We ALL deal with negative thoughts! Every last one of us has had a time when our minds were infiltrated with pure negativity and self-doubting nonsense. Even the most confident of individuals still deal with negative thoughts because sometimes we truly can’t help what pops into our heads, but it’s how we handle them that is important! I want to share how I handle my own personal negative Nancy that occasionally likes to drop by to bother me and bring me down.
I always like to keep it real with my readers because I feel like honesty and transparency are both important qualities in a blogger. Obviously I’m not perfect; I’m still human and as a human, especially in our American and western society, I deal with self-doubting and negativity all the time. I’d be lying if I said I completely had my mind under control and that my faith in God was always 100% and that my self-assurance was perfectly in tact. Truth be told, throughout college, my negative thoughts were a lot more powerful than they should’ve been and with all of the activities and classes I was engaged in, I didn’t have the necessary tools to combat them. It wasn’t until close to my senior year and after graduation that I was able to deal with my thoughts and respond healthily.
All through high school, I was so self-doubting with my intelligence, and to an extent, today I still am, but I’m starting to realize that I’m actually pretty smart. Growing up, I was so scared of failure that I would refuse to study, so that if I did fail, I could blame my failures on my lack of studying and not my lack of intellect. I felt like everyone was always getting A+’s on their tests and I wasn’t. Everyone was getting into Ivy League colleges and I wasn’t (though I was close). I had to stop comparing myself to others in order to recognize my own individual intelligence and flourish the way I should’ve been!
If you know me at all, you know that I’m a decently unique individual. I talk in funny voices, make silly faces, and can definitely seem awkward when first meeting people, but underlying all of that is a desire to bring joy and laughter to others. There have been times when my negative thoughts have prevented my true personality from shining because I’ve been self-conscious about how I come across to others. As an adult, I’ve learned to embrace my weirdness because it’s part of what makes me, ME! My goofy and warm personality has helped get me jobs, a date or two and the great friends that I have and have had and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
My biggest source of negative thoughts has come in a more superficial form surrounding my looks and body. Obviously, there is an overwhelming societal pressure for women to look a certain way and it’s promoted just about everywhere. I’ve already written about society’s unrealistic beauty ideals and how they have negatively impacted my thoughts and actions in the past, but I want to share how I’ve been able to overcome much of it. For me, prayer is a priority. I spent many nights praying for God to show me the beauty that He has placed within me, and praying that I would see myself the way that He sees me. On top of that, I had to stop comparing myself to others and embrace the way that God made me because He made me and YOU beautiful! A slim percentage of people legitimately fit into society’s beauty norms, but we ALL fit into God’s beauty norms because we were made in His image.
Negative thoughts will come; it would be irresponsible of me to say that you’ll never experience self-doubt, but if you’re able to separate negativity from positive truths, they won’t be a problem. Don’t compare yourself to anyone but the best version of yourself and embrace and love YOU!