January 14, 2015

You'll Meet an Army of Me

Folks, I don’t know much about anything (except the care and upkeep of pugs and where to buy the best donuts), but I do know a whole heck of a lot about the wild and amazing world of insecurities.

It’s a very practical knowledge I’ve acquired over the years due to my ability to walk through this weird and wonderful world with near crippling anxiety and insecurity.

Yes, I know it all very well.

Most of my anxiety and insecurity (and I suspect this is the case for most people) stems from comparing myself to others. It’s a constant, negative voice in my head that tells me that not only am I not as interesting/beautiful/intelligent/special as others, but that everyone else can see that I’m lacking and is just as disappointed in me as I am.

It’s exhausting and a super dick-ish thing to do to yourself.

Insecurity is so insidious too. Sometimes, like today, I will start the day A-OK and then find myself swiftly sinking into a dark K-hole of meanness. It can be triggered by something or nothing. Social media seems to be the prime suspect most of the time.

As I found myself mired in this fire swamp of self loathing today, I decided that it was time for a little vulnerability and sharing. I know most of us experience this at some point, and probably most of use experience it every week if not every day.

If you find yourself similarly mired, here are the hand grenades I lob at my insecurities on a regular basis:

- Repeat to infinity the mantra “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself…”. Brains are super dumb. If you say something as a fact over and over, even if you don’t believe that fact, eventually your brain will start to believe it, and suddenly it will be true! This one is crazy important and effective. Don’t wait for others to validate you. It’s dangerous and addictive. You have to try to believe with your whole entire body that you slow strut on rainbows.

- Do something nice for others. Get out of your own head and think about adding joy to someone else’s day. Inevitably it will increase your own joy.
 - Do something nice for yourself. Buy yourself something that makes you feel rad or eat a guilt-free donut. You’ve probably earned it.

- Create a note on your phone where you can keep track of every nice thing anyone has ever said about you. Refer to it liberally and believe every word of it. This one is tough sometimes because I tend to think every compliment I am paid is just done to humor me. I counteract this by channeling my best Bette Davis bravado and mentally affirming ‘Yes’ after reading each item. Again, brains are super dumb.

- Listen to this song. On repeat, if necessary.

For the most part, I am in the best place I have ever been as far as self-love and acceptance goes, but I still have my days. Those are the days I can see how much progress I have made, and the great love affair I have with myself. I can see it in the fortitude I have to warrior through and get back to A-OK or better.

Using a machete to cut through red tape.

Keep slow strutting across those rainbows, pals, and I’ll keep slow strutting across my own.

1 comment:

  1. Compliments. I am the worst at accepting them. I usually immediately detract and deflect and stammer. For instance:

    Co-worker: Hey J! I love your hair like that!

    Me: Oh it's a mess, I need a hair cut, my bangs are way too long. This is all I can do with it right now.

    WTF- why can't I just say "Thanks!" and keep it moving. Brains are dumb, and my in particular never trusts a compliment.

    Also, that is a sweet ass machete. Make sure Wade knows to be careful with that in the house, that's a great way to keep him in line. I should get one for Tom too.


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