Mindset Really is Everything: Here's My Experience

When you respond to your life negatively, do positive things happen for you? Do you feel ultimately better in your life after you’ve criticized yourself in your head? The truth of the matter is our brain is a muscle, that just like the rest of our bodies, is trained to react to what it is fed, how it is nurtured. Constantly telling yourself you're not good enough is only training your body and your muscles to believe that you really aren't good enough, that there is no use in trying anything and so your body will act in that way. 

So around middle school time (the worst years of any maturing young lady, I’d say), I didn't have a good group of people around me, nor was my relationship with my parents the best, to say the least. I was growing up, and with puberty, of course, comes the teenage angst that all parents actively try to fight against. Anyway, the point is, my relationship with everybody I knew was pretty tragic, and I remember constantly thinking I was the problem. That I was being made fun of for a reason in school. That I deserved every bad thing that was happening to me because I was different in a way I didn't even vocalize. I had common sense, of course, but going with the crowd at the time was better than being myself—I was scared they wouldn't like me. Anyway, I internalized all the horrible things people would say to me both in my face and behind my back, and eventually, I hit rock bottom. I had no sense of self, and I didn’t want to be around anymore. If this is what life was, I didn't think I could handle it. 

Person waiting by window, sad Photo by Andrik Langfield from Unsplash

After an event that stemmed from hitting rock bottom (I don't think I’ll get into it here), I wondered why I let what people had been saying about me affect me so badly? Why was I constantly putting myself down when everyone else already was? It's not like anyone else could hear that I didn’t like myself either anyway. If people wanted to say bad things about me, why did I too have to do the same thing? It made my blood literally boil with so much anger (both at myself and those around me) that I decided to experiment. You know that saying “fake it till you make it?" I thought, "well, considering I have no confidence at all anymore, why not just pretend like you don't care, so people leave you alone?" 

At first, I felt like a fraud. I would pretend to be sure of myself in company, and I would pretend like I knew what I was doing. Even if I didn't and didn't truly feel that way inside. I would make a joke out of the things I didn't know and would act like those things didn't matter anyway, which they really didn't. It was hard, but after continuously living like I wasn't making a mistake in everything I did, I started to believe that really there was nothing wrong with me. I didn’t make people feel bad the way other people did to me. And I started to believe that I deserved great, happy, sweet things because I was kind in a way no one had been to me.

I was a good person. And I really believed I was, and am. Instead of putting myself down, I built myself up. And somehow someway all the horrible people in my life either changed or were replaced. Not because I actively went out of my way to get rid of them or ever even confronted them, but because I realized I was worth so much more. My body and my life reacted to the things I had begun to believe about myself. And I don't just say all this to say that it was easy or simple but I say this to say that it is possible to change your mindset. Everything used to be so dark, but now I at least have the confidence to be okay with myself. Realize that even if you think you aren't important, you are no accident. And then live your life accordingly. 

paths Photo by Jens Leslie from Unsplash