This is the follow up to my last post, My Deepest Insecurities: Iris, Warts and All. I’m going to go through each insecurity and disproving it. There’s no reason for me to believe bad things about myself, especially since I’ve made leaps and strides in my healing journey and loving myself!
The problem with comparison and insecurities
The thing about insecurities is that we think they are facts, when all reality, they are just thoughts. Let’s bring up some common insecurities:
“I’m ugly because I don’t look like girls in magazines.”
“I’m too old to be considered attractive anymore.”
“I’m not good enough.”
We’ve all experienced thoughts like these. Sometimes they hang around for our entire lives if we’re unable to shake them and build our self-worth and self-love. How do we dispel them? Although it may seem easy in writing, it takes effort and repetition to change them mind. Let’s start with the first about the comparison to women in magazines.
“I am beautiful in my own way, and I recognize that women in magazines have been airbrushed, filtered, and Photoshopped. They also don’t look like their images. I love my flaws, because they make me real.”
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” He was incredibly right. Comparing ourselves to enhanced imagery on the internet or other media avenues robs of being grateful for what we have and self-love. Remember the beauty industry is based in making us feel bad about ourselves so that we buy their products. Once we understand that, it’s easy to love that random mole under your bottom lip and not mind an uneven skin tone. These features make us unique!
Next is, “I’m too old to be attractive to anyone.”
Aging is a part of the adventure of life. It’s something we can’t escape, even with all the hair dye, plastic surgery, exercise and dieting in the world. We’re going to get old. One thing I love about the internet is the way it connects people. There are dating sites for certain age groups, there’s Meetup.com, where you can find new friends interested in the same hobbies, and you can easily get around if you don’t have a vehicle. Maybe looks have started to fade, but the wisdom that comes with age is mighty attractive in my opinion, and I’m sure many others agree. There are many different ways to be attractive when we slide looks over to the side. There are many ways to connect and attract new friends or loved ones now!
And finally we have, “I’m not good enough.”
Good enough for whom? The only person we need to be good enough for is ourselves. Self-acceptance is a huge part of happiness and content. It’s okay to acknowledge our weaknesses and things we may not be good at, such as ice skating and doing taxes. But our inability to do such things does not make us lesser than our counterparts. Say in the mirror as many times as necessary each day. “I. AM. GOOD. ENOUGH.”
Tackling my insecurities
Let’s make a list.
- Being single past age 30
- Being a late bloomer
- Being mentally ill
- Being weird
- Having adult cystic acne
- Having a strained relationship with my parents
- History of trauma
These six are the thoughts that sometimes all the positive self-talk in all the world cannot relieve. I do have an ace in my pocket. Dialectical Based Therapy (DBT) teaches taking a negative thought and immediately replacing it with a positive thought. It’s hard to get the hang of at first because an insecurity is a thought that has been present in the mind for years
“I am single past the age of thirty.”
How many people would kill to have my freedom? I am not responsible for a tiny human or several tiny humans. I don’t have to answer to anyone, my money is mine, and I can be selfish if I want to be. I can drop everything and spend a week in the Bahamas because I want to. I can spend a ridiculous amount on a pair of Louboutin’s because I want to. I can sleep for 26 hours straight to heal from a jellyfish sting because my body needs it. Life still has so many rich experiences to offer, and I don’t need to be paired off to enjoy them. Wasn’t that solo adventure in the Bahamas great? I met some really wonderful people, laughed so much, and did my vacation the way I wanted to do it. No one is lying to me, holding me back from accomplishing my goals, or telling me I can’t do something. I’m holding myself accountable for my bullshit and using every opportunity that arises to help myself grow. Single in my thirties is freedom in my thirties. Whenever I meet the person I’m supposed to be with, I’ll bring a complete person to the table. I won’t need them to be happy, and I won’t be codependent because I’ve done so much growing and healing. I’ll be the right person when I meet the right person.
“I am a late bloomer.”
