I am not prepared at all to share this. Even as I type each word, I realize that by sharing this I make myself very vulnerable to those who this directly relates to. I’m not ready, but when are we ever?
I have been participating in a group meeting called Glow, where women get together and gleam from each other while learning very valuable lessons on self-love in biblical terms.
Recently, we’ve discussed things that negatively contribute to our self-esteem and how we can use our superpower to combat it. I want to share one of the things I confessed.
High expectations from others.
All of my life, there have been high expectations for me. I’ve never viewed this as a bad thing. I was happy that people (family and friends) thought enough of me to think I could do all these amazing things. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I began to feel like the pressure was too much.
Here I was; a college graduate, newly published author in a serious, could possibly lead to marriage, relationship among other things. Expectations were everywhere! Everyone made it seem like I could do anything….everyone accept the man I was in a relationship with and myself.
It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t like compliments because I felt like they weren’t warranted. “You’re an amazing author. I’m so proud of you.” I got that a lot and you know what I thought every time I heard it…
“I’m alright…nothing special.”
The relationship didn’t help. I won’t bash him because there was a time I felt he was the love of my life. I didn’t have to go through physical abuse or cheating or other things people around me did…but it was always an underlying vibe that I wasn’t good enough. He wanted a wife. I wanted to be a wife. After six and a half years, he still didn’t ask. In my mind, that meant I wasn’t good enough.
In Glow, we talk about our superpowers, what we genuinely feel like we are good at or have a gift in, to get us out of these dark mental spaces. Feeling as if I’m not living up to expectations is a big issue for me, so I’m learning to use my super power to work my way through these negative thoughts.
Everyone’s dark place doesn’t look like mine. We all have our own issues to deal with, but we also all have our own super powers to work through them. You may not know what your super power is yet and that’s okay. Just begin to think about the things that make you happy when you are doing them or the things you think about doing that could possible make you happy. Try different things until you find something that lights up your mind. You can even borrow mine.
I used my super power to get me out of this dark place. Writing is life. I mean that in the best possible way. Not everyone is an author, I get that, but everyone can write.
Here are a few ways that writing can help you sift through your emotions and work through negative self-talk and low self-esteem.
Getting your emotions out on paper is a release. Paper cannot feed your negativity or aid you in your downward spiral. Paper cannot dismiss your words and change the meaning. Paper just takes it all. Once you have released it all, you can step back, evaluate and process. Is this really something I need to carry in my life? Am I overreacting? Was this meant the way I took it? There are so many objective questions you can answer once you’ve gotten over your feelings. Journaling is a great way to do that confidentially. Everything doesn’t need to be discussed before you’ve had a chance to really sit and think about it.
Read a book
There are so many amazing writers who have written about what you are going through. Let their journeys and testimonies help you. It can be as simple as a Google search and you’d be amazed at how many books there are on your specific issue. Getting a different perspective can help in your own journey.
Shonda Rhimes is known for speaking about her wonder woman pose. What part of you makes you feel like a super hero? Where are you most happy and confident? It’s okay to live in that for a little while.
Even outside of personal development and self-help books, fiction books can also be a positive release. I know for me, escaping into a good book is a great way to step outside of yourself for a moment. As crazy as it sounds, reading a crazy drama or suspense makes me feel a little better about my own problems.
Become a poet
One thing I love about poetry is how subjective it is. I’ve read and written some of the most random poems and always end up finding some that hits me in some type of way. Poetry is a great way to get feelings out. This also can be something you write in your journal. If you are feeling bold enough, try going to an open mic night. You’d be surprised how your poetry could effect others. Being in an open mic atmosphere is like no other. I’ve conquered my stage fright a few times and shared a few pieces and I’ve always felt liberated afterwards. Grab a friend or try it alone. I promise it own’t kill you.
These are just a few of the ways I use writing as my super power. What’s your super power and how can you use it to erase low self-esteem?