“You need rhino skin or you’re gonna give in to the needles and pins, arrows of sin, evils of men. You need rhino skin.” ~Tom Petty, Rhino Skin
If you were lucky enough to have parents that weren’t assholes, they tried their best to tell you how special you were growing up to build up your confidence. Mind did. Chances are you believed them. Chances are even higher those beliefs got lost somewhere along the way. Mind did.
Life happened and over the years I became a master at beating myself up. Like me, you may have had days where you couldn’t think of one nice thing to say about yourself. This is dumb. I should kick my own ass for being such a bad friend.
Self-deprecation and being able to laugh at your mistakes are totally different than being straight up mean. I want to blame so many things, but I can’t. Every time I said something rotten about myself, I made that choice.
I’ve been hood ready since I was seven. I suggest you do the same.
When I started to hear myself, I decided to change. Self-hate is a buzz kill. I still have my moments, but I am changing. How? Steve Harvey. I didn’t plan on this. It just happened. I’ve been given books to read and suggestions on ways to improve my self-image over the years. However, nothing really hit home for me. I started recording Steve Harvey’s show because I think he is hilarious. (I can pretty much quote Kings of Comedy from start to finish including the audience comments during the show. He kills me. I’m a big fan.) Turns out Mr. Harvey makes more sense to me than Oprah ever did. In terms of this issue, here are some of the things I’ve learned that have helped me identify the root of my problem:
- Be accountable for your actions (This is a tough one when you’re hard on yourself like me for making mistakes.)
- Not everyone that starts with you is going to end with you (I have a hard time giving up on people.)
- Stop making excuses (I am not a natural whiner, but I do this when I’m scared. Look who’s being all accountable for herself?)
- Embrace fear and failure (sigh….)
- Get rid of the people holding you back (Did I mention I have a hard time giving up on people?)
- You have to be in a bad relationship to understand a good one (If this turns out be true, I am going to be a relationship genius when this good one finally comes along.)
- Be hood ready at all times (check!)
That last one is the most important. I’ve been hood ready since I was seven. I suggest you do the same.
Hood business aside, the results of not holding myself accountable, keeping the wrong people around and being afraid to fail were me feeling terrible about me. Feeling terrible is the reason I started picking on myself. It has done me no good. It will do you no good.
When you find yourself in my situation, take a deep breath and remember all those things your parents told you when you were little. (You are loved. You are special. There is only one of you. Quit coming home drunk and waking us up…wait…) Those things are still true. They were never not true. Life just happens, and life is tough. We lose perspective and allow it to take a huge dump on our personal worth. You’ll get it back. Because you are awesome.