I’d Never Let A Guy Say These Terrible Things To Me, So Why Do I Say Them To Myself?

*Note: This article was written for Bolde.com on 04/21/17. To see the original article, click here.

My high expectations for my life have driven me to work harder and strive to be a better woman, but they’ve also allowed me to wallow in self-pity and doubt my own capabilities in all areas of life — and particularly in dating. Sometimes I’m downright awful to myself, which is crazy because I wouldn’t let a guy get away with treating me the way I treat myself sometimes. For instance, here are 10 things I sometimes say to myself that I’d never let a man say to me:

I’m the only one who can determine my self-worth. I’d never allow anyone to talk me down or attempt to convince me that I’m not good enough, whether it be for a job or someone’s affection. Sometimes I forget to love myself and feel confident that I’m good enough in every way.

Whether they’re friends or strangers, I always wonder if people like me or if they’re only pretending. After years of being called a snob because I was too shy in high school, I tend to overanalyze what I say and do in the presence of others. One moment I’m enjoying myself, but hours later I wonder if they misinterpreted me or if I said something ignorant. It’s silly and illogical, I’m aware, but that doesn’t keep the thought from entering my head. If a guy said that to me, however, I’d probably deck him.

I know that even the most gorgeous women in the world struggle with self-love from time to time, so we’re all in the same boat there. Generally, I’m happy with the way I look, but there are times when I stand in front of the mirror and hate seeing my thighs touching or the way my arms look in a tank top. I whole-heartedly believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but for some reason, that still doesn’t stop me from disliking my own reflection. Yet, I would never allow a man to shatter my body image, so why shouldn’t I give myself the same amount of respect I want from others?

Actually, I know I can. While I may struggle with self-doubt when it comes to what I’m capable of in life, deep down I know I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to if I work hard enough at it. For years, women have been told we’re not good enough, and all my life I’ve been hell bent on proving those critics wrong. I shouldn’t be doubting myself because I know that if a guy told me I couldn’t do something, I’d say, “Watch me.” It’s about time I start saying that to myself.

I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve accomplished in life and sheer luck shouldn’t have all the glory. I don’t want others downplaying how far I’ve come in life, which means I should be taking pride in myself and everything I’ve worked towards. While I may not need validation from others, I certainly need to pat myself on the back every once in a while.

I haven’t gotten where I am by stumbling through life, taking whatever’s handed to me. My own time, energy, and frustration have been spent building the life I want by attending school, taking unpaid internships and studying. Even my love life has taken work, and although it’s been tough at times, every ounce of love I receive is love I’m worthy of. I just need to remember that more often.

One of the most infuriating things a man can do is talk down to women like we can’t take care of ourselves. I’ve certainly received concerned looks when airing up my tires as if I’m a damsel in distress who can’t perform simple tasks for myself, which is BS. I don’t need anyone to hold my hand; I’m capable of doing what has to be done on my own and asking for help when necessary. However, there’s usually self-doubt in the back of my mind, wondering if I can hack it when I should be as confident as I try to appear in front of others.

We all have those days where we look in front of the mirror and think, “Oh, honey, no.” While I love using makeup as a form of expression, I also have to admit to myself that sometimes I feel like I’m less attractive when I’m without it. I need to embrace my natural beauty instead of wondering what people think of me when I venture out of the house without it. If some guy told me I wasn’t as hot without makeup on, I’d kick him to the curb. Why can’t I accept that I’m beautiful no matter what?

Not everything is going to go my way all the time, I know, and sometimes I’m going to make mistakes. It’s all about picking myself up, learning from those mistakes and moving forward so that I can succeed next time. Feeling sorry for myself will never get me where I want to be, but I’m far from a failure as-is.

Life is tough and unexpected obstacles occasionally get in the way, but I have to persevere. When others want to convince me my dreams are hopeless, I work that much harder to prove I’ll succeed. Why do I tell myself to give up when that’s exactly what my critics want? When that little voice starts to tell me it’s hopeless, I have to learn to tell myself, “You’ve got this.”