WRITER: Rachael Ely
I am an over-analyzer. It’s bad, you guys. Give me a room to myself and plenty of time to think and I can find something to worry about. I worry about myself, my family; I can even worry for you if you want. This is where any insecurity of mine comes from: the deep, dark, murky corners of my conscious that tell me that I am unlovable, or not good enough to succeed in life, or heaven-forbid…fat. Anxiety runs in my family and I am not immune to it. And I don’t like how it makes me think.
I think we, as women, over-analyze a lot. And have you ever felt happier about yourself or your life afterwards? No. Never. I strongly believe that those over-analytical, worrisome, insecure thoughts stem from Satan, who knows that they will make us feel small, weak; not the confident, beautiful women that we are. I also strongly believe in a God who gives us feelings of peace, never anxiety. We create that for ourselves, with the help of Satan.
I don’t want to be fragile and insecure. I want to be a woman of strength and confidence. I want to take criticism with stride and squish that voice in my head and remind it that I know who I am and don’t care what others think. That kind of woman is truly beautiful. I know I am not alone in this struggle. I also know it’s something I have to constantly work on.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how we can battle low self-esteem. There are plenty of suggested remedies out there. But in looking back on my life, I can think of one piece of advice that has the most instantaneous and powerful effect on my self-worth and confidence: get out and do something good for someone else. We all hear it and we all know from personal experience that it’s true, but it’s easy to forget when you are caught up in your own problems. But I cannot stress enough what a positive effect good deeds have on your soul. When you are actively engaged in helping ease someone’s burden or doing something constructive for them, you are not thinking about yourself. And when you do something that you consider of high esteem, even something as small as taking out the trash for your mom, you hold yourself in higher esteem. I can’t fully explain why doing good makes us feel so good, but I know it does.
Here’s a small example:
A couple weeks ago, there was a massive snowstorm in Salt Lake. I was heading out to a party in a nearby city that I was so excited for. I realized before I got onto the freeway that my car wouldn’t be able to make it, so I huffed and I puffed and I turned around. I was BUMMED. On my way up the hill by my house, my car got stuck and I was left in the car with the smell of burnt rubber and some choice words on the tip of my tongue. I noticed there was another car ahead of me that was in my same position—fruitlessly pounding on the gas, trying to get up the hill. I sat there for a minute watching them, thinking, “Man, this sucks for us” and then I remembered something I had heard earlier that day about serving others. I decided there was no point in both of us being stuck, so I got out of my car and helped push the other car up the hill. After they drove away, I got in my car and realized that instantly my mood had changed. Even though it was the tiniest act of charity, it made me feel so awesome the rest of the night when I could have been wallowing my self-pity.
When I think about my life, I know that the happiest I have ever been is when I was actively involved in helping someone who needed it. I am not insecure during those times; I do not over-analyze or worry. I feel good about myself. I feel beautiful.
Lately I have been caught up in myself. I have been selfish, thinking about my problems and worries and insecurities. It has not been a charitable time for me. But ever since that little reality check a couple weeks ago, I am remembering what I can do to dig myself out of this hole and to feel like the awesome, kick-butt girl that I am.