You ever have insecure moments? Well try having insecure days…. These days consisted of me starting from the crown of my head to the bottom of my feet critiquing (criticizing) myself. My weight, personality, looks, attitude, emotions….. I left no stone unturned.
Try this for a visual: I literally broke myself down looking in the mirror hating myself and for hours cracking piece after piece of myself and walking away from the mirror with my remains still on the floor. The rest of my day is filled with me walking around feeling horrible, in fear and trying to hide myself so the world won’t notice me. Horrible right? I’m starting to believe that too. When I was younger I thought I was the only one who thought about themselves in this way. It became my own secret hobby, a game of sorts to say “Let’s compare Christin to all the other 7th grade girls in her class” while other girls my age were making weekend plans to the movies or to the mall. Here I was an awkward little girl who was peculiar and bigger than the other girls in my grade. Who made up in her head that no one would want to be bothered with her. I didn’t know that being different would isolate myself from everybody. 20% was because they didn’t understand me but the 80% was because of my own thoughts of myself that ruined my social interactions.
Did you know: 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends? (www.heartofleadership.org/statistics/)
High school and college wasn’t much easier, I remember a guy in my 9th grade year told me, “You know you’ll never get a boyfriend right? You have no shape and you’re not even pretty. You’ll never be as bad as my girlfriend” Shocked, that he could say something so cruel to me still somehow I believed him. I wasn’t like his girlfriend she was gorgeous, light skin, full lips, great shape and I was the complete opposite.
By the time I got to college I had my first boyfriend, however every chance I got I tried to break up with him because I was scared he would notice my insecurities. It was mostly a long distance relationship, and I dreaded it. I was in Richmond at school; he was home back in Philly. I drove myself crazy thinking who he was with and what females was he entertaining?
Now 10 years later, after two romantic, yet troubled relationships, a birth to a beautiful baby girl and a host of guys that I tried to make me see my inner beauty, I found that these same insecurities are resurfacing. However the difference between my early 20’s and now is that I’m fighting these demons back. Insecurity in my opinion could be categorized as a sickness; this sickness can start to trigger other things such as depression, suicide and mental illness….. It hurts to see so many beautiful women of color go through this disease; however it is so common amongst us. You’d think we would have a solution by now? No I’m not a psychologist and far from a counselor however I’m a expert of knowing WHO I AM. This list helps me daily with my battle with insecurities…. If you’re dealing with the pressures of the world of "fitting in” ‘‘your outer appearance” or just trying to ‘love yourself better” these tactics are for you!
Understanding What You Feel!
Your feelings are valid, so getting down to the nitty gritty of what causes you to feel the way you feel can be a great help! I saw a meme that said that the “Black women” don't have time to show signs of weakness because they’re out here trying to be strong not just for you but for everyone else. Factual yes, healthy WRONG! How are we supposed to hold it together for our loved ones, if we are in a constant battle with ourselves? WARNING: Doing this activity can cause you to relive some memories that you tried to rid, but remember this is the healing process. You can do it!
Changing Your Perspective!
While there are so many negative images in the world, it’s hard to see the beauty in anything. This exercise starts with your mind. Try to think of yourself in another light!
“If you are unhappy about your appearance, think about the things you do that others appreciate. Your hands allow you to cook a meal or care for a baby, whether you believe them to be pretty or not. Your voice has the power to make others feel good about them.” –Chera Hodges
Talk It OUT
I was taught when I was younger that “Black people don’t talk” to professionals i.e. psychiatrists or counselors about their problems. We are known to P.U.S.H (Pray until something happens) prayer is a powerful tool in my life and is something that I implement in my daily. Prayer is just one of the tools to help you with your mental; seeking professional help is a great option to help overcome insecurities. Talk it out with someone that can give you sound advice & assignments to help you cope with what you’re dealing with.
Commit to the process!
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be an overnight transformation, it’ll take hard work and dedication to feel the results you want. The goal is attainable; you just have to want it bad enough! Place your fear aside and prepare to fall in love with yourself all over again or maybe for the first time. I promise you that you’ll love the results!
Remember ladies, your objective is to heal! So take your time implement small steps, work at your own pace and watch the world begin to inspire you rather than scare you! How do I know? I’m a witness to what negative thinking of yourself can do to you and your family. From that dark place there was nowhere to go but up. My faith has brought me to this point and will lead me on to a beautiful life and that same faith in yourself will do the same for you!
Christin Ayre is a style blogger, motivational speaker and vlogger. Graduating from Virginia Union in 2011. She currently resides in Philadelphia and works as a freelance stylist. Follow her on Instagram @ChristinAyre_