Lately, my internal battles have revolved around self-worth and confidence. Everyone struggles with these elements of ego, so while there's nothing special about them, their purpose is to make you feel totally singular. The ego has a cyclical way of feeding itself.
So what to do when you feel low? Generally, I've seen people either become defensive and puff themselves up, or turn in on themselves and self-flagellate (my mindset tends to fall in the latter category). Both are forms of tunnel vision, and until you claw your way to objectivity, it's hard to not feel alone and powerless (completely "special" in your self-hate).
But, you know, these days, there's the internet. You can just Google "How to recognize your worth" in an incognito window (guilty) and try to get yourself out of your slump, right? Yeah, it's not that easy.
Sites like tinybuddah.com and Psychology Today definitely illustrate how you're not the only one who goes through this ish. They even give you listicles to make you feel like this problem can be solved in 10 easy steps. But telling someone to just "be kind to yourself" isn't enough. The "just do it" attitude doesn't quite work for everyone. Why? Because of different upbringings, childhood trauma, chemical makeup, and so on.
While reading these articles, I felt a disconnect. Like there was a preliminary "step" missing. And last night I realized what it was. Remember what I said about tunnel vision? I think that before you can "kill your negative thoughts" and "change your perspective," you have to first learn to stop and take notice of your mental landscape.
If you're like me, and the neurological pathway to self-blame is more heavily paved than others, then it's kind of like training yourself to be hyper cognizant of déjà vu. Like, "Oh, wait, I've been here before. Let me stop for a minute and notice my surroundings. Ok, I'm in tunnel vision." *feels side of head* "I'm going to take these blinders off."
Of course, everything is easier said than done. Being mindful while dealing with NY's hustle-bustle and the internet's overwhelming content stream is just fucking hard. But I know it's going to make all the other steps to feeling better more mentally accessible. I have to know that I'm on a destructive path before I can tell myself to stop following it.
Writing this was personally cathartic, but I'm sharing it, because I know I'm not alone. I hope this post will be helpful to those who are dealing with similar struggles.