When you think about someone with low self-esteem, do you imagine someone who hates what they see when they look in the mirror? Maybe that person thinks they’re overweight or ugly? Or maybe they’re gorgeous, popular, sociable and appear to have the perfect life? Low self-esteem is easy to hide. It has nothing to do with your appearance, your life style or your career. It’s about who you really are and how much you like yourself on the inside.
The act of liking and even loving yourself is not a simple one. Living with low self -esteem can feel like you’re having a constant battle with yourself. What you say to yourself every day and how you treat yourself has a huge impact on your wellbeing. We all have that inner critic that tells us we are not good enough or that we can’t do something. Unfortunately, some people listen to their inner critic more than others. This inner critic is one of the main contributing factors to low self-esteem and feeling like we are never good enough.
For over twenty years my inner critic played a huge role in my daily life. My critic was always striving for perfection- trying to have the perfect body, the must have fashion pieces, ensuring I had a good social life, always aiming to get those likes on Instagram, finding time to visit my family, always having a holiday planned and all the while trying to save money for a rainy day. Striving for perfection was exhausting. Trying to live the perfect life meant that I was constantly criticising myself and making myself feel like I wasn’t good enough, no matter how hard I tried. My life might have looked good on the outside but on the inside it was a very different story.
When I had low self-esteem, looking in the mirror was always a chance for me to analyse my body- have I put on weight? Is that a new wrinkle on my forehead? Are the bags under my eyes getting worse? Never mind focusing on all the positives my body had to offer, my inner critic literally zoned in on any aspect of my body that wasn’t perfect. Looking in the mirror every day made me feel awful, always wishing my body was different rather than accepting and loving it as it was. If I had spoken to any of my friends the same way I was speaking to myself, the girls would have run a mile! I was treating myself like crap and I knew something had to change.
Some days it’s easy to get away with the fake it until you make it attitude and pretend that you’re feeling good about yourself, but there will always be days when you won’t want to pretend anymore. Working on my self-esteem has changed my life and it is undoubtably the best decision I have ever made. Developing my self-esteem took time but eventually I learned how to lower the tone of my inner critic and ignore that voice that was telling me I have to be perfect. Now, I focus on the positives when I’m looking in the mirror and I ignore that highly critical voice that wants me to be perfect. I have never felt more comfortable with my appearance than I do now. There’s no going back.