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How to Find Your Way Through the Impossible Maze of Struggle

I could not figure out why everything I tried to do for myself seemed like such an enormous struggle.

I spent a large portion of my life in the company of people who gave me more criticism than encouragement.

The feedback I consistently received was about how I needed to improve, what I was doing wrong, or how I had failed expectations. Rarely, if ever, did someone encourage me, and if they did there was little to no substance to that encouragement. Often that ‘encouragement’ felt like a scolding. “I know you can do better. Do better! Just do better than this.” A high standard of expectations was set, by the people I was surrounded with and eventually also by me for myself.

A perfectionist was born.

Look, I’m not trying to blame anyone or my past for anything, but I want to illustrate how this type of thinking and feedback was the ‘norm’ for me. I came to expect criticism from others. I adopted this same attitude when speaking to myself. I was harsh, critical, and downright cruel to myself.

I repeated the voices I had heard for most of my life, to myself.

For years, decades even, when anyone did try to encourage me, or praise me, I reacted negatively. I was suspicious. Why on earth were these people encouraging me? Why were they praising me? What did they want from me? What were they gaining from this?


I could not take a compliment.

I could not accept encouragement. It went so far that I even felt embarrassed to receive gifts or give gifts to others. It was awkward and weird for me. I didn’t know how this was done, nor how to feel about it.

I did a lot of work throughout the years to improve myself. I will admit during a lot of that work I was extremely hard on myself. Why couldn’t I do it? Why was it not working? Why didn’t I understand? What was the problem? What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I smart enough to ‘get it’?

The questions and critique were endless.

I was often frustrated. I often drove myself to an emotional breaking point. Then, I would feel embarrassed and ashamed about being emotional and not being able to handle myself in the way I wanted to. Then, I would be angry at myself.

I could not figure out why everything I tried to do for myself seemed like such an enormous struggle.

One day, now some years back, I happened across a broadcast of Bryant and Jenni McGill. I don’t know exactly how I ended up there, but I stayed, watched, and paid attention. Curious, I started watching more broadcasts. Then, I joined their personal development group ‘The Royal Society’ in January of 2016. 


At first, I didn’t know how to be.

I didn’t know how I would or could fit in with the group. I kept trying to define what the expectations might be. I drove myself crazy trying to figure it out. Eventually, it began to sink in, that there were no expectations of me. I could come as I am. I could come as me and be accepted.

I met people who were peaceful and accepting.

Who had no harsh words or critique for me. Who had only love and encouragement. They expected nothing of me. They accepted and celebrated me as I am.

It took some time before things started to sink in.

If other people, people I didn’t even know, could accept, love, and celebrate me as I am, then maybe I could do the same for myself.

Maybe I could accept, love, and celebrate me too without critique, without any judgment, without any expectation.

The adjustment to this new way of looking at things and myself, was not easy. I realized that I had ‘never truly loved myself before’. My love for myself was always hinged on some condition. Whenever I messed up or made a mistake I had revoked that love from myself and fell into critique and even self-loathing.

I had to work on truly accepting myself without any condition. I had to learn to love my whole self, and not just the parts I agreed with and liked. 


So, I started investing time, energy, and effort into speaking to myself in kindness.

I started to not beat myself up for making mistakes. I started to take more time for myself. I started to take better care of my body. I ate better, exercised more, and I slept more. I started to go at my own pace instead of constantly rushing and pushing myself. I removed people and things from my life that brought negativity into my life. I started enacting stronger boundaries. I simplified my life. I managed my time better. I allowed myself to try new things.

What happened next was amazing.

The more I began to love myself, the more I was able to accept the love I received from others. I no longer struggle with receiving encouragement and praise. I feel empowered. I have more courage to venture into the unknown, to try things I was afraid to possibly fail at. It also became easier for me to love and accept others. As I began to look for the good in myself and encourage myself, it became easier for me to find the good in others and to encourage them. 


I shifted my perspective of self-love and acceptance.

I put in the work. This in turn, changed the entire trajectory of my life. So much has changed in my life, and the life of my family. I am living a completely different life and lifestyle as a result of these changes.

My journey through self-development continues and will likely always continue. But, the journey is gentler. It is filled with hope, patience, self-love, self-encouragement, and self-acceptance. Out of all the work I have done on myself the most impacting investment I have made has been to unconditionally love and accept myself.

This is the most important work I can do for myself.

My hope is that by sharing a bit of my story and experience I might encourage you to also invest time and energy into learning to love and accept yourself. You really are your own best investment. Learning to love and accept yourself will enhance your experience of life and the quality of your life.

You deserve your own love!

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Akiroq Brost

Akiroq is a Human Potential Inspirational writer, who has a passion for helping others explore and harness the extraordinary potential that lies within each and every one of us.

