Guess what? Most people don’t even notice your screw ups, your non-matching socks and your awkward pauses. This can be very hard to believe, but the truth is that most other folk are so caught up in their own stuff, they don’t generally notice yours.
While there may have been a handful of beautiful people in your high school, most kids were just stumbling forward, trying to figure out what class came next or what table to sit at for lunch. Geekiness is actually all around us; pretty much most people are trying to look cool, but fearing they never will. High school is a particularly difficult phase of life–partly because we suddenly care about being social and partly because this is the phase right before we launch into our own lives.
Exciting, scary times, filled with trying to figure out where you fit. Even though most of us manage to find a place in this world, we still sometimes have those paralyzing self-conscious moments.
From the inside, it feels as if a glaring spotlight is shining on you, highlighting the spot on your nose or the social mistake you just made. When we examine these moments objectively, though, we don’t usually get weird looks until after we react to doing something we think is dumb. I’ve had the interesting experience of meeting—in their later lives—a number of people who were the beautiful ones in high school.
While it may be difficult to see this at the moment we feel most like a doofus, everyone feels weird and self-conscious sometimes. Some use various chemical stimulants like alcohol or pot to help them deal with social times or to help them deal with the stress of daily life. Others use food, but no matter how you handle difficult situations, you sometimes feel awkward, silly or unintelligent.
Even if you know you’re smart. Even if others tell you that you’re attractive. Even if you’re fairly successful in your work.
You still don’t have it nearly as together as you think you should. You need to give yourself a break. It’s probably very difficult to believe, but others don’t view you as harshly as you view yourself. You need to stop saying mean things to yourself about you.
Good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend or a beloved child, you’re not allowed to say it to yourself.
We need to be nicer to ourselves. Yes, we all have things to learn. Life is an on-going learning process and while this sometimes sucks, you’re better at it than you think.