I won’t let my insecurities control me again

The last four months, I’ve written over approximately 100 articles and made about 10 video’s for my internship. I made short articles about activities, articles about people I met, video’s about activities and even articles for a newspaper. And every time I finish an article or a video, I ask myself: “Is it good enough? Am I good enough?”. Every damn time.

A while ago I was talking in a group chat with my friends about a poetry night in Rotterdam, which I really wanted to go to. My friend Youri asked me if I wanted to recite some of my writings. I laughed and said no. I said: “That’s way out of my comfort zone,” To which he replied: “You have talent, share it with the world,”. And my reaction was: “Not enough talent”. That’s the way I felt at that time. And I had to promise my friends I would never EVER say this again. That conversation made me think over and over again. And I asked myself: “Have I always been this insecure?” The answer is yes.

I don’t fit in

My insecurities go way back to high school. I’ve never really had close friends, but I did surround myself with people who brought me down. I’m not talking about every person who were part of my life, but some did. I always felt different around those ‘friends’. I wore different clothes, I hated the music they listened to and I always loved writing and reading while everyone hated it. I’ve never fitted in, which was very hard for a girl who was 12/13 years old. So, that’s why I tried so hard to fit in by wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music and doing things I would never do. I created this sort of different character. And at some point I was having a hard time to be myself again.

Not enough talent

Things changed when I finished high school and started my study in Journalism. I finally found a place where I could be myself. Almost everyone I met were into writing and reading. I was surrounded by people who had the same interests, so my character disappeared over time. I could finally be myself. But, the insecurities were stayed with me. The reason? I felt like I wasn’t talented enough. I’ve read so many articles from different classmates and every time I read one, I was like: “This article is way better than mine”. It completely sucked and at some point in my second year, I didn’t want to hand in the articles I’ve written. I did write all my assignments and articles, but my insecurities overtook every time. That’s why I had to redo my second school year.

Personality

Not only did I feel insecure about writing, but also about me as a person. Social media has beauty and personality standards. Super thin models, influencers with a LOT of curves. Models who act casual, influencers who are funny and sarcastic. And I know it’s just who they are on social media, but for some time I was an idiot for thinking they were actually that person all day everyday. But I did think that way. I wanted to lose weight, but get curves. I tried to act casual, but I’m definitely not casual. I’m very outgoing and love a good laugh. But at that time, I could only be like that when I was surrounded by my friends.

Out of my comfort zone

I had a very hard time with my insecurities, but at some point it even started to annoy me; I had enough. So, I started to build up more confidence. I did things that were out of my comfort zone, like at my work. For a short period I worked as a waitress and I was always very quiet. At some point I tried to have a conversation with a few guests at the restaurant. I have to say, those guests where colleagues of my dad, but I wasn’t sure until I talked to them. I showed my own personality: kind, a bit quirky and always positive.

My boss was truly surprised and I eventually ended up crying when I was talking to her about this. It took me so long to finally come out of my comfort zone. I kind of build a wall around me and I wouldn’t allow myself to be myself.

Doing it all over

When I broke down that wall, my insecurities slowly went away too. I loved my own articles and I wasn’t as afraid to hand them in as I was before. Doing my second year over, was the best thing that ever happened to me. Which may sound weird, but I’m serious about this. It doesn’t matter if you have to do it all over, because you will come out more productive and definitely less insecure. While I was in that year I realised that my insecurities took over my whole life. I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, because I was too insecure. Now that I look back at it, I feel so sad for not doing some things different. I finally realised that I AM good enough. My writing IS good.

So, I will no longer let my insecurities control my life.

If you ever feel the need to talk to me about this subject, you can always send me a DM on Instagram, or you can send me an E-mail (info@valerie-emily.com).

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