I know we have all probably been taught to love ourselves “flaws and all”. But if you are anything like me, that is easier said than done. We spread confidence around in public and on social media as if it were a plague. But behind closed doors the story sometimes changes. It’s not all self-love and acceptance. A different hue of light is shown when you are left alone with your thoughts and in front of a mirror.
The first time I ever realized what an insecurity was, without even knowing what the word, was for what I was feeling was back in the 5th grade. A fellow classmate commented on my attire and though I felt confused and embarrassed, I also realized that I had a perfect game face. I immediately became self-conscious about what my outward appearance looked like but I never let them see me worry. Not long after, it spiraled out of control and I started to question myself as a person. Of course, the older I got the more extreme it became.
It can be the most insignificant thing to make you realize your biggest insecurity. Once I got to high school, I began to take a lot of photos. That’s when I started to really get compliments on my smile but also realized that I had one flaw that stood out to me and apparently no one else. I have what some people would call an overbite. Now if I ask anyone they will say they don’t notice it but whenever something made me extremely happy or laugh hysterically in photos, there it was staring me in the face. Some of you may be thinking, “Overbite? Really Trenae?” Though it may seem small to some, when it’s a part of what most people call my most noticeable feature, it causes some havoc for me.
Society definitely has its ways of making us believe that things are supposed to be a certain way. How we wear our hair, our skin, our body shape, the clothes we wear and even our representation of the money in our bank accounts. All of these things have the ability to redirect our behavior and even our interactions with people. It has taken me WEEKS to post just one photo and that’s if I post because I think I look fat. I have frustrated myself to tears because I didn’t think how my hair came our was acceptable. Small things that trivial and at the end of the day pointless.
As I got older I questioned everything about myself; is my hair pretty enough, do I dress well for people to notice, how do I pretend I have a little bit of money when I know that I don't? These questions, and then some, that I asked myself pretty much up until my sophomore year of college, definitely took a toll on me emotionally and mentally. I wasn't able to move throughout my life without anxiety or without stress. I missed out on a lot because of that. I self sabotaged some relationships because of that. It wasn't until I hit a few low points and I had a really good friend cut into me (had a stern conversation) that jolted me into a realization of who I was and what I had to offer.
Most of the things that people are insecure about are things that have NOTHING to do with who they are as a person. But as I said it redirects our behavior. How much time we spend getting ready, certain spaces we allow ourselves to be in, the type of pictures we post and even working out to look good for others and not for the health of it. By the time some of us realize that our insecurities are beneath us, we may have dug ourselves into a deeper hole.
I stopped asking people their opinions unless I could trust them to not say something to be hurtful. I realized that my love language was affirmation and only engaged in certain conversations about my insecurities with people who would not judge me but encourage me. I started to realize that the few things that I found myself to be insecure about are the very same things that some people loved about me. They were also things that no one had ever complained about so why was I?
I had to face myself with or without a mirror. My insecurities began to trickle into other parts of my life that didn't make me feel not only physically insecure but emotionally insecure as well. I had to create a battle between myself and societal standards. This battle was not easy nor was is it short but it was worth it. I not only learned how to learn and appreciate everything about me, I was able to help others do the same. My conversations were different, my relationships were different and my mind was different. All moving towards something
Insecurities are unfortunately a part of societies DNA. Especially if you are not prepared to face them early on. No matter how many compliments or pep talks you give yourself in the mirror; if you are not mentally or emotionally prepared to face those things that may be brought up to you or you later notice, it will be a rocky road. Being insecure does not make you weak or make you less worthy than the next person. If you can face your insecurities at any point of your life, you can definitely rid yourself of them. They may be a part of who you are but they don’t make you who you are. You got this boo.