Are you consciously, or subconsciously, making yourself disappear?
Do you find yourself avoiding the camera or cropping part or the whole of your being from photos?
Are you dumbing yourself down to your coworkers, lovers, friends?
Are you a fan of fad diets that promise quick fat loss to shrink yourself?
Do you spend more time breaking yourself down than you do building yourself back up?
Well, stop that, immediately, right now, seriously, do it. Yes, it is that easy. I know you don’t believe me but it’s true. Don’t worry, I’m going to give you some tools to help. So here’s what you’re going to do.
The first step toward ending the cycle of minimizing yourself is, waking up to when you’re doing it. This requires you to identify when you’re engaging in negative or diminishing thoughts and/or actions so that you can stop it. This requires you to start recognizing your triggers. The first step to quitting any habit is to know when you are committing whatever offense you are trying to overcome. This step could lead to some deep shit. More than likely you’ve been engaging in this self damaging behavior for quite some time so it might feel so completely natural that you have a hard time recognizing what is triggering it. However, if you set your mind to it, you will start to see the signs, just be patient with yourself. What you find may not be pretty but it is necessary to face to overcome. More than likely it’s a fear of something or an insecurity in some area of your life. This could run deep and could take some time to fully uncover. Don’t worry if you find yourself coming back to this step a few times until you get to all the sources of your triggers. You may be stuck in this step for weeks, months, or even years. More than likely you’ll come out of it thinking you’ve fixed the problem, mended the wound, and then out of nowhere a more challenging opponent or situation comes into play and you’re cowering in the corner again.
Slap Your Wrist
Now that you are aware when you are doing this, stop a second to mentally or physically slap your wrist. This would be where you see people snapping the rubber band around their wrist in the movies. Taking a moment to reflect on your normal response to your triggers, instead of responding in your normal manner, is the next step toward changing the behavior. At this stage you may not be ready to start overcoming but you can stop engaging. If your ghosting offense is verbal, try not responding, smile and nod or politely excuse yourself. If your offense is physical like being in a photo versus taking the photo, get in their, get in the back if you have to, but stop sitting it out. If you stop responding to things that you use to go along with, or respond to things you use to shy away from, people will start to notice. Please don’t let this deter you. Continue with your work and stick to the path. People don’t like change but think how much harder this work is for you and how much better you will be for it. It takes a strong person to focus on self awareness and even more to change our core self so that we may grow, expand, and rise above the bullshit.
Replace Your Behavior
This means coming up with a game plan for changing your reaction to your triggers. In the instances where you tend to diminish your intelligence or adjust your personal beliefs, you will need to be brave enough to start speaking your truth. People may not like this but again you need to remind yourself this isn’t about anybody else but you. You are trying to represent your most authentic self. You may find that you are confused as to who this person is. You may find yourself someone who adapts to surroundings so much you may have lost pieces of yourself along the way. Perhaps you don’t know if you ever formed any of your own thoughts. What is your voice, what sounds does it make, what does it have to say? This for many will be the hardest step. You’ll need to identify your tent poles, your core beliefs. Once you begin identifying this moral code your authentic responses will come more easily. After you discover who you are and where your value comes from you will be able to replace the old triggered behavior with a more true representation of yourself. For more info on establishing your roots, checkout our other blog Live LIke a Sapling.
If you’re having trouble seeing your inner beauty on the outside, if you find yourself avoiding meeting up with friends, or fleeing at the sight of a camera or mention of the word selfie, it’s time to start believing in yourself. You don’t see the person you want to see when you look in the mirror because you aren’t taking care of yourself properly, mentally, physically, psychologically. Self love is the hardest most important love of all. It’s not easy to get past your failures and hurt but if you do the work you will shine so bright. You need time to yourself to reflect on what you see. Are you the person you want to be, are you living your best life right now? If not, what self care efforts do you need to implement to get there? If you have past hurts or disappointments that have led you to devalue yourself and steal your confidence then you may need to incorporate journaling and meditation along with a new health and/or beauty routine. Figure out what you need and start doing something about it. You may find you need to adjust along the way but you’ve got to start somewhere. Once you start feeling better inside you’ll see someone else in the mirror or on the other end of the camera lens. Someone worthy of full length selfie shots all day, every day.
Step Into the Foreground
This is your time to shine, get out of the background of those photos. Stop being a yes man/woman at that work meeting. Speak out your brilliant ideas from across that huge conference table. Let that sexist, racist, ageist, bigot neighbor, acquaintance, coworker, whoever know how their hurtful comments make you feel. There is no need to get emotional or defensive, your opinions matter, your truth should be heard, you add value to other’s lives. Stand in your strength, express your passions, let the world see the beauty of you. Once you know what you stand for, and you fight to get to a place of peace and understanding of yourself, nothing can touch you. Words can longer hurt you. You have risen above it all because you recognize what you have to offer. You know where you fit in this world, and most of all, you recognize your value. There is nothing you can’t do in this world if you believe in yourself and you work hard to get there. If you want it, speak it loud and proud, and then go take it. It is yours.
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