Where do I begin? I’ve been in therapy since September and it has been an okay experience. I was able to confront a lot of my childhood wounds throughout this process, which was great, but I knew from the beginning that the therapist was not. She’s a clinical counseling student (first year), who’s used to doing research and not dealing with people on this level. I knew from the start of the first couple of sessions that I wasn’t too crazy about her, but I stayed because I was in a shitty place in life, and at this point, I couldn’t do it alone–which I could have if I wasn’t so caught up in my mind. Now, I have finally gained enough clarity at this point to leave, and I’m so happy with my decision.
Here are the things about her that threw this whole process off for me:
- She’s judgmental. The funny thing is, she doesn’t even have to say anything, I can see it all over her face.
- She brought her personal life into the session, and made me feel uncomfortable in the process.
- She forgets that I’m a college grad, who’s studying counseling as well, and she continuously makes my opinions feels invalidated.
- It seems that at times, she’s looking for my validation.
- She basically forced me to make a decision that I didn’t want to, basically breaking our trust early on. I kept going after that, though, because I told myself that I should have never said anything in the first place.
- Lastly, I saw be super judgmental towards another client in the waiting room, who seemed to be suffering from severe anxiety. Like hello? Why make a face if she’s in the waiting room? Clearly she’s there for a reason! Okay, I had to get that off of my chest.
Guys, don’t be afraid to speak up in therapy, because you’re paying for it. The research and the techniques do not exist without people like us who go and seek out this type of help. Our stories fuel therapy. Don’t be afraid to ask for a new therapist (one with more experience than the last), or leave the facility all together if you’re not feeling the environment.
I have decided to spend a lot of time alone. Not with the intent to cower away from the outside world, but to actually get to know myself outside of my worries. During this time, I have also been reading in order to gain some type of perspective on life, or what we think is life. While watching a Big Sean interview on The Breakfast Club, this book The Four Agreements came up in conversation, and he talked about how this book helped him deal with a lot of negativity that was going on around him. Once the interview was over, decided to buy the book.
Don Miguel Ruiz is the author of this great book the details how simple life is, honestly. He gives his readers four agreements to live by in order to allow for us to make our lives easier. He says that we are already free, we just can’t see it. His words opened my eyes to ideas, or truths as I see them, that I always wondered about, but cowered away from in fear that I wasn’t making any sense. I will definitely be making more posts as I read more books similar to this one, but for now, here are the four agreements that Ruiz talks about.
- Be impeccable with your word– Don’t use your words to be demeaning to yourself, first and foremost, as well as others. He says, we are the biggest abusers of ourselves, because we judge our actions, and we put limits upon our capabilities. Use the word to break all those teeny, tiny agreements that make you suffer.
- Don’t take anything personally– Don’t take what others say about you personally. Most of the time, anything that someone says about you comes from their own pain and misfortune. You take it personally, because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell.
- Don’t make assumptions- We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.
- Always do your best– You don’t have to be angry with yourself if you don’t keep the four agreements, just do your best. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.
Remember those days as a kid when you used to try to look up at the sun, but you couldn’t for too long because its powerful rays would hurt your eyes? No matter how frustrated we would get with this, the sun kept on shining.
What I’m trying to get at here is that we exist like the sun exists, but the difference with our existence is that we try to change ourselves for others. It’s hard for us to be ourselves when we think that others will not accept us, but honestly, whether someone like us or not, should not stop us from shining. Like the sun, we exist separately from other human beings, so we have the right to live our lives the way we see fit, without fear of judgment. We can’t budge every time someone has an opinion about us, because their opinions will always be there. Just like someone can’t control what you do/say, you can’t control what they do/say.
We need to own the fact that we are our own suns– powerful radiations of light that no one can change, no matter how much they think they can.
Have you ever felt that your life would come to an end if you broke up with your boyfriend or lost a good friend? Yeah, I’ve been there too. Lately, I’ve been thinking though, I need to feel this same way about myself. I need to be my own lover and my own best friend. Sometimes we forget that we all have our own stories, and that we must know that each of our stories are valuable. I honestly don’t have a real direction for this post, but I thought that I should put this out to you guys and see what your thoughts are. All in all, though, what I do know is that each of us are already the friend that we believe we can’t live without.
Tyler Perry is one of my biggest inspirations. He survived a traumatic childhood, where physical, sexual, and emotional abuse were present, and beyond all expectations, he became a millionaire. In the video above, he speaks to us and tells us to believe. Believe in our dreams, and most importantly, believe in the possibility of them. He says “you have to know it beyond knowing it.” Whether you believe in a god or not, have faith in your journey. Don’t let the opinions of others stop you. Your dreams are valid, regardless of what others tell you.
On my own journey of self-discovery and mental health, there are days where I just want to give up, where I just want to go through the motions, and basically deny myself the opportunity of a better life– the way I see it. But every time this happens, something within just says keep on fighting. I started the video on the part that spoke to me the most, but you may find something else within this video that may speak to you, so I say watch it for yourself and listen for what might get you going again.
Most importantly, reignite that flame and continue to believe.
As you guys have seen from my previous posts, having low self-esteem can affect someone in all aspects of his life. I want to stress that it is not something that should be taken lightly. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a negative view of myself, and consequently, I can’t remember a time where I felt truly happy. I would laugh and have a good time, of course as a child you’re not aware of a lot of emotions you may be feeling, so it has taken me a long time (22 years) to figure this out. Here are some tips that I am currently using to help myself overcome this negative self-image:
- Awareness– This is the most important tip, because if you’re not aware of what’s going on, you won’t know that you actually need to change. Pay attention to your thoughts, because it’s all there. If you’re saying things like “that could never be me…well they’re just (blank) more than me…I can’t,” you have to evaluate your self-image.
