Have you ever woken up in the morning hating everything about your existence? Have you ever gone to bed at night wishing you would not wake up the next day? Have you ever lived every minute hoping it would be your last? Have you ever felt hopeless, distraught, unwanted and worthless? And have you ever wished to stop feeling that way?
Because I have. A lot of people I know have. And trust me when I tell you it is not unnatural. Believe me when I say you are not the only one. We have all had dark days. We have all had sleepless nights. We have all been broken and felt unimportant. We have all wanted to end it someday.
Low self-esteem may feel like a curse you were born with. Always doubting your abilities. Never knowing if you were doing enough. Thinking you don’t deserve the people in your life that love and appreciate you. Feeling like everything you have achieved in life has been a matter of luck and coincidence.
If you can relate, here is what you need to do:
Talk to yourself:
You need to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you need to stop feeling like filth. Tell yourself you are worth more than you think. Repeat after me ‘I am beautiful, confident, brave and ambitious. I do not care about what people have to say about me.’ The first time you do it, it will feel like you are lying to yourself. You will feel like you are wasting time but go on anyway. The reason you care so much about what other people think about you is that you listen to other people way more than you listen to yourself. Tell yourself you matter. Tell yourself you are worth it.
Burn down the negativity:
Literally. Write down all the things you think are ‘wrong’ with you. List down all the things you think you are ‘incapable’ of. Do people ever tell you that you are worthless? Do they taunt and mock you? Write down their words onto the page. Write down every negative thought that comes to your head when you wish to do something. Compile your negativity on one piece of paper. Walk to the stove and set it on fire. Watch it burn and reduce to ashes. Video tape if you would like to watch it again later. Everything holding you back has been wiped off existence. ‘Everything wrong with you’ no longer exists. You are now free. You are a new person.
It does not matter if you can’t. It does not matter if you failed creative writing class. What matters is that you have feelings. What matters is that you have something to say. You don’t necessarily have to write about yourself. You don’t have to write about your life. Write about what you want to write about. Maintain a journal if you’d like. Write about a friend that inspires you. Write about something you love to eat. Write about a sport you enjoy watching. Write about absolutely anything or anyone that puts a smile on your face.
We are often afraid of opening up to the people around us. Many a time I have felt like I needed to be someone else around other people. I have felt like I needed to hide myself. Crying in front of someone made me feel weak and vulnerable. I would run to the toilet to shed my tears every time I felt sad. And I would come out with a huge fake smile on my face like everything inside me wasn’t broken. But recently going through a hard time in my life I started to have extreme anxiety and panic attacks. However, this time I ran to my mother’s room instead of somewhere no one would find me. It was hard opening up at first. Emotions feel so irrational sometimes. You think if you’d say it out loud, it wouldn’t make sense. You feel like no one can truly understand you besides you. But that is untrue. We are all humans capable of connecting and relating to each other on various levels. It is nothing you need to think too much about. You just need to start talking. Let everything out. If everything inside you feels like it is going to collapse, sharing it with someone will only help ease the pain and hold you together. It is okay to cry. It is human to feel sad.
What is most important is realizing it is not just you. 85% of the world’s population is affected by low self-esteem. We all have irrational fears, insecurities and troubles we live with every single day. Every smile has tales of despair it so conveniently hides behind it. You don’t need to feel like you are insignificant. Every time you are unsure of going ahead, look at how far you have come and remind yourself of all you have survived through. You are brave. You are beautiful and you are stronger than anyone will ever be able to tell you. Keep fighting. You are not alone.
By: Ramsha Zafar, Pakistan.