Self-Esteem Week : My story

Side Note: I wrote my post on Sunday night before Carisa's. It is crazy to me how we did not talk to each other about what we were going to write and our stories sounded similar but kind of flipped. Like she said, maybe we were destined to be friends :D

Growing up my self-esteem was not the greatest, and honestly I have no idea why. I was never teased, I never had problems making friends, and had a great upbringing. I guess it's just one of those things that all girls (I don't know about guys since I am not one) go through.Which is why I wanted to write about it, because not everybody has a oh-my-word testimony/story, life is just life, girls will be girls, :)
I also wonder if this post will come as a surprise to those that know me well, since what I am about to write about wasn't obvious. I never wanted anybody's pity nor did I want people to think that I was fishing for compliments, and that remains the same.
Anyway..

Then...
The struggle with self-esteem can be a long, tough, uncomfortable journey. One filled with jealousy towards other "prettier" girls and pessimism towards oneself. At least that's what I experienced. During high school my lowish self-esteem turned into high self-consciousness. I would turn red at an instant due to the smallest mistake, wrong move ect. And then when I would turn red I would turn even redder because of the fact that I was red! I was just a big mess (Hallelujah for being out of the teenage years) !

This lowish-self esteem was even present during church events. You have to understand that low self-esteem isn't all about feeling low about looks, it's about feeling low in many different areas. Going to conferences was not easy at first, I always felt very plain, very simple, and not in a good way. All these girls would go decked out, and I? I was, well, not. I felt very un-pretty. Of course, that never got in the way of the actual church service, but feeling invisible in a group was not a good feeling. I wouldn't even try to socialize much at first, I just went for God, period. I didn't feel important, didn't feel like I was worth getting to know. I also remember there was a particular friend who I jealous of for some reason, she was beautiful and everywhere we went she got attention. This was my mentality then: she sings better than me, she plays better than me, she's prettier than me = she's better than me.

What Changed...
One of the fundraisers I put together.
Well things began to change when I entered college and as I got closer to God, I started noticing I had some things that this "pretty friend" didn't. Yeah she could sing better than me and play the piano better than me, but she didn't have desire to live for God and eventually backslid. Yeah she was gorgeous, but she had a flirting problem, I didn't. (Please note that this individual I am referring to is not a blogger so stop being nosy lol). I started noticing my strengths, not my weaknesses. 

As I continued my time in school I found out several things about myself I didn't know. First off, I could actually ace all my classes (yay) and people thought I was smart. No seriously, even when I had no idea what was going on people still thought I knew everything, it was quite entertaining actually. Anyway, so I started actually believing in myself and in my abilities. Then my leadership skills started getting more fine tuned. As year two rolled around the corner I found myself president of a club. I organized all sort of stuff and bossed people around! It was great!! Okay just kidding, I didn't boss anybody around, but I found out I could lead (and later found out that just because you can lead, doesn't mean you want to.) Any leader out there will let you know that you can't exactly be a dynamic leader if you aren't confident in your abilities.

As I started getting to know myself and actually liking and believing in myself, the whole image-conscious part of me just faded away.

As far as feeling like the ugly duckling at conferences and stuff, that faded too, because the growing hunger for God left less and less room to compare myself negatively to anybody. Plus, I started appreciating my simple style and life because I noticed it was very convenient at conferences, more time to sleep in and less luggage. LOL. Recently I was reflecting back to my low self-esteem days and noticed that being negative has a way of blurring your vision. All I saw was the fancy gal's, I never noticed other bun-wearing girls like me. Now I do of course, but bun or not, I don't care! Everybody is different, everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. It's not about who is better, it is about being comfortable in your own skin and finding your unique qualities.

Look,
Maybe you are not a beauty queen, but you may be one of the sweetest people around. (I sure aint. lol)
Maybe your hair doesn't reach the ceiling during conferences, but you are a worshiper.
Yes the girl next to me may be prettier than you, but maybe she's struggling with something you are not.
Yes, you may be the plain Jane for the most part, but don't you prefer to be "plain" and get noticed by the one right guy instead of 100000 wrong ones? (That's how I feel) 


Everybody is different, unique, just find out what is you.  

So, in conclusion the best advice that I could give anybody with low self-esteem is:
1. Get busy in the things of God.
2. Find your strengths and fine-tune those.
3. Start looking for the good in places, not the bad.

Before I end this post, I do want to say that being comfortable in your own skin and being confident in your abilities and strengths does not mean that you wont have down days. Everybody has those days when they feel less pretty than the day before and days when they feel prettier. It's a matter of shaking it off and not entertaining negative thoughts, it's all about attitude.

(P.S. Why aren't you people commenting on this stuff. Do you understand how personal this stuff is to us?.Geessh.. now go back and read the posts.. ALL OF THEM... lol... No but seriously, I hope all of our posts can help somebody somewhere) 

33 comments

  1. I LOVE this!! A self esteem struggle I had when I first got into a Petecostal church came from my hair. It was natural and 3 years ago it was chin length because I was a hair dresser on the side before I got in church (cuts, dye, the works lol).. Anyway. NO ONE else wore their hair like me. No one else had hair like me. All the black girls wore it straight. So 3 years ago I started a blog. And NOW at conferences, I see SO MANY naturals!! Its exciting :) Anyway- I was able to take a struggle and turn it into a victory and ministry. So many other black girls (or girls with ethnic hair) felt pressure to wear their hair straight because thats what everyone did. No matter that they were damaging it.. So now, I LOVE my hair and I love that I can embrace and wear it with confidence because God made me this way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really do have a ministry, it's great ! And although we hear time and time again that peer pressure and all those issues are in the world, they are very much present in the church and around us in general.

