Why can't I be who I am? Why do I have to hide? I have to hide because of what you MIGHT think.
We are talking one day and you ask me who I want to be in life. I answer, telling you that I want to be an actor in a musical. I read your body language and know instantly that you think it is stupid, and I'll feel embarrassed.... So then someone else asks me who I want to be, I just say that I want to be a full time childcare worker... that person knows that it makes sense, since I studied childcare, and it is doable.
I do something slightly wrong, and someone yells at me or over punishes me... I am then scared of doing things wrong, so next time I ask lots of questions so that I don’t get it wrong. Heh, but the problem there is that I'm self conscious when I ask questions, because I'm afraid that they will think that my question is stupid. It is an endless cycle of wanting approval!
You see, this situation is more real than you think.
Many people have over powered me in my life... they have told me that my opinions are stupid. Although I can't understand why they would think that... I go on, and either try to be someone else, or I simply start believing that my opinions are stupid. For a long time, I have felt like most of my opinions and ideas are stupid. People rule me.
(Note, as you are reading this, I am worried about what you will think of my writing style, and what I am saying)
I'm self conscious and approval seeking, because I have been told that I am wrong. Then someone good comes along and tells me that they agree with my opinion, or that they really like something about me, and I think it is a lie.
Luckily I know I'm not the only person who is like me. If I didn’t know that, I would think that I am mental.
You might say that all people live to impress... that is mostly true... but our situations are different. Me, and many others simply find it too hard to accept ourselves, because of the past and sometimes the present. It is much worse than a simple case of trying to impress everyone else.
There are lots of people who I could blame, and who I have blamed in the past, for causing my low self esteem... but the truth is that most people don't know that they have said something that really hurt me. It is quite possible and probable that I have hurt people with my words as well. Sometimes it is more than one person that contributes to low self esteem. Sometimes who we are, makes us more prone to low self esteem.
Unfortunately it is hard to forget those situations of hurt, and with me it has altered the way I live... but I believe that it is mostly reversible. A lot of people love me, and the more positivity I get from people, the more confident I feel. I have started to believe people when they say "Hey you are a pretty good singer!" It takes me a while to believe people, but I do. I stop telling people that give me nice comments, that they are just saying these things because they love me and not because it is true.
I still have a long way to go though. I'm still scared of what people think, and sometimes nice comments simply don't work. You wouldn't want to give a person like me too many nice comments either, because I might start believing in myself too much. I know I need to find more balance in my life.
Hmm, I hope I didn't confuse you... I hope that I helped you understand. ;)