize it immediately, but these things we do may eventually corrupt our whole being. We suffer from a severe decay of our self-confidence that we forget to value what has been given to us, and start changing who we really are.
What then can be done? One thing is for sure: We cannot just easily change what other people think of us; we cannot always please society. We cannot just alter what other people’s idea of beauty is. Each of us thinks differently, and no matter how hard we try, there will always be those who couldn’t appreciate us as we are. So again, what can be done?
First, realize that our flaws, no matter how unappealing we may consider them to be, contribute to our being and uniqueness. We shouldn’t let these things pull us down. Hence, we should use them as motivation for improvement – while keeping in mind not to torture ourselves along the way. Next, it is important to stop trying to always please other people. That sounds cliché, but yes, if we let our happiness and self-satisfaction always be dependent on others’ judgments, then we will also always be a prisoner of their thoughts and words. And we wouldn’t want that. It can and it will be draining. Third, we should surround ourselves with peers that value the real us, as well as contribute to our self-growth. I know it’s not exactly an easy thing, but it is essential. Our peers will either support us or destroy us, and it’s our job to choose the right people. And lastly, but most importantly (and also probably the most obvious), we must learn to accept our flaws. I am not saying you just simply give up on the world because you decided to accept the fact you’re a ‘failure’ since you can’t do this or you can’t do that; I am saying you accept the fact that as a human being, it is normal to have weaknesses and shortcomings, and it won’t kill you not to be perfect. It may take a lot of time for acceptance, and we may want to give up along the way, but if we want to free ourselves from our own harmful criticism, then we should learn to embrace our own flaws, limitations, imperfections. As they say, “There is no greater enemy than ourselves.”
An increase of confidence within us would go a long way. If you’re insecure about how you look, bear in mind that outward beauty is terribly temporary. If you’re insecure about your performance, then use it as a tool to drive yourself to do better – but be careful not to overdo it. The way we see ourselves contributes greatly to how we lead our life, and with improved confidence, there’s a great chance that more opportunities and a brighter future will open for us. All we have to do is challenge ourselves to always look at the bright side and see the beauty in things. We should not look at ourselves from the perspective of others, but rather, on our own perspective. Anyway, our happiness is entirely under our control. So every time you feel like wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt, remember to say to yourself, “I am flawed in a lot of ways, but that doesn’t define my happiness.”