How I Escaped A Toxic Relationship with Myself:
When we talk of toxic relationships, we immediately think of our intrarelationships. Confronting an unhealthy relationship with oneself is a bitter pill no one wants to swallow. I’ve found myself in an exceedingly toxic relationship in the past that cultivated so many insecurities within me.
Toxic behaviors start subtly with little unrecognizable things that develop into daily habits, and before you know it, it’s your personality. Most people, myself included, tend to forget to prioritize self-care, which promotes self-sabotaging behaviors.
The battle to conquer my unhealthy habits hasn’t been easy, but it is worth it. Overcoming self-destruction is a perpetual journey of immense intrinsic motivation and will to be and do better. I had to face my fears and insecurities head-on and see what was on the other side. Some of the things I had to do;
- Stop Self-Negative Talk: in the past, I’ve put myself down with every failure I encountered. I would talk to myself in demeaning and accusatory ways that made me feel like crap most days. I would blame myself for things I had no control over. I replaced this behavior with kindness and patience toward myself. Whenever I’m in a negative situation, I take my time to ease into a positive mindset and respond to it instead of reacting. It’s easy to self-sabotage because it requires no effort, contrary to learning from the situation.
- Quit Seeking Extrinsic Validation: external validation is a disease. People pleasing is addictive and a tricky lifestyle to get out of. Sense of belonging is a human need, and we all want to belong to the cool clique; hence, we seek extrinsic validation. I’ve had to accept that I am not for everybody, and everybody isn’t me. Seeking external validation kept me pleasing everyone except me. It cultivated so many insecurities and self-destructive behaviors just to fit in. I stopped people-pleasing and began validating myself and my intrinsic worth.
- Embracing My Uniqueness: our distinctive qualities make us beautiful, and I had no sight of this. I wanted to fit in so ineptly that I had to be who everyone wanted me to be. I began embracing my uniqueness, and everything else started to fall into place. Embracing my distinctiveness initiated an inner transformation that encouraged other changes toward healthier behaviors.
- Reinventing My Personality: for the longest time, I thought personality was permanent and innate, and I had to let go of this idea and make room for change. I began doing the opposite of what I was already doing, and the changes started to show immediately. I also began celebrating small wins and keeping an open mind in everything I did.
In conclusion, none of the above changes were easy; I’ve had highs and lows, but it’s been amazing. Personal development and reinvention take time, and I’ve had to master being patient and truthful to myself all the time, no matter how tough the journey gets. I got to learn firsthand; it’s never too late for anything.