self-reflection

Reflection

Throughout my life, I have reflected on my actions, my choices, and my feelings, and today is no exception.

Towards the end of university, I thrived off the simplicity of success and the feeling of working towards a common goal. My aim was to graduate with honours. Of course, this was a desire that everyone had, that was the point of it.Yet surprisingly, in the beginning, I didn’t. See the truth is, I expected to fail, even though I have already gotten so far. I doubted my ability, my intelligence, and I battled with my own negative outlook. But university changed my way of thinking.

In the beginning of university my natural reactions to most things were primed by a negative mind. I was clouded, so whenever something good happened, say for instance, getting results back and sharing them with others, I would feel embarrassed and awkward. When I quietly announced to a friend over a table that I got a B in my portfolio, I watched their reactions, their smiles and I would smile back with an apologetic look on my face. Why, because I wanted to shout and jump about it, but gloating wasn’t my normal way of doing things, I was embarrassed for allowing people to feel excited for me. I was being fussed over and instead of feeling grateful for such a positive reaction, I looked for anything to turn around and enforce my negative opinion of myself and my achievements. It was so bad that I would take congratulations from lecturers with a pinch of salt, go home and think about how I could have done so much better.Simply Because I truly believed I wasn’t good enough. I was so deep into my own self-loathing, I couldn’t comprehend positivity, and that is a truly terrifying thing.

But the thing was, the people in my life didn’t cater to my darkness like I wanted, they smiled and cheered, and egged me on. The issue I was faced with was that my self-doubting was so bad, my sense of judgement of progression and achievement was seriously clouded. But university gave me my guts back, and the friends I had and made along the way pushed me to celebrate the small things, and most importantly my boyfriend changed how I saw myself, loved me no matter. And so, I reflected some more.

See, like all humans, we reflect on our actions, our feelings and our patterns that we develop. Over the years, I accepted that feeling ashamed about wanting to be better and successful was just a response, driven by past events to my own inner issues. I accepted that I was reinforcing my own idea about myself, and it started to become clear, that I saw myself differently to everyone else in my life. I was always quick to celebrate other people’s achievements but I had finally begun to feel proud of my own. University and the people within it gave me that. I started listening intently to those words, watching those reactions and changing my own perception of myself. I felt like I was finally in control.

As I went through my final two years of university. I took on board the constructive criticism from lecturers and let it guide me. I put myself into situations I would never have dreamed of. I worked for Sky News and threw myself into an internship at a publishing house I wanted to work for. I wrote about something that interested me and got it published. I chose a difficult and interesting topic about reporting on trauma for my dissertation, I interviewed very successful people in the business and didn’t feel unequal. I did these things because I believed in myself and listened to those who believed in me too. I did these things because I wanted to be the best of myself without the negative outlook.

On reflection, if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that we continue to grow – up and better – all at once, and the challenges we face are sometimes obstacles we place before ourselves, because we either don’t know any better, or we haven’t allowed ourselves to be better. But with a bit of reflection, we can all get through this, challenge ourselves to be the good within and not what we are told, but who we are and how we feel.

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The importance of finding yourself

You’re sitting at home alone in your comfiest pair of jammies, armed with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a soppy rom-com you’ve watched a million times. It’s not because you are getting over a break-up, it’s not because you are feeling self-conscious or that you’ve had a bad day. It’s because you are enjoying your own company. It’s taken a lot of time for you to find this place, this state of mind where you don’t feel as though you have to be surrounded by people to have fun. Even back then, you weren’t really having that much fun anyway, you still felt lonely.

You remember that it wasn’t always like this, you grew up exploring woods and paths. You never felt the need to have company, because you were having fun doing things by yourself. But then as you grew older certain incidents happened and it changed you. You relied on others to make you happy. You craved affection, and acceptance more so than you should of, because you wanted to be loved – but not in the natural sense, more of a reminder that you were. You dived into a relationship with your best friend and fell in love, but as time went on you lost yourself and turned into someone else entirely. You were only ok when you were with him, he was the only thing keeping you together. As soon as he left you felt alone and unloved. You needed him too much. But you weren’t even happy with the relationship, you were only happy to see yourself as happy. The relationship past it’s sell-by date and you stayed, because you were a coward in your own right. Afraid of being alone, afraid of confronting any issues with your past and with yourself. You tried to fill that void by getting a puppy. You just wanted feel something, because you were so numb. But it only made matters worse. All you wanted was to be loved, but it wasn’t enough because you didn’t love yourself.

Then one day something changed, everything became clear. The life you built for yourself was not what you truly desired. What you really wanted was to find yourself again. Be the happy kid getting grounded because your mum caught you up a tree again– you wanted to feel grounded within yourself. And you were ready to change your life, so you did. You found the courage to find yourself and now you are living life just the way you should be – happy.

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Kyra xo