Everyday I wake up and look at myself in the mirror, I wish I could be a better person; I want to be taller, maybe a little fatter and I definitely want to upgrade my body. Some days, I wish I was smarter and could perform mathematical equations as fast as my friends can. Sometimes, I look at my legs and I just want to break down and cry. I don’t smile often because I have a major tooth defect which can go unnoticed by a couple of people but I always feel like it’s the first thing everyone notices about me.
I like to see myself as an egomaniacal individual. I am told that my personality and success in certain areas of my life has given me an inflated sense of self. But I don’t walk around feeling like I am great. In fact, there is one underlying emotion that continuously shapes my self image and influences my behavior, and that is my insecurity. If you could ever enter the minds of people around you, you would realize that certain self inflated people actually have the biggest insecurities.
Why Am I Insecure? What Causes My Insecurity?
There’s an internal dialogue that accompanies my feeling of insecurity called “the critical inner voice.” This critical inner voice was formed from early life experiences in which I witnessed those around me and myself get hurt. As I grew up, I began to integrate this pattern of destructive thoughts to myself and others.
What Events Shaped My Inner Critic?
The experiences I had with my family, friends, colleagues, and even enemies. I grew up being constantly called “skinny” by my mum. She never said those words to hurt me but gradually, it began to sink into me that I was actually skinny. Gradually, I began to transition as a young teenager but that transition wasn’t really the transition I expected. I had always waited to be a teenager but I never cared about the pro’s and con’s of being a teenager. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t aware of them. I just wanted to grow and be happy.
Then came ninth grade in a flash, I still hadn’t considered what I wanted to look like as a teenager. Did I want to be really tall, short or average in height? Did I want full boobs or small ones? How do I want my arse to look like? Do I have broad shoulders? Do I look muscular? I never thought about all these things; I actually believed I would turn out to be perfect. Not until my school mom began to hurt me again with words. The first time she pointed out something about me was a day I was preparing for school and she said I looked like a boy. I walked to the mirror and looked at myself carefully and didn’t notice anything about me that was masculine. Even though my feminine features were yet to develop, I didn’t actually pick an interest at when they would develop.
However, it was like it was just a coincidence and within that same moment, my friends and classmates began to say the same thing. “How do I look like a boy?” I asked myself countless times. Not like a girl on shaved hair, shaved eyebrows, no ear rings, and a beautiful pair of bow legs could look like a boy, could she? You see, the thing was that I basically didn’t care about my looks until people began to care about them for me. That’s what insecurity and constant criticism from half baked people do to you.
It is clear that so many things shaped my Critical inner voice and most of them were horrible. Here’s a few of them:
- You look like a boy/man
- You are unattractive
- You have muscles
- You suck at maths
- You are always sick
- Your teeth is hanging
- You have bow legs
- You walk like a boy
- How do you survive as an asthmatic patient?
- What’s the point of trying?
- Why don’t you have boobs?
- Why is your arse so flat?
And then at home, the negativity continued between my parents and me as well. As a mean coach, this voice began to get louder and louder. And then I began to react to these thoughts before I realized I was having them. I began to grow shy in public(I used to be a very bold individual), began to attack people around me to make myself feel better, and my personality began to change. But worst of it all, I began to care about what people said about me. It was like I couldn’t do without hearing that inner critical voice. I was beginning to live by it.
How Did I React To My Insecurities?
At first, I thought a pair of earrings could change a few things. But it didn’t. So I began to critically analyse other girls and their behavior and what made them feminine. And here’s the result of everything I tried out.
- Short Skirts: the first time I decided to shorten my skirts, I literally felt so on top of the world. But then I wore them and I wanted to crawl into a hole. Why? I kept staring down at my legs and realized that they looked like two crescent moons lying side by side to each other. Other girls had straight legs but I didn’t. I would have actually quit this but not until I realized that everyone was talking about how short and cute my skirt was and then I thought to myself, “they don’t actually see the legs..” So I began to wear them happily but the criticism still kept coming. And yes, they eventually noticed the legs.
- Hair: I decided that the major reason everyone called me a boy was attached to my hair cut. So I cried to my mum several times until she let me braid my hair like other girls. Wow, I was one step closer to this feminine shit.
- Make up: I actually began to wear little makeup. By little, I mean enough for high school girls. That did help to boost my confidence. I carried lipsticks, powders and perfumes which I constantly reapplied whenever I felt I needed to. I began to buy lots of handkerchiefs because I sweated a lot and that was one of the coolest things I did. Haha.
- Lifestyle: here lies the funniest story. Before the whole rebranding, I actually did act like a boy. I ran several metres like boys, walked like a boy, ate like a boy, slept like a boy(face up the roof), talked like a boy, and even acted like a boy. So I decided to fix that to make my critical inner voice happy. I began to catwalk; one of the funniest things I did because everyone actually noticed I was trying to sway my invisible hips. I began to leave left overs in the dinning table like every other girl; all the good food I missed. I also tried tuning up my accent to match my new lady character. Let’s not forget I began to shriek and cry like girly girls.
