After my first attempt at college, I spent over 15 years beating myself up mentally and emotionally because I was a college dropout.
There was a period during my 20's when I thought no women would ever date me because I was a chubby college dropout who was chronically UNDEREMPLOYED.
Underemployed means you're not doing work that makes full use of your skills and abilities. Because I felt so unworthy, I basically would just apply for jobs waiting tables and/or call center jobs. I constantly felt like I wasn't good enough.
I was ashamed because I felt like this wasn't supposed to happen to me. My life wasn't supposed to be this way.
I remember living in an apartment complex in Durham, NC that was so bad, I would drive around my building each night before I would park my car.
This way, I would know if somebody was hiding out waiting to rob me.
I was working a shitty 2nd shift job where I wouldn't get home until 2 am, and at least once a month someone in the complex would get their apartment broken into.
Luckily for me, the only time someone broke into my apartment was when I first signed the lease and I hadn't moved in yet.
The apartment leasing offices would always know me on a first-name basis because I was constantly paying my rent late. One of my lowest moments came when I was waiting tables, and two people I'd gone to high school and college with sat at my table. I lied and told them I was working my way through grad school.
After so many years of beating myself up mentally and emotionally, I finally went back to college to finish my degree. The whole time I kept thinking when I get this degree, the whole world is going to change!
I remember walking across the stage to get my degree, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life.
When the excitement settled down after a few months, I started to realize something.
Nothing had really changed.
I was still the same person, still working the same shitty job. What I realized in that moment, is that the joke was on me.
I'd spent all these years talking down to myself, feeling like a loser just because I didn't have a college degree.
All those years I spent playing the role of a victim and feeling bad about myself just because of a fucking piece of paper.
That same piece of paper is framed in my office, and I hardly even notice it hanging on the wall anymore.
When your self-esteem and happiness are centered around external things like a car, a college degree, a house, etc....you'll always feel unfulfilled and unhappy.
Some of you are just like I was a few years ago.
Constantly beating yourself up emotionally
Constantly telling yourself you aren't good enough
Constantly living the worst moments of your life over and over in your head.
Some of you are so good at playing the victim role, you should carry around your own body chalk.
Here's the scary truth....no one is coming to save you. There is no white knight on a shiny horse coming to fight your battles for you.
The only person who can save you....is YOU. You're the only one who can stop yourself from being your own worst enemy each day.
There are people willing to help, but only if you start helping yourself first.
The first thing you need to do is change the story you keep telling yourself. Stop telling yourself you're not skinny enough, not tall enough, not good-looking enough.
We all tell stories about our lives, and most of those stories are just like "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the Rings".
They're made up, fictional stories.
As introverts, we're very good at telling ourselves stories about why we suck.
We're masters at weaving an intricate tale of woe and despair that gives us a built-in excuse for why we aren't living the type of life we dream about.
Just stop it.
I want you to go grab a sheet of paper and write down every single accomplishment you can think of. Write down as many as you can.
At first, this might be hard for you because you've spent so many years feeling bad about yourself, but keep going. If you won a jump rope contest in the 2nd grade, write it down. If you learned how to play an instrument when you were younger, write it down.
Were you voted Best Personality in high school?
Write it down
After you finish, I want you to spend some time looking over your list.
We spend so much time thinking about our failures and shortcomings that we often forget how much we've accomplished in our lives.
Put that list somewhere you can see it every day. Whenever you need a mental boost or a "pick me up", look at your list. By looking at your list each and every day, the story you keep telling yourself will start to change.
When the story you keep telling yourself starts to change, you'll start to notice things in your life changing as well. When you understand that you're the one who controls your life (and your mind), you'll no longer want to keep playing the victim role.
Make this list TODAY.
If you tell yourself that you're going to write down your list tomorrow, you and I both know it's not going to happen.
Your list of achievements will be yet another thing you tell yourself you're going to do, but will never happen.
Write down your list and let me know how it goes.
If you're really struggling here and would like some help, reach out to me and let's talk. Let's figure out WHY you keep telling yourself the same old story over and over each day.