I tell myself to think positive, that I am beautiful and I deserve everything great in life.
I have been doing this for a while now. When I got to college three years ago, it was my mission to feel more confident, and I genuinely did start feeling positive.
I felt secure, worthy, and happy the way I was.
For a while, I was obsessed with that feeling. I think I became obsessed with the idea of being a self-improved woman.
I genuinely liked myself for that time. I applauded myself for how responsible I was, and on the surface level, I had everything going for me.
I don't know when it happened, but all of a sudden, I no longer felt secure every day when I woke up. Maybe it was the way my body was changing or the failed friendships and relationships that I had or the series of unfortunate events that characterized the past few years of my life.
The accumulation of these internal battles clouded my judgment, making sure that my desire to be more than just secure reached its way to surface again.
This time I was aiming for perfection.
Being a perfectionist isn't all bad. However, when my need for perfection gets a little dark, I tend to get burnt out and don't want to do anything.
I tend to isolate myself, avoid friends, and complain about everything. I take everything personally, even the slightest bit of constructive feedback from loved ones, who I know are actually just worried about me.
I get bitter and angry at the world at times. I get sad and down on myself.
In those hard times, I know I am allowed to be exhausted. I am allowed to be burnt out, sad, and lonely. I always tell other people, "your feelings are valid."
For some reason, though, when it becomes my turn to be validated, I beat myself up about it compulsively.
I think to myself:
"Well, just be better and you won't have to beat yourself up anymore."
I yearn for anything I don't have:
"Well, you may be skinny but five pounds lighter would be better… yeah, you do community service but you need to be kinder to people...you're a good friend, but something must be wrong with me since I'm not their best friend, right?"
I don't know what my perfectionism or need to "improve," stems from, but what I do know is that though I am allowed to be negative at times, I shouldn't beat myself up any longer.
I shouldn't allow myself to use self-deprecation as my only coping mechanism. I should not have to put all these feelings of shame and guilt on myself.
The reality of the situation is I'll never be perfect, nor will you or anyone else. Logically, this makes a lot of sense, but when you're in a state of mind like me, logic is kind of thrown out the window.
After a few weeks of healthy self-reflection and self-improvement practices, I have learned this negative self-talk only drives the people I love and my goals further away. I know that I simply just want to get back to the healthy, secure, and confident mindset I had once upon a time.
I am a work in progress, and my desire to improve myself doesn't have to reach its dark and scary peak like it usually does.
Not everything that happens needs a reaction and not every negative moment you experience is a reflection on why you should change. This post is a vow to myself and anyone else out there who needs a sign to stop psychologically hurting themselves and to start being naturally, unapologetically, themselves.