- Let’s not forget, I decided to get bra’s when I actually had no reason to get them. God, this is so embarrassing.
In all this, I can say that I completely rebranded myself because of my insecurities and most people would actually do the same thing.
How Did I Overcome My Insecurities
I didn’t and I haven’t. What exactly did you expect to read? As I continued growing and making tons of mistakes while trying to silence that critical inner voice, it just kept getting louder. Every one at school had transitioned into a teenager with enormous features. Some of us didn’t. Some were still transitioning. But I was just stuck. I wasn’t growing neither was I reducing at all. I actually felt like sponge bob; square, shapeless, foolish, and a full blown loser.
With time, I began to see and understand the effect of my past actions on me. Was it too late to stop? Yes. But I did try. The funny thing is that I got popular(to an extent) and I was noticed by many people, I was ranked among the top most beautiful girls but that didn’t stop the criticism from coming. It didn’t stop me from looking into the mirror and wishing that I had bigger boobs like my best friend or any of my other friends. It didn’t stop me from looking up the Internet on how to add excessive weight in the right places or doing push ups till I couldn’t feel my body. Well, it turns out that exercising gives you muscles most times and not bigger arse. Just incase you really want to give it a shot.
The more I became noticed, the more my insecurities were engulfing me. The more people were becoming attracted to me, the more I was getting attracted to my in securities. I was trying to be perfect for everyone, I wanted my flaws to become invisible by my actions. I hated the criticism and I was struggling to end them. But eventually, In twelfth grade when I met some really nice people who judged me too but majorly because I judged myself, everything changed. The things I used to do to gain attention and look perfect were irritating to them and I realized that I was also irritated and needed to change. It was then, I decided not to be anyone’s favorite girl.
As I began to sweat through the tough new transition of self love and confidence, I began to practice self compassion and esteem. My self esteem practices were aimed at performance and evaluation. I began to search and practice things that made me happy and not what made others happy about me. I began to discover a side of me that was completely buried because I was too busy judging myself to realize that I was perfect as I was. I began to look into the mirror and visualize a girl that is much more powerful than you can imagine. I accepted my flaws; yes, I look like a boy, I have muscles, look skinny, have bow legs, bad tooth and whatever I can constantly think of. But also, I accepted my strength and importance; I realized I could do things most people could kill for, I had a talent that was worth the biggest transition ever and no one could transit into such a phase without exceptionally going through a lot. I began to grow with my insecurities; laughing and publicly discussing them, not because I had gotten over them but because I have realized that I am unique with them. I began to break free from the chains that held me back. I shed the in securities of my past and I began to work towards the person I wanted to be.
I am not good in maths? Why can’t I try English? I don’t have big boobs? Well, it sucks but all that doesn’t matter anymore(or maybe it does). The point is, that I never had a problem. My problem came from trying to change the unchangeable. It came from trying to take care of the needs of others before mine.
I have graduated from high school and hopefully, going to make it into a good college or university which some people can’t do. Well, that’s someone’s insecurity and he or she would constantly compare themselves to others who have this opportunity and privilege to be academically upright. Everyone has insecurities and the moment you realize that, you are going to feel a lot better. Our insecurities make us special and unique from everyone else. And people who judge you for your insecurities are actually doing that because they are unable to deal with theirs.
Today, as you read my posts, you may think to yourself…”This girl has got her whole life figured out. She has some huge plans for herself…” But I have barely begun with my life. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I am yet to begin. While you were busy growing and harnessing your insecurities and judging me for mine, I was busy growing and learning from your careless mistakes.
Yes, the one girl who was filled with insecurities. Some of you want to be like her. Some of you want to appear as happy as I am. Some of you want to get into the schools that I am in. Some of you want your life planned out like mine. But here’s something for you; my life is not perfect and it’s pretty shitty and unbalanced. But as I write this in complete darkness in my room(its 12:57 am), on my bed without a pillow, I want you to know that I have gotten this far because I decided to over look the unnecessary. I accepted who I am and the moment I did, that critical inner voice became powerless.
I sometimes ponder on the possibilities of my life if I continued struggling with my insecurities. You and thousands of others would probably not ever read this post. I would probably not have discovered happiness and self contentment.
I don’t have much; I don’t own an iPhone or a mac book, I don’t have a car or expensive shoes but I am that voice that is moving like the waves of the ocean. I am that individual who acknowledges the little I have today because it would be much more in the future. I am that writer who keeps you interested even till the last word. I am that girl that would keep rising because I was born for it.
©Annabel Anita|Author|Anna’s Styles
“I help developing, uncertain, aspiring, ambitious and talented individuals manifest their true potentials in order to live the life they truly deserve.”
Annabel Anita| annaanitasblog.com
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