Updated: Feb 28, 2022
Growing up I was dealt a good hand when it came to my family and the way I was raised. My baggage really only came from things that happened to me at school; when i was at school I did not feel comfortable with who I was. I definitely developed some pretty severe insecurities caused by a few particular people. I always felt inferior and that I had to seek attention to feel better about myself and equal with my peers. I felt as though people looked down on me and I never really stuck up for myself, I just tried my best to avoid these people. I think the most negative part of the whole experience is that I never really got a truly good experience from school and it carried into high school because I felt that I was trying to just fit in all the time instead of finding myself and developing into my own personality. This is very difficult to do when you feel inferior and are always trying to impress other people. The other issue that comes with trying to impress or be liked by everyone is it is hard to develop really meaningful relationships and figure out who is your true authentic friend.
It was not until later on in high school that I started to develop my own identity and start to figure out that I deserved close friends and found a good group of people that made me feel welcomed and as I belong. I also started to really see that I was capable of great things and began to develop some self-confidence. The truth is I have always struggled with my self-esteem; whether it was my weight, the desire to fit in, the need to be liked, or even the need to entertain people. I have never really opened up about these things I went through because I tried to convince myself that it did not really affect me, however, this is certainly not the case. The damage had been done early in my childhood and has caused me great stress for a long time. I had not really healed from it until the last couple of years when I accepted it, forgave those people in my mind, and moved on with my life with the strength of knowing I got through that and came out on the other side. I am not ashamed to admit these things because I am done running from these things and that is what I am here to share: we all need to stop running from our baggage and this stuff we have been through. These things have made us who we are today and that is a beautiful thing.
I am certain that I cannot be the only one that has always felt this intense pressure to feel accepted and is constantly flustered by an inner dialogue that tells you that you aren't enough. The advice I have for those going through similar things is this: Screw 'em’. I did not feel good about the things I have been through at any point, but I felt damn good when I realized that I got through it and I am okay. We all have persevered through pain, loss, adversity, or struggle and we need to start giving ourselves credit for that. The 'bad hands' that we are dealt, whether that be a false sense of your own self-worth, depression if you have lost a loved one, an injury that is burdening you, etc. These things all make us feel beaten down, like the odd man out, and make us condition ourselves to be okay with feeling inferior. Stop. You just have to cut that out and heal in whatever way possible. We are all capable of so much and can have such an impact on the world. I think that we all deserve to treat ourselves with compassion and shut down that inner voice that tells us we are not good enough.