I’m going to be the first to admit it: I have never been known for having excellent self-esteem.

Actually, think of the complete opposite of self-esteem. Whatever word you come up with is probably the word to describe how I was feeling from 2012-late 2014/early 2015.

I’m not going to lie; myself and I did not get along well at all. I despised everything about myself; I hated my body, I hated my personality, I thought I was stupid, I thought I was ugly, I thought no one would ever love me.

What I want to ask is…why? Why do we think this way?

Is it unrealistic standards, bullying, are we just hardwired that way, or a weird combination of any of the three?

My opinion… it’s the last one. Yes, unrealistic standards are EVERYWHERE in this society. Everyone obsesses about the most attractive celebrity… leaving others to feel quite inadequate. Bullying is an obvious one: anyone who has been bullied can tell you that that will lower you self-esteem quicker than most things.

And I say “most” things for a reason, because we are our biggest bullies.

The world is not a perfect place. I think that is in universal agreement, no matter what religion you believe in or what worldviews you have. People suck, and we are our harshest critic.

I’ll use myself as an example, because like I said, I have never had the best self-esteem. I have body dysmorphic disorder. Everyday, when I look in the mirror, I see myself as fat. Am I fat? Probably not; I’m definitely not skinny or ripped, but I’m not fat either. I used to be, but I can’t see myself as anything other than fat.

I don’t care who you talk to, whether it’s the kid in your class no one else talks to, or the captain of the football team; we’re all insecure in some way or another. Anyone who says anything different is lying. When we all wake up in the morning, there’s something that bothers us. And just because it could be totally different – whether it’s thinking you’re fat or you’re too skinny or you’re ugly or that you’re stupid – it’s as valid of an insecurity as any other.

What I’m trying to say is that you are NOT alone.

Why do we think this way though? Who are we trying to impress?

I’ll give you an answer: we’re trying to be happy.

Happiness is a funny thing; it’s different for everybody. But we focus too much on it. Life will suck at times, and that is a fact. We cannot avoid it, and that’s okay. We can’t be happy all the time, because if we’re always happy, we are never happy.
We give ourselves these unrealistic standards, because we want to be comfortable.

We can’t all look like Chris Pratt or Jennifer Lawrence (those are the attractive celebrities, right? I don’t know anymore. Ha.) We can’t all be as good at sports as the captain of the football team, or as smart as the valedictorian (note: they’re probably not the best or smartest, either.) We are who we are. We can always make improvements, but ultimately, we’re made to be who we are made to be.

And that’s okay.

Finally, I just want to say… if you’re going through self-image struggles, it’s going to be okay. You will be okay… you’re beautiful the way you are.