From the outside, it may look like I have things together, but in reality, I’m one of the most anxious people I’ve ever met. Every day I struggle to stop a thought spiral of insecurities from overtaking me. Not even my closest friends know this about me.
The thoughts that plague me are things like, “What if I look stupid?” “If I say that, maybe she’ll get offended and think I’m rude.” “If I act like my true self, maybe they’ll find me annoying and I’ll get rejected."
I’m the kind of person who will say yes when I really want to say no. I’ll be polite just so that people don’t view me negatively. I worry so much how people perceive me, I often can’t even enjoy my experiences.
That said, over the last couple of years, I’ve had some realizations that have deeply impacted the way I make my decisions, and helped me move much closer to a version of myself that does what I want regardless of other people’s perceptions. (I can’t know what they are anyway!) Here they are.
4 Realizations That Woke Me Up
1. Almost everybody is insecure and compares themselves to others.
2. All this time, I’ve been valuing other people’s opinions about myself more than my own opinion of myself. Ultimately, I’ve really been devaluing myself.
3. Living off the approval of others will only limit my potential.
4. I can choose to be bold regardless of my fears and insecurities. I can choose to believe in myself and tell myself that I am valuable and capable.
When I realized these things, I responded by making promises to counteract these tendencies within myself. These promises have become the pillars of my daily life, the foundation on which I determine how to be true to myself in every situation. They help me stay strong and focused on the things that build my confidence, push me to fight for my dreams, and make me a better, happier person.
I encourage you to make these promises to yourself. If you’re not on your own side, who will be?
18 Promises That Keep Me On Track
1. I will stop comparing myself to others and underestimating my own abilities.
2. I will not live in complacence. I will tolerate feelings of awkwardness and step outside my comfort zone regularly.
3. I will not get caught up in the could haves and should haves – Instead I will embrace each moment for what it is.
4. I will invest in the things that inspire and move me.
5. I will be self-reflective, and open to changing my thoughts and behaviours when necessary.
6. I will never allow setbacks to stop me from achieving my goals. I will get back up and never give up.
7. I will not lose sight of all the reasons I have to be grateful.
8. I will love myself unconditionally. I will stop basing my self-worth on the opinions of others.
9. I will set higher goals. If it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough.
10. I will face my fears of failure and rejection.
11. I will not become bitter or resentful. I will embrace forgiveness and let go of the past.
12. I will focus on my strengths rather than dwell on my weaknesses.
13. I will not let anxiety steal my peace of mind.
14. I will accept whatever comes my way and use it as an opportunity to grow.
15. I will fill my mind with positive affirmations: “I am strong, capable, worthy, lovable”
16. I will embrace failure as a stepping stone to greater success. I will appreciate the lessons and wisdom it adds to my life.
17. I will consider my opinions valuable and worthy of being considered by others.
18. I will take responsibility for my own happiness. I will not blame anyone for my feelings or the setbacks in my life.
It’s so wonderful to realize that we don’t have to live as slaves to our insecurity. We can choose to step out of our comfort zones, face our fears, and believe in ourselves.
Once we start to take these steps, our confidence will grow. When we act confident, we become confident.
If it helps, print out or write the promises above that resonate with you, and say them aloud to yourself daily, as mantras.