This post makes me so happy. It was shot in Zambia underneath the blue skies of Lusaka with the sunshine kissing my melanin. I wore this Chitenge skirt that I had designed and hand made in Zambia- so fulfilling. Let me know if you want one below and I’ll get some pieces available on the blog.
So despite the positivity of my blog and my social media, I’ve been feeling quite down lately. I think with my birthday coming up, I’m feeling the pressure of time ticking by and questioning what I have done or achieved in this time. It’s been a real exercise to avoid negative thoughts and fight off anxiety associated with feeling like I’m not good enough. But I’ve been determined to turn my mindset around and be just as positive about myself as I am about others. If like me, you tend to put a great deal of pressure on yourself, are highly self-critical, and don’t feel like you are doing enough, here are five things that have helped me to develop a better perspective of myself and my journey.
1. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
I cannot emphasise this point enough. Like I truly cannot tell you how much looking at others prevents you from realising your own unique gifts. It’s so tricky because, well for me at least – I don’t actually mean to compare my progress with others. I’ve actually wondered in the past why anyone wastes time looking at other people instead of focusing on themselves. But last week, perhaps it was the emotional fragility, the hormones, I don’t know, but I found myself comparing myself with a blogger because of an opportunity she had been offered that I hadn’t. It really got to me and made me question myself to the point I almost started thinking that I wasn’t good enough. But if there is one thing experience has taught me, its to never question my worth. Of course I AM GOOD ENOUGH. If I am not offered an opportunity perhaps I need to look at practical reasons rather than attack myself. What’s for me, will be mine, no matter how long it takes.
2. VALUE YOUR JOURNEY
We are all on different paths and have different journeys. You are your only competition because no-one has walked the exact journey that you have to get where you are. Everything that you have been through has been to prepare you for the next step. Remember where you come from, I sometimes get so carried away in where I want to be that sometimes I forget that I’m just a girl that came from a little broken town in the middle of Southern Africa. Not even the capital city you know! But I had a dream even in my little small Zambian town, and if that little girl could see me today – how proud would she be of what I’ve made for myself eh 🙂 Remember to remember guys.
3. RECOGNISE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
This one ties in nicely with the one above. Goals, goals, goals EVERYWHERE! I am telling you, living for goals is going to drive us crazy! A large part of feeling like you haven’t achieved anything comes from failing to recognise your achievements. It’s okay to take some time out to say ‘You know what Metiya, you done smashed that project at work! Six months of hard work and it paid off, well done.’ Thats right, you are awesome and you do awesome things every day! Not everyday beating yourself up over what is undone, sometimes celebrate yourself over what has been done. I started doing this thing where instead of writing a to-do list (because I have gazillions of these), I now write a DONE list. Aha! Check-mate boo, sometimes you gotta hit your own negativity and show it who’s boss.
4. MIND HOW YOU TALK ABOUT YOURSELF TO YOURSELF
Did you know that your mind takes a thought, processes it to gain meaning and understands it before speaking? So what thoughts are you feeding your mind about you? How are you talking to yourself? What kind of words are you using to describe yourself?
‘Oh I’m so stupid!’
‘Gosh I act so dumb sometimes.’
‘Geez I’m so ugly and fat.’
‘Man I hate how I sound.’
I mean just listen to that! Half the things I say about myself, I would never say about others! I underestimated this for so long until I started noticing that my confidence had decreased and wondered why. You believe the things you say about yourself. So instead of speaking negatively, use this power to speak positivity into your life. To reiterate positive things about yourself, sometimes even looking in the mirror and saying ‘Gosh I’m beautiful, thank you Lord’ IS A GOOD THING! Appreciate, recognise and value your worth. You are awesome!
5. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
I noticed that these types of self-limiting, negative thoughts normally come to me in busy periods or when I have not really spent time on myself. I enjoy yoga because it allows me to still my mind through my body and really catch up on my balance. But it’s so easy to miss a few sessions and get caught up in work, lists etc and lose balance. The best thing to do is just take some time for you in the most comfortable way possible. Last year when I had my quarter life crisis, I booked a solo trip to Norway and spent some time alone in nature and it was exhilarating, just really helped me reach my inner peace. But sometimes just running a bath with some candles and bubbles will do the trick. I’m so blessed to have a great network of friends around me. Although I prefer to be alone most of the time, I’ve found this year that opening up to your friends can be a real great way to get things off your chest. We are all going through the same things and sometimes all is takes is a coffee with your friend (in person so that they can give you hugs) and very soon you’ll be laughing about what you cried about before. Thanks Grace x
So there you are guys, my top tips to get your balance back and ward off ANY NEGATIVE thoughts about yourself. Please make it a point to practice these everyday and anytime life tries to get at you. You are wonderfully made for a beautiful purpose and you are just on your journey to discovering it! Love and light x MC