Self-esteem has always been an issue for me. Being a perfectionist, I have always found myself striving to be better and feeling like I was never good enough. I criticized myself incessantly. I magnified my flaws consistently. And, after awhile, your reflection becomes all of the things you’ve taught yourself to look for. For me, I was seeing my shortcomings in that mirror, day in and day out.
That kind of self-talk can really do significant damage after a while. And, when you add changing dynamics with other people into the mix, it can be an immense struggle.
For most of us, it will always be something that challenges us.
But, over time, I started to confront my demons. I started to take into account the mistakes I’ve made and the flaws I focused on, and then I finally let them go. I relinquished the control they were having over my thoughts. I started viewing my mistakes as opportunities instead of allowing them to fester and make me feel like I wasn’t enough.
I started allowing myself to look for the good within myself.
I started forgiving myself as I have always tried to forgive others. I started giving myself the love that I had so desperately been searching for from other people. I started to see my body as a worthy residence for my heart and soul instead of a prison.
I started to view myself as a whole and perfectly imperfect human. I was no longer blinded by the negative dialogue that constantly looped through my consciousness. I was no longer frozen in fear of letting people see who I was without a mask or my guard up. I was finally learning how to be brave and vulnerable, in the most real and unfiltered way.
So, now, I can look in the mirror, and I see a different reflection. I see a whole person, not just my flaws or my imperfections. I see the potential within myself to grow and improve. I see a new-found confidence. The kind of confidence that comes from embracing the wildly chaotic set of traits that make you human and beautiful and unique.
I’m finally learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I’m learning that I can be my worst enemy or my biggest ally. I’m finally learning that I don’t deserve the kind of treatment I was putting myself through.
Because I am someone who is worthy of love and who is capable of growing and adapting every single day.
I am learning to let my fears and my mistakes be catalysts into a better future. I can finally see how different my life looks when I stop standing in my own way. And, I hope that through seeing myself clearly for the first time that I can help encourage others to contemplate how they view themselves as well.
Because I have finally learned that I can love the person that I am while still striving to improve. And, that mindset has forever changed how I see myself.