- What others think doesn’t matter– This is still the most difficult one for me, because I have worried about what other individuals have thought about me– even when they weren’t thinking about me–my whole life. I know now, though, that honestly and truly, their opinions do not matter. You can’t let anyone ruin your happy moments.
- Don’t judge yourself– Just don’t do it! You may think you have to, but you don’t. Be compassionate to yourself, don’t wait for someone else to do it. If you don’t love and defend yourself, no one will!
- Seek professional help– Sometimes just talking to friends and family isn’t enough. For me, I felt that I had to invest in professional help, because I couldn’t work through everything alone. As much as your family will be there to support you and listen to you, it feels great to know that you have someone else who is there, specifically, to help you overcome these issues.
- Practice! Never give up on yourself. I will say this over and over again, if you don’t fight for yourself, no one else will! The work is not easy, but it’s worth it!
If you’re reading this, please look in the mirror and see how amazing you are, every day. You don’t need anyone to tell you that you’re beautiful! Stop looking for others’ validation– you validate yourself. You are smart, you are kind, and you are important–“The Help” is one of my favorite movies, I couldn’t help it. If you want to read more about this, you can visit: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/10-ways-overcome-low-self-esteem
That’s all for my series of posts on this specific topic. I will definitely keep you guys updated on my journey, and I would love for you guys to keep me updated on yours! Have a great day, and be on the look out for future posts.
Whenever we hear about women who are in an abusive relationship, our first thought is leave. When it comes to a woman with low self-esteem, it’s just not that easy. Women with low self-esteem are more likely to end up with a man that abuses them, because they usually think that they can’t do any better. So, although a woman in this situation may realize that what’s happening to her is wrong, she doesn’t think that she can survive without him. It’s not just the fear of the man that keeps these women around, it is their own view of themselves. Not to mention, these men remind them of how, supposedly, worthless and weak they are every day. Psychological abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse, which is clearly portrayed in films such as “The Color Purple.”
If you are one of these women, you can leave! You can survive without this man, and although you may not think that you’re not worthy, you definitely are! I know that leaving is not so simple, so seek out resources, reach out to people, and form a plan so that you can leave safely.
If you want to read more about this, you can visit: http://womensissues.about.com/od/domesticviolence/a/DomesticViolenceSelfEsteem.htm
Recently, “Love and Hip Hop:Atlanta” star, Joseline Hernandez, guest co-hosted on daytime talk show “The Real.” As you will see in the video above, she was asked if she would ever let her daughter get plastic surgery. She replied that she would, because she wanted her daughter “to be the best that she could be.” I bring this up, because our parents play a huge role in the development of our self-esteem.
If there are any new mothers out there, be conscious of your own self-esteem. It starts with you. If you are constantly criticizing yourself, your children will pick up on this negativity and begin to do the same to themselves. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, do not call yourself fat in front of your child. When a child witnesses this, she may feel as if it is normal to down talk herself and be unsatisfied with her own body. Here are a few tips to help your child build self-esteem:
- Do not dismiss them when they’re trying to tell/show you something.
- Do not belittle them. EX: You’re not smart enough
- Show them affection. Give them a hug every single day.
- Try not to be too overprotective. They have to know that they can do things on their own
- Tell them they’re beautiful/handsome.
If you want to read more about this, visit this site: http://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/how-to-build-your-childs-self-esteem/
I’m writing this to tell the mothers and fathers out there to be careful about what you say and how you act in front of your children, because even when you don’t think they’re paying attention, they are.
One thing that I have noticed about the topic of low self-esteem in the media, is that it always seems to be a problem that only women experience. This is honestly not the case. Ladies, you’ve probably dated a guy with low self-esteem and never noticed it, because it’s almost a social taboo for a man to have low self-esteem. The reason why it’s important to realize these tendencies is, because in his hatred for himself, he will do anything to make you feel worse than the way he’s feeling. Last night I came across this article that details 8 signs to look out for when dating a man with low self-esteem:
- He never sees the good in himself
- He judges you for everything
- He’s a perfectionist
- He can’t see the positive side of anything
- He is jealous when you’re around other men
- Keeps you away from your friends
- He blames everyone but himself
- He never seems to understand your point of view
Ladies, I know it’s not easy to let go of someone that you love dearly, but if he can’t bring himself to love him the way he’s supposed to, how is he supposed to love you? Low self-esteem is honestly very debilitating for anyone, so be as understanding as you can, but protect yourselves as well.
Do you suffer from self-hatred? You’re not alone. I can honestly remember feeling inferior to everyone around me from such a young age, of course this was induced by some traumatic events that I suffered as a child, but as I have gotten older, that hatred has yet to subside.
I question myself at every turn. I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy of friends, love…life. It has not been an easy journey for me thus far, but through my work in therapy and insightful nature, I know that this can change. It actually is changing. The first step is realizing that you’re hurting yourself. The steps afterward won’t be easy, but nothing worth fighting for is ever easy to accomplish. I googled signs of low self-esteem, and the top five signs are:
- Social withdrawal
- Anxiety and emotional turmoil
- Lack of social skills and self confidence. Depression and/or bouts of sadness
- Less social conformity
- Eating disorders
I have experienced the first four signs, or symptoms if you will. If you guys want to read more about it, you can visit: http://www.self-confidence.co.uk/articles/top-ten-facts-about-low-self-esteem/
I believe that this is a topic that should be discussed, and I will definitely be posting about this all week, so stay tuned.