*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:
1. “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.”
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.
2. “NO ONE REALLY LIKES YOU.”
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.
3. “LOOK HOW FAT YOU ARE.”
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?
4. “YOU CAN’T DO THIS.”
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.
5. “THAT WAS JUST LUCK.”
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.
6. “YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS.”
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.
7. “ARE YOU SURE YOU CAN HANDLE IT?”
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.
8. “YOU LOOK SO UGLY.”
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?
9. “YOU’RE A FAILURE.”
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.
10. “YOU SHOULD GIVE UP.”
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.”