      Some of us learn to love ourselves by ourselves, but what about those that need help? That need a push? Your blog has definitely been that to a lot of women and girls. So hopefully this can all encourage somebody.

      Delete
  2. Anali, you will never be a "plain Jane" - you are beautiful and I'm glad I have another "bun-wearing" friend in the world! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so noticed and appreciated that about you too! Lol and thanks Jedidah ! And you won't guess what just happened? I was getting off work just now and somebody gave me a compliment on my bun and asked me how I did ! Lol!

      Delete
    2. Haha nice! I love this one, "Who did your hair?" uhhh me... "really??"

      Delete
  3. I know understand why you were in such awe after I sent you my post. ;) How funny! Very similar!!!

    Loved this!

    p.s. I love my hair bun!! LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  4. AMEN ABOUT THE PEOPLE LEAVING COMMENTS PART!!! I mean like HELLLLLLLOOOOOOOOO!!!! Actually someone told me that they ARE reading these they just aren't commentin!!! Soooo yeah that should boost our self esteem a lil!!! HAHAHAHA!!! ANnnnnd heeeeeeey I do a big bun on top of my head buuuut I most certantly don't consider myself PLAIN!!! LOLOLOL!!! LOOOOOOOVE this line: "prefer to be "plain" and get noticed by the one right guy instead of 100000 wrong ones?" Its going in the SINGLES BOOK!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I have also gotten texts, but still! LOL.

      And you better quote me in your book, that way I am a little known when your book becomes WELL-KNOWN :)

      Delete
    2. I loved that line too! It's definitely true!!!

      Delete
  5. Sorry for not commenting, Ladies! These have all been excellent. You are all beautiful ~ inside and out! And you are daughters of the King!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Maybe I shouldn't have put that last part on my blog ;)

      Delete
  6. Wow, Anali, you are beautiful, I was shocked when I read the last line about you considering yourself a "plain Jane". I know you didn't write this for compliments, but hey...just sayin'!! :D

    ~Bethany~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha Thanks Bethany :)

      Check your email!!!

      Delete
  7. ANALI!!! I just read THIS post!!! http://spanglish101.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-makes-you-different-from-her.html ANNNND its cRaZy because this is the exact reason why I have felt like I connected soooo much with you girls...I mean I know we discussed about being like-minded buuuut YEAH this sums it up EXACTLEy and really this is one of the things that I noticed about you kindreds that made me want to be friends with you all!!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!! XOXOXO!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love you too :)
      Like spirits attract !

      Delete
  8. ANNNNND how do I get those things at the bottom of my blog posts that say you might ALSO LIKE...

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOLOL at your "P.S."

    I love you, Anali!! And I love how God began to wake you up to see all your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God said He would take care of us in ALL things. Including emotional, can I get an Amen?

      Delete
  10. omw!!! love.ur post missy!!!as girls,.we go.thru our roller coasters, each.hill preparing
    us.for the biggest roller coaster yet... :-)
    -lily

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True that! As well as preparing us to help other get through that roller coaster :)

      Delete
  11. Good piece of writing Miss Anali!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's really encouraging Anali, Thanks for that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome miss Mariana! Hope to see you soon!

      Delete
  13. I did not even see this post until just now! Thank you for sharing! I think we all have a battle with self esteem to fight. You can be comfortable and confident in your own skin and also remain humble! Some people learn to see their strengths too much, and it's almost a weakness because they begin to worship self. Hmmm maybe I should post about the major self esteem battles I fought. lol Since everyone else is letting the cat out of the bag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl let the cat out and let it meow ! Lol and although I have stenghts I have many many weaknesses, so that keeps me in line

      Delete
  14. Meow! lol Pleeeease don't think I was saying you were proud! lol Not directed at you at all. Was just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so offended Jen, like you don't even understand, and I'm so proud that I don't want to pray through.. lol jk.. You are right though, about that thought that is :)

      Delete
  15. Thank You for SHaring that beautiful testimony! I Love it! And I can honestly say that I will use some of those side notes you have used!:D
    I Love YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Hope it helped :) Take care!

      Delete
  16. I'm late reading these...by like a year!! Haha!
    I really loooved all these testimonies, or posts. It's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one that went through it, but that we all went through it together.
    My self esteem issues come from a completely different thing than any that I have read, but they were still self esteem issues just the same. Thankful for God and His people though.
    Sigue brillando para Jesus Anali, mi amiga.

    -Brittany Mags

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still not used to your last name :p lol.

      I'm glad you liked them. That's why I tried to post these, to encourage others!
      And maybe I should have asked yo u to write for this year :)

      Delete
    2. Haha or maybe the year after. I'm not sure if I'm ready to open up about some of it. They are definitely encouraging! (Thumbs up)

      Get used to it, it'll be this way forever. ;)

      Mrs. Mags (HA)

      Delete

What-do-ya think?