My attempt at poetry in my last post was sort of an insight into this one. The words were written to express how I felt once I realized I could overcome my own anxieties and insecurities. I’ve been wanting to provide a little bit of a “behind the scenes” of who I used to be before my personal growth flourished. I was once very insecure of the silliest of things much so I made myself sick trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. Follow along for more insight. 🙂
Insecurity is the belief that you’re inadequate or unworthy. It’s that self-critical voice inside your head which makes you doubt yourself and your capabilities. That negativity often leads to self sabotage and the limiting of your true potential. According to Dr. Lisa Firestone, who co-authored the book Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice wrote, “The critical inner voice is formed out of painful early life experiences in which we witnessed or experienced hurtful attitudes toward us or those close to us. As we grow up, we unconsciously adopt and integrate this pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others.”
It’s remarkable how certain occurences stick with us. I remember the day so vividly: It was the summer before 6th grade, and I was at a family barbeque. A certain family member commented on how “soft and pudgey” my stomach was. To say I was completely mortified is an understatement! I let that negativity eat at me the rest of the day. I still remember my heart pounding in my chest and the heat radiating off my face. I later went home that evening and ran for what seemed like hours until I literally threw up. It wasn’t my proudest moment.
I used to let other people’s opinions control me. I let a silly remark about my appearance eat at my self esteem for years. I went through drastic (and unhealthy) measures to fix everything about myself. I exercised excessively to prove to everyone I was actually losing weight the “right” way. I binged on junk food, abused laxatives, and generally felt miserable with who I was. My obsession later affected my health so negatively, my eating disorder landed me in the hospital.
Fast forward 15 years, and I still consider myself in recovery. Although I am more confident with my body, I occassionally have flare ups. Sometimes I let my guard down and let certain opinions eat away at my self-esteem. Just to be clear, those opinions are of my own. I still give myself pep talks and remind myself how strong and capable this body of mine is. I’m so much more proud of my body today. I’ve been able to grow and birth two beautiful babies. I’ve fought harder for it, sacrificed so much more, and embraced every day as it came. Surrendering to all of the changes was definetly the hardest obstacle to overcome.
It’s not easy to overcome insecurities. I personally do not believe it’s possible to completely recover from them either. I can attest to getting stuck in a funk for days until my willpower was strong enough to snap back. There are countless areas in our lives where our inner critic can be harsh. I’ve had to trust my own body cues and not punish myself for wanting to enjoy a brownie every once in a while. I’ve had to teach myself to not stress about calories and macros. In fact, I don’t diet at all! Developing an approach to “intuitive eating” is pretty much how I’ve learned to enjoy food again.
It took a while to discover ways to heal myself. I did in fact seek professional help, and a lot of my road to recovery was through trial and error. The best therapy for myself was opening up to my husband and telling him how much my insecurities were affecting my well being. I have not handled any of this on my own. I was fortunte enough to have strong positive influences in my life.
Food for thought: Other people’s opinions only matter if you give them the power.