We all experience moments where we doubt ourselves. These barriers and road blocks try to overpower our true essence and oftentimes dim our light.
Funny thing is, when we are born, we are super confident. Overtime, life circumstances can beat us up, causing us to doubt what we instinctively know to be true about ourselves – that we are powerful, capable and strong.
As we develop insecurities they effect our ability to be the best version of ourselves.
I know this to be true because I’ve had my personal challenges with being insecure. Here are the three big lessons insecurity taught me:
TO STAND FIRM IN THE WORKPLACE
I am sure that many of you can relate to the misogynistic dominance that can come from certain males in workplace. I had a first hand experience with this which caused me to seriously doubt my abilities. Let me explain.
When I was about to graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I had a work-study position. I was one of four senior assistants and the only female. My boss, who was a male, was very sarcastic, dry, and impersonal during our interactions. As I observed him more, I noticed how different his behaviors were with the male assistants. If they needed help, he would openly help them. However, if I needed help he would treat me as if I was inferior or stupid. This cause me to become very insecure about my ability to effectively do my job. Overtime, I gave up and quit.
Even though I was affected by how I was being treated, I know I should have never quit that position. In essence, I allowed a power-hungry man to determine my worth as a professional. I was really disappointed in myself for this. After that experience I vowed to never allow someone to make me feel “less than”. I learned to advocate for myself and to stand firm as I make my mark in the workplace. The beauty is this all made me a stronger professional.
TO LOVE MY SINGLENESS
I remember how I would always tell myself that I needed a man. I would say this out loud and repeatedly.
When I went to college, I was in a relationship. The relationship was already rocky and the distance between us did not help. About a month into my freshman year, we broke up. Before you know it I was going out with my girls (as a single woman on campus) almost every night. I didn’t realize it then but I was searching for guys to fill the void. Within a month, I met a guy and was in another relationship. As you may imagine that relationship didn’t last long. We actually broke up just four short months later.
Since I was still healing from my break up, I know I should have never got into a new relationship. I didn’t give myself anytime to heal or grow. We’ve all know that ‘hurt people, hurt people’ and if you go into relationship broken there’s a great chance you will break the person you are with. This is exactly what I did when I got into a new relationship one month after I broke up with my ex.
What I had to realize is that being single is about growing and becoming a stronger you. Spending that time looking for a man, causes you to miss out on time that you can be using to learn to love yourself.
Instead of looking for a new relationship after that break-up, I learned to enjoy the single life. I started to:
- Do things to show love to myself:
- completing a daily Gratitude Journal
- working out
- Do things that made me feel good:
- spending time with family and friends
- Focus more on my dreams and goals:
- focused back on my blog/brand LADYHOOD journey
- continued my education
These days, I am falling in love with myself more-and-more each day! I know that being single is not a curse, and I learned that the man of my dreams will come, when I am truly ready for him.
TO LOVE MY BODY
I have always been a thick girl. I actually love my curves, but I used to hate my chubby belly and chunky arms. I would religiously wear body shapers, to look a certain way. After giving birth to my daughter, I gained weight, and entered the 200 lb. club. In my mind, I expected that I would get my body back immediately. Of course it takes time to lose weight and so the process didn’t go as expected. As a result, there are times when I hate what I see in the mirror. At some point I realized that I was body shaming myself.
I read a passage that completely changed my outlook on how I see my body:
“…we often take for granted the ultimate sacrifice women have to make during the 9 month pregnancy process. Her body will go through unbelievable changes…Her self-esteem will take a hit. And most importantly her life will be at risk. But we unfairly expect her body to snap back in place…as if she was the mother on the Incredibles. She will be left with battle marks and scars. She will try and hide them. She will struggle everyday with the feeling of if she is attractive enough…cherish her, compliment her daily and let her know that she is even more beautiful now than before.” – Shawn L. Minter
Instead of trying to get my body back and body shaming myself, I learned to:
- Not to wear makeup daily, so that I can love my natural face
- Focus on being healthy instead of fit
- Say five things I love about myself everyday
- Look in the mirror and focus on the things I love about my body
Today’s beauty standards may impose insecurities on us but even despite that, we must learn to love ourselves and our bodies! I am happy to say I have worked through most of my insecurities and my focus is on being a better me each day. What about yourself, do you deal with insecurity? How have you overcome them? Share with me in the comments, I’d love to hear! 🙂
About Ta’lor aka Pinkspen
Ta’lor Pinkston graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in social work. Although her passion is working with youth and families, she also enjoys using her writing to support childhood development, anti-bullying, positive relationships, equality, and the empowerment of all women. You can find her at LADYHOOD, where she writes as Pinkspen. Connect with Ta’lor on Facebook here, Twitter here, Instagram here.
Featured image cred: Stocksnap.io