Tag Archive: self-consciousness

This a bit more on the personal side. i wanted to share a bit of my story and talk about self-esteem issues.

I want to help someone, anyone overcome this problem. First, you must first find where the source of problem is.

  • Who am I comparing myself to?
  • Where are am I getting the idea that I am not beautiful?

My issues started in middle school. I was on the chubby side. My clothes didn’t necessarily flatter me. I was called fat and ugly many times. The boys with the muscles got all the attention and the girls that were on the skinnier side were drooled over. Everywhere the girls were saying they don’t like chubby boys. Everyone in the commercials wanted to lose weight and look ‘sexy’. There were reality shows about people losing weight and how much better they felt about themselves. The feeling of being ‘ugly’ was definitely reinforced when my cousin was born. He was blond and had hazel (blue/green/light brown) eyes. Everyone gave him SO much attention. I felt so left out as if I didn’t exist because no one ever said, “aww you are so cute”, “You are such a handsome boy”, or anything like that. I started to feel worse about myself because of it. I was thinking “why isn’t anyone paying attention to ME? I am in the same room you know.” I felt even worse about myself when my mother was comparing me  to other children who excelled in sports or who excelled in school. I was the solid B student (always) and I was never into sports, although I was always encouraged to do it. It hurt every time I was compared to XYZ student who got straight As and asked why could I do that.

The next step is to realize what you’re doing to reinforce these thoughts.

  • Am I thinking negatively about myself?
  • Am I exercising more than usual?
  • Am I eating less consciously?
  • Did I not do something because of what someone might think/say about me?

There were many things I avoided doing because of what someone would say/think about my body. I wouldn’t take part in certain activities because of it. I became more quiet so that no one would notice ‘fatso’ in the room. I would look myself in the mirror and wish I was someone else, or wish I was ‘prettier’/more handsome.

One of the difficult steps was realizing that I don’t have to be what others want me to be. I am who I say I am. Or the more popular phrase, “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am). One of the things I started to do was compliment something different about myself everyday. Even if it was a small thing, I would do it. For example, I looked in the mirror and said “I like the way my eyebrows arch” (it doesn’t have to be said aloud per se). You could also say, “I am a great person for helping her pick up her books”. Little things like this really does add up and you begin to realize how beautiful you are inside and out. When you find yourself saying a bad thing about yourself or your body find twice as many good things to say about yourself. Another thing you might need to start doing is blocking off the sources that tell you, you are not beautiful. I tried to stop listening to what people said and shrugged it off. It may be really difficult at times but you have to learn to forget what they said as painful as it is. Start watching television that doesn’t say “you are ugly” because to be honest they have pounds of make-up on, are photo-shopped, and as much as the media tries to convince you, they are probably not happy eating a leaf for dinner. When you eat, be happy that you’re eating what you want and you aren’t limiting yourself because you want to look like those ‘models’. Honestly it’s just too much work to think about what I’m eating and how many calories I’m eating etc. When I eat a Crumbs cupcake I eat it happily knowing I can eat whatever I want and be happy.

I hope this has helped SOMEONE out there. Oh and remember, you ARE beautiful and don’t let ANYONE call you ugly. They have no right to say that and what they say shouldn’t be important . At the end of the day it’s you who decides what’s important and what’s not, and you choose how you feel about your body so think positively about yourself.



Me at the Great Wall of China


Arriving at the Beijing airport, I did not know what to expect nor did I see what I would become after the entire experience of being in China. I have been learning Chinese for two years, and I was very excited to actually go to China to finally be able to use the language with native speakers. I’ve never traveled outside or anywhere for that fact without someone I know. It was a bit of a terrifying thing to think about; being surrounded by people I just met. To my surprise, my group clicked instantly from the beginning. We were chatting and sharing things about ourselves very freely. I felt comfortable with myself being around my group members.

Throughout my trip to China, ‘Andy’ (my group leader), always said “expect the unexpected”. It really stuck with me while I was on the trip. When I arrived in Beijing, I was definitely not expecting the smog, the interesting foods that I encountered along the way, or the incredibly amiable people I would met on the way either. Talking with the locals, trying different foods that I will most likely never encounter in the United Sates really changed what I was willing to try or do.

A couple of months ago, if  you were to ask me, would I eat some food put in front of me that I don’t even know what it’s made of, I probably would have said no without any second thought.I would have given the same response with living in a mountain, since I have a fear of heights. I push farther out of the comfort zone, away from what I considered ‘outside of my comfort zone’. One of my earlier moments of leaving my comfort zone was doing ice-breaker games in the middle of a busy Beijing train station. We played pterodactyl, which involved making very strange noises very loudly, and played a dancing game.  When we started, all I could think is, “what are these people thinking about us, foreigners, acting strange in the middle of a crowded train station?” After a while, I simply stopped caring what everyone else was thinking and I concerned myself with how can I make this experience the best possible. I feel like I took these two lessons, of pushing myself further and breaking away from self-consciousness with me outside of the experience and I have been applying it with my daily life.

I feel that having so many diverse faces in my group helped me learn how to have a conversation with someone who is not like you or comes from a different part of the world. Although, I probably would not have talked to many of the kids in my group, but because of EIL, the summer program I was a part of, I have become great friends with people I never expected in a million years to become friends with. One of the eye-opening lessons that I learned was: you can become friends with just about anyone if you give them the chance to make that sort of impact on you. I had such wonderful experiences and stories to share regarding the people I met and the things we did. They have left such an impact on my life, there isn’t a day I don’t think about them. This is extremely cliché, but this has really been a life changing experience. The way I think about my life and myself is so different. I greatly appreciate all the new things I tried, all the things I was fortunate enough to participate in, and the outcome of my personality coming out of the China.