Smiling To The World, Crying When I Am Alone...

Self esteem issues are real! In fact they are more real now, than they have ever been! Living in a society obsessed by Image! Image! Image!, a society where the world is at the tip of our fingers and we are being fed so much information, a society that set the standards for how to live and what to place value on, many people find them self lost and don’t know if being themselves is enough.

The big beaming smile, the overly enthusiastic laugh, the second look at his mobile phone screen when it goes off, the tears at night, the disgusted look at the image that faces you in the mirror, the constant need to criticise others.
 Low self esteem has no particular ‘symptom list’ you could be the nicest person or appear as an unpleasant person, you could appear to ooze confidence or wear low self esteem on your forehead! Sometimes it is obvious, other times its not!

Society Lies
Being a young woman I understand the pressures to just be accepted and to try to fit in! Society has moulded figures that we must emulate physically, they have taken the display of physical attributes as being ‘sexy’ and worship those who feel the need to flaunt themselves in a distasteful way. They have set standards by not setting them! We now second guess our bum sizes our chest sizes and the size of our gut and as a result implants and augmentation has become a common thing!

Daddy Issues
Many issues of low self esteem do stem from early years, so the role that your father plays or doesn't play, has an impact on you view yourself. Fathers hold the key to unlock the ‘princess mode’ inside you, they are meant to act as your first love, shower you with care, elevate you as a young female and even through their interaction with your mother and other females, they indirectly set the bar up for what is acceptable to treat a female like and what isn't. Unfortunately many men weren't/aren't emotionally available, whether they walked away from the start, were in and out of your life or where physically there but didn't play their role as they ought to, they dropped the baton at the beginning of the race. Now it is easy to sit on that theory and forever play the blame game but it isn't their entire fault sometimes, it can just be a vicious and deadly cycle! If they hadn't been taught how to or if they haven’t had it demonstrated to them in their own childhood, how would they know! Don’t get it twisted though, even with the care and love of a father; we are all susceptible to having low self esteem especially when the words being told to you at home are not reinforced in society. Its a heartbreaking thing regardless, because then what happens is the media, music videos, playground bullies start to gain ground on how a female chooses to view herself, she starts accepting the lies being fed to her, that she is to be objectified, that she is too fat, that her lips aren't plump enough, that her nose is too big, that she is too short, that she is too tall, that she isn't the right colour, that her hair isn't long enough, that her clothes aren't fashionable enough, that her eyes are too big, that her caring nature will never be highlighted or celebrated, that her nurturing side makes her weak, that her very soul isn't beautiful enough. Sad!

I used to believe their lies
I had to pause writing this, just thinking through some of the lies I accepted as truths when I was a young girl really breaks my heart. Thinking back on words uttered by immature children that played repeatedly in my head and shaped some of how I viewed myself, and I look back at that little girl and want to give her a big hug, I want to let her know she is beautiful, kind and caring the way she is and wish I could protect her from all those voices she allowed to infiltrate her soul!

These thoughts, ideas, the voices of every person that every made you feel insufficient then starts to surface in your life as you grow, especially when you are oblivious to the fact that you aren't secure. Some females over compensate and feel the need to mould themselves into a figure acceptable for every man and woman going, they are the ones that over laugh, cut and paste their bodies as they feel and then cry at night because that hole, that feeling won’t go away no matter how much they try to suppress it, no matter how many compliments they get, no matter how many likes are visible on their Instagram posts, no matter what, it’s like a trying to hide fish in a designer handbag. It will start to smell. No matter how nice the bag look, it will start to accept how you view it, hold it, present it. Other females wear insecurity like a work badge, they struggle with it and it can lead to anxiety, depression etc, just getting up in the morning for them is the biggest battle of life and although they have good days, days when the pain is a bit lighter, it all eventually hits them and the battle commences.

