We all have our struggles and I’m no different. I struggle to write more than two words without making a spelling mistake. I struggle with not plucking my beard in stressful moments. I struggle a lot with self confidence and feel like an imposer nearly every day.
But these are nothing when compared to my struggle with self-image.
When people think self-image, they immediately think of weight. Probably because of the stigma given to it by media and popular culture over the decades.
My struggle isn’t my weight. I’m nowhere as fit as I’d like to be; but I know full well that I have the power to change that and I’m working on it every week to make those changes.
For many years I’ve been slowly, but surely, going bald. A long time ago I made the conscience choice to clean shave my head and pretty much keep it that way all the time now. For a long time, I wasn’t really comfortable with it. But I am now, so that isn’t my struggle neither.
When I was a kid, I was always the smallest one. I was one of those kids that people thought I wasn’t eating enough. I was scrawny and short. I’m still short, but not as short as some. For a long time, I felt that I would never get anywhere in life because I wasn’t tall enough. I couldn’t command a room with my presence and didn’t look tall enough to be important. This messed with my mind for a long time. But, as my skill and competency grew, I came to realise that height has nothing to do with who you are and how you conduct yourself. In fact, I found that tall people struggle with the same internal issues as short people, its all inside our heads! Despite this, it’s not something I struggle with anymore.
My biggest of all struggles………body hair. I know, how on earth does a bald guy with a beard struggle with body hair. The issue, fortunately for you, exists below the shoulders.
I’ve had a lot of body hair for so long that I reckon I was born with back hair!! I probably wasn’t, but its been there for so long that it seems that way.
And, I’ve struggled with my self-image because of it for all of my adult life.
I don’t dislike it, I fucking hate it! I despise my body hair. I even tried once to use some stuff to get rid of it. But that just made me feel like one of those wield furless cats that crazy people have, and it grew back so quick that I couldn’t even get a tan!
I’m so self-conscience of my body hair that I go to great lengths to hide it. I’m reluctant to take my shirt of at a beach, and if I do, there must be very few people around. It took me years before I would wear a t-shirt in public with confidence….. A FUCKING T-SHIRT!
I know full well that it’s not anything I can change or should be worried about, I should love myself for who I am, I’m too harsh on myself, etc, etc, etc, etc.
Anyone who has ever told me this is 100% correct. However, I’m yet to come across anything or any words or any advise that will change how my mind works.
I’ve been locked in this way of thinking for some long that I doubt I can get myself out of it.
Much the same as any other thing we struggle with throughout our lives, the things I need to come to terms with are:
- Acknowledge that it’s there, but also recognise that it doesn’t define you.
- Realise that 99.9% of other people don’t give a fuck about your struggle, so neither should you.
- Take comfort in the fact that sometimes our struggles are actually what makes us human and normal.
- Everything is going to be ok.
- Get the fuck over it and get back to work.
Sometimes we can get a little to comfortable in life and our struggles always have a way of dragging us back to reality. Its at these times that we need to let our ego’s go, it had it’s fun, so can go back in its box.
Please never be afraid to acknowledge your struggles from time to time, we all have them, you’re not alone. There will be times when it will drag you down and have you doubting many things, know that it happens to all of us, we just may not show it. And, never let it keep you down, get back up, dust yourself off and get back on the struggle horse.
There will be good days, bad days, days in the middle and days when all we experience is the struggle within.
‘til next time….. Cheers!