How the Lockdown helped me fight off my insecurities?
How the lockdown helped me fight off my insecurities?
Nothing much changed in the initial days of lockdown. For a socially introvert person like me, work from home was a blessing. Not meeting people and having plenty of hours to do my things was something that I had been dreaming about over the past few years.
In the first two weeks, I dedicated my time to upgrade myself and reread some classics that had influenced me during college days. As I was staying alone, it was also a time where I could listen to every thought that had been passing through my mind.
But most of my thoughts centered on insecurities, guilt, and self-loathing.
Losing the Grip on Mental Health
I constantly compared myself with youngsters of my age who have achieved better things in life. It saddened me to see the self-acclaimed anarchy, who once openly opposed the conventional way of life, falling prey to what social media was selling. I lost clarity on my priorities and began wishing for validation from others.
Coming to terms with the fact that the identity that I have created for myself is not in sync with society’s ideal person affected me on a deeper level. Since I had a tiny circle of friends, I couldn’t open what I was going through to others.
To change the narrative in my head, I had to find the cause of this self-sabotaging and guiltiness. And all of them stemmed from the morality that society has conditioned me to believe in and not living up to standards of their ideal person.
I wanted to break myself free from this vicious cycle of self-loathing and address my insecurities. And I knew the reality that I can only help myself.
I started with making small tweaks in my personality and the results were just amazing. And I hope making these small tweaks will help you as well improve your mental well-being and become a better version of yourself. Not the one society wants you to be.
Self Acceptance: Self-acceptance is more rewarding than self-improvement. When you practice self-acceptance, you will feel empowered. As you accept who you are, you don’t need any validation from others. You need not change yourself to fit in.
Even the self-improvement aspect of your life will look more exciting. Once you have accepted yourself, you won’t feel any pressure from society to improve yourself. You know what needs to be improved and how it will help you achieve your goals. You won’t set goals to just get validation from others. However, Self-acceptance is a process and it won’t happen overnight. It will take days of introspection and also involve designing your values and ethics. But starting the process puts you on the right path to freedom and self-esteem.
Putting you first:
Saying no to others can be a scary moment for many of us. I was saying “Yes” to things that sometimes I don’t feel like involving, and I will often beat myself up for not having the courage to voice my opinions. I was playing the nice guy everywhere. I did whatever I could to avoid conflicts.
Even though I had my perspectives and opinions on different subjects, I couldn’t open it up. I changed this behavior by making myself a promise that I won’t ever let myself down.
I told myself that I will stand up for my opinions and I will explicitly express it with confidence. I started this by putting myself out there on LinkedIn expressing my opinions and thought processes. Slowly, I started saying “No” to the things to my close friends for things I don’t want to involve. And the result was increased self-esteem and self-belief.
Working on self:
When you have low self-esteem, even before you start something you will quit. Or else you will find weird reasons for justifying yourself why you won’t be embarking on a self-improvement journey that you have proudly announced to your family and friends. It can be losing a few pounds or writing a short story.
And a hint of risk is just enough to make you quit from the process. I initially thought myself that building a personal brand for myself on LinkedIn is not a cup of tea. As I was not active on other social media platforms like Face book and Instagram, even thoughts about posting gave me a tinge of anxiety.
Still, I posted it. I posted to prove that I don’t need validation from others to my thought process. I shared my experiences, and the response was very positive, although I didn’t expect it.
Observing self Talk:
I have done little meditation in my life. But, over the past few months of lockdown, I have tried to observe my thought-process from a third-person perspective. Sometimes, you lose control over it. And you may start engaging with your thought process, throwing back and forth questions and answers. Still, you can get back things in control. You can let yourself know that this is not the real “YOU”. Not identifying myself with the thoughts has given me the freedom for the lifetime.
It is normal to have negative thoughts. And having emotions like fear, anxiety, envy and all is part of being a human. We have been conditioned to believe that only “BAD” gets envy and jealousy. That’s not the truth. We all go through all these emotions alone. And we feel very uncomfortable to share with even our closed ones fearing judgment.
Educate yourself that there are no good and bad people. There are only people. That would make the process easier to go through without judgment.
Spending time with your closed ones:
I used to spend a lot of my evening time with one of my close friends at work. We both were on the same page struggling to overcome insecurities and come out of these nice guy syndromes. Those conversations with him reminded me how important it is to have a person to communicate with when we are trying to change things around.
His support and acknowledgment for who I am and what I do gave me a ray of hope essential to kick-start the self-acceptance journey.
As Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “Life is not sublime and Beautiful.” But it is not just the suffering. There is something more to it that makes us want to wake up day after day and get things going.
And to find that, we need to first overcome the insecurities that are weighing us down and limiting ourselves from experiencing life to its fullest.