Imperfectly Perfect

I have been wanting to write something that I feel people can possibly relate to a bit more than just my ‘perfect’ everyday beach & Australian travel pictures.

I am living in a bit of a dream at the moment – and I truly am at my happiest. However, and I think I speak for a lot of people, a lot more really goes on behind whats being posted.
Around a week ago I read an Anxiety blog and it has played on my mind ever since. (This can be found at http://www.itspeppy.co.uk)
Basically, I read this post and I couldn’t get it out of my head for a while. Someone had actually written something that I could really relate to – and I was fixated to the screen.
This post may be totally unrelatable to some – and that’s fine – but I feel that others will read this and absolutely relate. I guess it depends on who you are as a person, what you have been through and how you are truly feeling inside.

This may seem like a blog full of babble – and it may not make sense to everyone. Its a little out of my comfort zone, and is a very different topic to what I would usually be writing about… but here goes.

I have been fighting battles in my head for years now. Battles that I speak to no one about – not my family, not Rick, not even a best friend – and to be honest, the ‘not telling anyone’ part has never been a problem for me. Ever. I am extremely good at keeping things to myself and overcoming them on my own, and I have no problem with that. I’d say I think that I am strong minded… but I read Charlotte’s blog and thought actually, why the hell shouldn’t we talk about this? Maybe that is just the problem with myself and with today’s day and age – nobody talks to each other about the real stuff. About how we are really feeling, or about what went wrong, or about what actually happens; because we’re too embarrassed to say – or we’re worried about what someone else is going to think – because we may not come across ‘perfect‘ in their eyes.

I don’t want to make this a depressing post, because believe me, I am far from depressed – but finally, I feel like some things deserve to be spoken about rather than kept behind a closed door…

Aged between 17 and 20 I went through a stage of being utterly obsessed with how I looked. How self-centered does that sound? But it absolutely wasn’t the ‘I love how I look today’ type of obsessed. By obsessed I mean that I would care to a point where I would pretend that I needed to use the bathroom frequently, just to check that I looked ok for everyone else in the mirror, and if I wasn’t happy with myself – I would do all that I can to correct how I looked, and if I still wasn’t feeling 100% happy; I would have taken myself home. Yep. I was more self-conscious and critical of myself than ever before. I don’t know what bought this on, or where it came from – but I was unhappily obsessed.

At that age, public image was just becoming a big thing – on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook – we had never actually  had to look at each other, or ourselves, this much before. It was everywhere.

Have you heard of Safety Behavior? Well its something that I used to perform on a daily basis – and nobody really had a clue.

If I was walking past a group of people – I would pretend that I was on a phone call; just to cover the skin on my cheeks. I had problematic skin growing up (and still do now!), and insecure would have been a very generous word to use for how I really felt about it.
Safety behavior sounds absolutely mad doesn’t it? Sometimes I would push my hair further in front of my face just to avoid people seeing parts of my skin. It actually makes me unbelievably sad that I used to be that insecure in public – and people might be shocked because I always came across as the ‘confident one’ – but truth is, you never really know the truth about everyone do you? The best thing I ever done was started training myself to grow out of those insecurities and behaviors. Because its not healthy – and truth is, whilst you’re worrying about yourself, those other people are probably worrying about themselves too.

How often has someone said to you ‘Would you notice that on me? People don’t notice things like that! Others are too busy worrying about their own insecurities to worry about yours…Blah blah blah – we’ve all heard it before; and although it doesn’t really make us feel any better – it couldn’t be any more true… but somehow I had managed to create a compulsive obsession with looking perfect… Yet I always had this feeling as though something was a little off.

These insecurities are still there, and I would much prefer to wear makeup and look a certain way 24.7 – but it isn’t always possible and I am learning to accept that this is me and that everyone deserves to be 100% happy in their own skin.

 

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Another thing.. Have you ever said something to someone, and then finished the conversation and replayed what was said over and over in your mind – and actually kicked yourself because you feel like you said the wrong thing. & Now you feel like they’re thinking that you’re a little bit weird or that they don’t think you’re somewhat perfect? That was/is another problem of mine, and I’ve been working on it. Because it is absolutely insane to torture yourself like that everyday!! It may not sound like torture – but it goes deeper than it sounds.
Even just a few weeks back, I walked past someone in the hostel that I was staying in and I said hello in an awkward voice with what I thought was a super creepy smile attached to it – and I walked away thinking ‘oh my god, why did I do that? Why did I not just say Hello in a normal tone and smile normally?’
..It sounds absolutely pathetic doesn’t it? That really is how silly it can be; but this used to happen to me after almost every conversation that I had with someone that I didn’t really know.

Its mind games – and it really is all in the mind. As soon as that little negative cloud comes into my mind, now I automatically tell myself something positive like ‘Emma, why does it matter? You are absolutely fine. Is this really that important? Is it going to matter tomorrow, next week, next year? Life’s good, your good.’

 

Everyone thinks of me as the confident speaker – and I know that I am a brilliant speaker when I am confident about what I am going to say… but if not, the anxiety can be insane – but I can cover it damn well. My heart will race, my hands will shake and I’ll feel a real sense of sickness – whether that is just before I am about to perform on stage or if I am about to speak to a group or crowd. How about when you’re at some kind of work training exercise and you have to perform role play? OR when you have to go around to each individual in the room and tell everyone about yourself? Is it just me who doesn’t listen to a word of what anyone else says because you’re too busy preparing your speech about yourself in your head, over and over and over again until its basically a script and you sound somewhat perfect? Lets not go there, I’ve done that. Even I know its no big deal – in fact, it is just a friendly little ice breaker – but these are first impressions, and I seemed to want these impressions to be perfect – so it became a negative rather than a positive.

How about telling someone a slightly different story to what actually happened, because you don’t want them to think that you haven’t got it all under control? Guilty. A good friend of mine has an a*hole ex-boyfriend, and he cheated on her numerous times, but she would keep the full story to herself because of how it would make her look to us and to others – how upsetting is that? That we have actually got to a point where we would rather hide our truths and emotions just to try to cover up what’s really going on, in order to save what people think of ourselves.. Deep down, it doesn’t make anyone feel better.

I am a strong believer in ‘mind over matter’… and I strongly believe that you can train your mind to overcome anything, as long as you really want to. It takes time, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but I know that it is possible. I say that because I have been improving and training what goes on in my mind for a long time now, and don’t get me wrong, I still have a way to go. But I truly feel like I have found that balance between making others happy, whilst making myself utmost happiest.

 

After all, you are your longest commitment – so make sure that you build a loving relationship with yourself. ♥

 

A quote from Charlotte’s blog…

“I strongly believe that the way society makes us be who we aren’t, causes people (me in particular) to hide from ourselves and to stop believing in who we are. This leads to us not being able to express our feelings, our doubts or our troubles to anyone because it comes across that we are not “perfect“.”

Could that be any more true?
Just a little something to think about. Because it really made me think.

 

Be the truest and best version of yourself…
even if it takes some work.

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Happiness is a habit
Cultivate it.

 

with love

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I am your not-so-typical gym going, sun loving, palm tree hugging Brit with a one way flight to Australia!

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