So what if I don’t do things on the same timeline as everyone else? Life is about the journey, not the milestones. Oh wow, wait… I think I just understood The Missing Piece from last month’s reading list. Yeah, I get it now. Life is about learning, making mistakes, meeting new people, and having adventures and good times while coping with the bad things that also pop up unexpectedly. Huh, thanks Shel Silverstein. It’s okay to get to things on my own times and in my own way. I definitely appreciate the milestones more when I get to them, I know that for a fact. Taking all my little detours and side quests is just a part of who I am. I can not only accept that, I can embrace it. “Oh, I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece…”
“I am mentally ill.”
Yes, I have mental illnesses. There’s no denying that. But I also have an awesome psychiatrist, better coping skills, medication that works, and a support network that hasn’t let me down yet. Guess who hasn’t had a manic episode or a depressive episode since July? Moi. Guess who uses deep breathing and exercise to manage anxiety and self-doubt? This lady. Guess who now has an unending amount of compassion and patience with herself? Me! Guess who is genuinely happy for the first time in her life? Yes, me! I have accomplished so much in the last year in terms of managing mental illness and learning how to love and value myself. I recognize that I have mental illnesses, but I also have everything I need to manage it and thrive!
“I am weird.”
And? I have a big personality. I am colorful, unique, entertaining, and fun. Am I too much for some people sometimes? Probably. But that’s their problem, not mine. I like who I am after all these years. What’s wrong with having a hilarious boudoir shoot? What’s wrong with sending a friend a picture of a jellyfish decked out is a gangsta chain and red durag then a gif of Snoop Dogg dancing at 2 a.m.? When they wake up, they’re gonna laugh, shake their heads, and be like, “Only Iris.”
There’s nothing wrong with the fact that god accidentally knocked over the personality jar and the whole thing fell into the mixing bowl when he was creating me. My guardian angel only has two modes: hand in head thinking, “What is she doing now?” or streaming tears of laughter thinking, “Oh no, what is she doing NOW?” If I were to guess, my angel probably drinks heavily. My FBI agent is wildly entertained with my dancing and off-key singing when I take the duct tape off my laptop camera. Google is wondering why I need a shirtless picture of Gary Busey at 4 in the afternoon. And that’s me. Wonderfully weird, unafraid of being complex, and slightly embarrassing. It’s just who I am. I love it!
“I have adult acne.”
Yes, I do. But I’m also doing what I can to treat it. I go to a dermatologist and an aesthetician. Last year, they got my skin healed in a few weeks. This year, it’s taking a little longer after my allergic reaction to gel. But hey, at least now I know that I have an allergy to gel! The few times I’ve tried to lay my edges, all hell broke loose around my hairline. Now I know why! And even if I wasn’t getting skin treatments, it doesn’t matter. No one has perfect skin. What I see on Instagram and magazines has been edited, filtered, and airbrushed. Skin comes with imperfections: wrinkles, lines, creases, and pimples. No one is perfect, and striving to be is only going to keep us unhappy.
“I have a strained relationship with my parents.”
Okay, this one is something I can work to fix, just like my skin. Family sessions with my therapist, spending more times together, and forgiveness with some patience are all healthy avenues I can take. I don’t think anyone’s parents did a perfect job when it came to childrearing. There’s no perfect way to do it, because every family is different and each child is different. They did the best they could, with all of their own insecurities and traumas. My mom is not a hugger, and I have to accept that. My dad is… well, he’s my dad. I accept him for who he is. I can’t change them, the past, or the present. What I can change is my reaction to them. Again, the message to myself is, “No one is perfect.”
“I have a history of trauma.”
The thing that I have to accept and tell myself here is that I am not the only one. Everyone has some kind of trauma in their past. The damndest thing about having trauma or mental illness is the isolation factor. My brain tells me that other people can’t relate to what I’ve been through because they’ve never experienced it. Unfortunately, statistics tell me otherwise. For example, the sheer amount of men and women that have experiences sexual trauma is staggering. It’s astounding and sobering. I am not the only one, and more people can relate even if they don’t want to or can’t admit it. It does not make us lesser than anyone else. It’s something that we can’t change either. But the amount of support and love between people working through their trauma is just as staggering. Those that understand connect and support in an indescribable way. I am not alone in my trauma.
There we have it. My insecurities are toast.
I challenge you!
I challenge you to jot down some of your insecurities this weekend and go to town telling yourself why they no longer have a hold on you. I feel empowered and light as a feather! Enjoy your weekend, til next time!
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