Day 77

Today, I thought a lot about issues of self-doubt, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

I’ve had a history of problems with all three.

And it has to do with relationships, too.

Primarily your relationship with yourself.

Prior to joining OkCupid, I realized I had a major problem.

And that was with my own self-doubt and self-hatred, to put it in as few words as possible.

But I realized that, at the end of the day, I had to fundamentally like myself for who I was before expecting anyone else to, be it friends or a s/o.

I learned that doubting myself and my own decisions was counterproductive. That so much more could be accomplished in life without me overthinking or having second thoughts about what I decided to do with my life.

I’ve realized that self-doubt is a kind of handicap to living life autonomously, in a way that feels both fulfilling and meaningful.

So quiet your inner critic and seek meaning of your own accord.

Don’t paint your narrative as one of learned helplessness. Discard whatever narrative you had as one where you were a victim of circumstance and learn to empower yourself to fight your inner demons off successfully.

Realize the importance of self-compassion. There are things you might tell yourself that would be mean if you thought about saying them to someone else.

The criticisms you give to tear yourself down don’t help you practice self-compassion.

So embrace failure. See it as an opportunity for growth. Set your sights on what more you can do, and understand what’s within your locus of control.

If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, change it.

You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.

And you don’t have to compromise on your own beliefs and values. You can live life according to what matters most to you.

If you don’t respect yourself and instead suffer from self-esteem issues, try to see things in a different light. Would you say things like “you’re a burden to other people” or “you’ll never be enough” to other people?

Probably not. So there’s no reason to say things like that to yourself.

These are all things I’ve learned over the course of my entire lifetime.

I’ve come a long way from beating myself up relentlessly to learning how to grow and overcome adversity.

Confidence starts from within. Work on your own thought processes and make them more constructive. This doesn’t mean never evaluating yourself and the work you accomplish but rather looking at it in a more constructive light and discarding the thoughts that merely do you more harm than good.

Practice self-love and compassion to counter your inner critic. You’ll live a much happier life full of increased gratitude and contentment.

You might as well cherish the things you have before they’re gone.

That includes the time you spend with those you love. Because these things are all so fleeting. You have a limited amount of time with anyone you meet, so do what you can to make the most of it.

Each of us only has one shot at life, so use it well.

There’ll be times when life gets rough, but you learn to grow from them because, as humans, we’re more resilient than you’d think.

So love yourself. And love others as you would yourself. Love starts, first and foremost, from within.