Relationships are often affected greatly and I found with observation and from experience that the kind of men you pick, the manner of behaviour you accept, the way you justify things, all highlight the value you place upon yourself. This is why I love talking about ‘setting the standard and living the standard’ and because you don’t think much of yourself and you don’t value yourself, you run into these situations and you stay there because their behaviour towards you, their nonchalance, their verbal/physical abuse, their emotional blackmail indirectly reconfirms the way you treat and view yourself and it doesn't get better it gets worse! The selection of men you choice to entertain, doesn't get better it gets worse and when you meet someone decent, someone good, someone who values you. Guess what. You can’t. You can’t deal with it, you don’t understand, you can’t comprehend, ‘it can’t be true’, ‘there must be a catch’.

Breaking the cycle and learning to rebuild
There are so many things, so many situations I could draw upon and this post is as insightful for me as it could be for anyone else. We have to start rebuilding the value we place on ourselves; we have to start redefining what we choose to accept as the truth. Some of you have daughters, sister, and they will look up to you for guidance on how to deal with certain situations and if you can’t be that anchor for that female, if you can’t set the pace then the cycle continues. If you keep allowing that guy to come around and disrespect you, if you can’t embrace your figure and carry yourself in a classy yet stylish manner without being repulsive then the cycle continues. Even the boys around you, the sons, brothers, the men in your life need to see that you represent a strong woman to the fullest and you have the power to aid in redefining what us a woman accept and what we don’t.
But we all know that dealing and battling with low self esteem isn't something that can be fixed with the wave of a wand, it takes time but most importantly it takes us accepting our emotional and mental state. It takes us putting our hands up at situations we have allowed to have an impact on us direct or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally and saying enough is enough.

Getting to a better place

What I would suggest as steps forward to getting to a better place may seem a bit strange, but when I was dealing with it, it worked for me and I really hope and pray they can work for you.

Look at yourself in the mirror
This was very hard for me, not because I don’t normally look myself in the mirror on a daily basis but because I took a step to use my reflection to take a deeper look. I cried. I cried because I allowed every insecure thought to surface, I cried because I could hear the voices of school kids that may have indirectly said one thing or another to me, I cried at situations that left me feeling so broken and so upset....I allowed myself to cry. I gave myself the allowance to really listen and visualise it and then I started to forgive myself and those that may have intentionally or unintentionally contribute to the way I felt.
I find that looking at your reflection brings out something in you that only you can see, a level of vulnerability that is personal to you. This helps and if you have to do it a million times then do it!

Put pen to paper
This method or step may not be for everyone but again I have found it useful. List down every lie you have been told, and when I say lie I mean things people may have said to you, about you that have been hurtful and damaging, write down the situations and what they made you feel like. After this start to list the opposite, if you had felt or feel worthless then write in bold letters ‘I AM VALUABLE’, ‘I AM BEAUTIFUL’, ‘MY KIND HEART, MY NURTURING SPIRIT ISN'T A WEAKNESS, IT IS A STRENGTH’. Stick it up in your room, preferably somewhere you can see it every day and read it all the time. Self affirmation is such a useful thing to do especially when you can vocalise it for yourself.

Now when I say confront I don’t mean start arguments all around the place! However there may be situations that you are in now, relationship wise, with parents, siblings, friendships that have taken there toll on you and whilst all of you are alive, it can be helpful to deal with it. Talk to them, express how you feel, if you can’t do a face to face, write a letter and remember don’t make it an attack, let them know that this how ‘you feel’ not how they have intended to make you feel and depending on the dynamics of the relationship you need to let them know if you are going to continue to stand for it or whether change is required!

These are just three steps out of a million. For me my faith really pulled me through, I was able to deal with a lot of things head on and the journey wasn't lonely. I know everyone is different and people have their own views on everything but we share one common thing and that being human.
We all cry, laugh, get angry and get sad. It’s just part of our nature and it is important especially for females to feel that sense of self love because we are so powerful in our own respects and the love we are capable of bearing is second to none!

Let’s take the step to help redefine the standards that have been set. Let’s deal with the issues that hold us back from being great! Let’s start to set the pace for those coming behind us! Let’s be honest with ourselves! Let’s be caring! Let’s not see our kind natures as weakness! Let’s not see our bodies as only a means of objectification but let’s embrace our uniqueness and celebrate the diversity within womanhood!

It all starts now! Say no to low self esteem and start to take more control over your life!

Priscilla x

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