08 Nov I’m imperfect, and I love me
Being a student of psychology, I have come across many interesting theories that suggest how our childhood shapes our thinking and functioning as an adult. It is the early childhood experiences that make us who we are. They shape our self-identity, what we think of ourselves and how we interact with the world.
Being the firstborn and eldest child in my family I had one of the most wonderful and loving childhood anyone could have ever asked for. I was loved and appreciated by everyone around me. Naturally, I became a very happy-go-lucky, confident, and extroverted child who would thrive everywhere she went. I did well academically and in activities other than academics. I was fearless on stage and slayed it everywhere I went. I grew up to be this very confident all-rounder who was loved by everyone.
But it was not all happy and twinkling and sparkling all the time. Growing up I always came across fairy tales and stories of people being saved by some miracle. They always had the underlying theme that people fought adversities very bravely and then one day the universe smiled at them and gave them a huge gift. Eventually, my brain was conditioned to think that someday a miracle is going to happen with me and everything is going to be happily ever after. I always relied on external sources for happiness, validation, and a sense of accomplishment. I only felt valued when I was being an overachiever.
Naturally, failure was not my best friend. I was terrified of making mistakes and overly critical of myself when I made one. I walked on eggshells. To the outside world, I was a perfect person but only I knew on the inside what I was struggling with. I fell into the trap of perfectionism and refused to do something unless it was perfect. This was around the same time when I faced a lot of bullying in school for being too skinny or not as pretty as other girls my age. But I faced these challenges head-on. Little did I know that the repercussions of these things will affect me at a very crucial stage in my life.
In the years 2014 to mid-2020, I struggled a lot mentally. It was one of the toughest periods of my life. I was battling multiple mental health illnesses, body image issues and my self-confidence crashed to depths. I struggled with analysis paralysis and refused to take any risks. I stopped loving myself. I closed myself to the outside world, new experiences, new people and became very meek. Anxiety became a constant companion. Even though I had everything in the world it seemed impossible for me to find happiness. I had lost my overall belief in myself that I was this miraculous person who was capable of achieving what she set her mind to. I waited for a miracle to save me. I was looking out for an outside event to happen that will lead to me being my confident old self again. But to no avail. It seemed that life too had given up on me.
When my life took a drastic turn in December 2019 I kept wondering where my miracle was. And I kept waiting for someone else to come and save me. And then came COVID.
March 2020 was a turning point for the whole world. We were locked in the four walls of our homes and went to war with an invisible enemy. Like many people, I took shelter in self-reflection and meditation. Being spiritual really gave me a sense of calm that I had not experienced in a long time.
And during one of these meditation and silent reflection sessions emerged my nexus event. And interestingly it was not someone or something external but it was something internal.
I took a slight detour from my career path and decided to study psychology. I was already working with Enterprise at this point as a video content creator but decided to take a break from my job and enrolled as a partner in the fellowship.
But I still was a mess from the inside. I was still waiting for my miracle. Still waiting for that big fairytale moment.
I spent the next year pushing myself. I Took on projects, pushed my boundaries, pushed my comfort zones, and challenged myself. Be it Sunday Game Nights, #Karo playdates, or my first client project. I gave it my all. I strived to be the best version of myself. I was hungry to learn more and do more. I told myself I am no longer going to define myself by my limitations. I was all set to fight with the bull head-on. A major part of this process meant being okay with asking for help when I needed it. With my loving parents and the mentor network at Enterprise, I became okay with asking for help. I stopped limiting myself to things I have done until now and said yes to new experiences and learnings. I got rid of my perfectionist complex and focused on doing more.
The shift in my thinking and attitude towards life was not a one-month process. It included a lot of being okay with making mistakes. What was also important is setting reasonable and achievable expectations for myself. I created an environment of productivity around myself. I became comfortable with feedback. I surrounded myself with people who had a growth mindset similar to mine. This meant identifying my old toxic patterns, being aware of them, and slowly shedding them. Instead of being self-critical of my flaws I owned them and decided to work towards them.
2021 emerged as the best year of my life. I worked on multiple projects not only at Enterprise but was confident enough to go outside and pitch myself to other clients to work for them. And I did! I am finally back to being the old confident and boss lady version of me. I still love being an achiever, but I love myself even when I fail. I am living the best version of myself. I am creating the best version of myself. And more importantly – I love myself more than anything in the world.
I am more self-aware. I now know my triggers and pressure points. I know how to take care of my mental health. I am at peace. The fellowship brought back my lost confidence changed my perspective of looking at life. Earlier I saw life through only one lens and believed that the world is divided into only two colors black and white. The fellowship has been like a kaleidoscope that has not only made me realize that there are greys but has made me aware of all these different colors.
I created myself, I created my own happiness.
And I have realized, I was my own miracle all along.
A Gen – Z doer who is keen on exploring many things. I am passionate about motivating people and curious about the human mind.