Acknowledging that I struggle with self-esteem was ironically, a hit to my self-esteem.
I’d somehow convinced myself that I was a confident person who didn’t care about what other people thought of me, well, for the most part at least. What I discovered through journaling was that I deeply cared. I was terrified of failure and the rejection that I believed would soon follow.
The truth is, sometimes I feel like my words aren’t worthy of being written down or said. Like if they’re not eloquent enough then I shouldn’t share them. And so, I listen. And at this point it’s so ingrained in me that sometimes people are surprised I have strong opinions about things. I’m always considered the quiet one, even though the commentary in my mind is anything but. A lot of the time I’m too busy worrying about saying the wrong thing and feeling like I’ve failed somehow. It wasn’t until I forced myself to write every day for a full year that I began to feel comfortable with sharing vulnerable truths not only to myself, but with people on the other side of the world.
I think journaling gave me the permission I needed that I couldn’t give myself. It provided me with a way to speak without needing to be asked or heard. I was thinking about things I hadn’t considered before, and I was being honest because I had finally allowed myself to be. I got used to listening to myself and became more confident in sharing my thoughts with others in JoClub sessions, as I came to understand their value.
I’d love to say that I’m now this super confident person who doesn’t care about what other people think of her. The truth is, I’m still struggling with it. In theory and on paper I don’t care but in my personal life, it’s been difficult to follow through on the sentiment. It feels hypocritical in a way, valuing authenticity but not being brave enough to live it fully. What I do know though is that I am now committed to this journey of helping myself get to that point, and I know that journaling will have a big part in that.
Noa is a recent uni graduate currently trying to figure out what to do with her life. In her spare time she can be found starting new craft projects instead of finishing the ones she’s already started, watching too much tv or writing.
Connect with Noa here: @writingsbynoa_
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