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Fran Merkh
Member

Great to grow in this self awareness,I too am trying to grow in loving self.

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

Congratulations to Queen Jenni and King Bryant for saving People’s lives!!!🏆🏆🏆🏆🥇🥇🥇🥇🏆🙏🙏💕🙏🙏🙏❤️💕🌹🦋🦄🌸💝🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Dwytskie
Guest
Dwytskie

What an inspiring article! Thanks for sharing these thoughts Bryant & Jenni!

Pam
Member

I read this article and it’s got everything I feel and think about myself all over it…I feel so trapped and stuck …the negativity I get on a daily basis from my significant other is draining….and I can’t get out…no money…no savings..nothing…the gaslighting is horrible…can’t even ask for help for gas for my vehicle to get to work…for fear..when he gets intoxicated..that will come up and be told I am using him for his money….ugh…I need help on how to get out of this…and now he wants to buy a house …for me to be happy…the only time I am happy is when I am not around him ..which means I need to work ….i pam just so tired…to the point of tears…

Margo
Member

Yes I have issues with low self esteem and confidence. It’s because I have an abusive Father, who is critical, controlling and violent bully. He plays with the mind, but not very well, and I’m surrounded by negativity, malicious people. I do struggle a great deal with confidence. I also have to look a certain way or I get depressed. I’m never thin enough, the list goes on. It’s been instilled in me from an early age. I do try to overcome it though. I have another side to me which over-rides my lack of confidence, which is resilience, rebellious, determined and head strong. Those traits tend to drive me to overlook my critics and achieve goals. I call it my quiet confidence. I don’t shout about it, I just do it. Though I’m doing it here in order to help others understand me and my point. It’s a big topic and a great one. My Granddaughters have got much more confidence than I ever had. Some other people can be over-confident though, to the point of being egotistical, annoying, off-putting and boring. They have empty heads and big mouths. I don’t like that kind of confidence. I admire people who have the right balance. Confidence can be mixed up in the morals and values we have been taught as a child which can remain with us into adulthood. Thing is too, I used to be successful in Sales work/jobs. I think it was because of my quieter approach that people found me genuine and easy to chat to, rather than the Sales rep who bounced about like a Kangaroo. By being this over-powering, he was scaring people off! It’s an interesting topic. I hope I’m talking some sense here.

Karina
Guest
Karina

Thank you so much for this beautiful and inspiring article. Loving and accepting yourself is the greatest gift of all.

Cheryl
Member

Why would this particular article come to me when less than five min ago my oldest daughter just criticized me for starting a brand knew business. First thank You so much for the love and positivity that the opening up of your personal struggles just gave to me. I had an amazing family and there were also some areas where we needed improving. Im not feeling up to the energy to go into my past at the moment. This burst of positivity will give me the extra added focus that I need to work hard at this business and put in what I expect to get out. I raised my children alone for 21 years and I’m excited to begin true self love also. I to just began to love myself. Because I had been called and mistreated in life from toxic relationships . I believed what was often shouted to me as well. I could always be genuinely happy for others and genuinely compliment others but somehow couldn’t find it in me that same or similar awesomeness as I could see in others . So now is my time to believe that GOD made me just as wonderful as HE made others and it’s His perfect will for me enjoy my life and be successful as well. This feedback is so minimized I have so much more to say but I’ve got to listen to a video and read my bible. But thank You for sharing with me and making it personal through inbox.Thank You for the POSITIVITY.

Robina fazal
Member

Thanks!Akiroq Brost.. 💖👑💐for a nice inspiring article..to love one own Self.. and to care our own thoughts…doings..well being .is whts the demand of our Soul and mind…we are powerful..and energetic…to lead our lives…..if we love unconditionally ourselves.
.and make the best out of our lives….Will grow more..
Happy more..healthy more.and life a life of purpose and prosperity…..Love life…love your instincts and passions.. and do wonders to make a worthy life…..with greatness….love.and compassion..be your own hero……💖💐

Sheila
Guest
Sheila

Thank you so much Bryant &Jenni;some times one cannot describe the life they have lived or lead:sometimes one has a million & one issues.though thank you very much for your stories..kindest regards Sheila 💫🎉🎈🎈🙏

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome
Binah
Guest
Binah

Thank you! Thank G-d, I do accept and love myself. I’ve gone through very painful a difficult struggles in this life and through a lot of reading of some wonderful books throughout the years, much introspection and compassion, I’ve learned to truly open my heart to the godliness of my existence and this in turn has also enabled me to seethe godliness in other people. The older I get , the less judgmental I am and I realize too that it’s because of loving myself I am able to deeply love others.

Binah
Guest
Binah

Thank you! Thank G-d, I do accept and love myself. I’ve gone through very painful a difficult struggles in this life and through a lot of reading of some wonderful books throughout the years, much introspection and compassion, I’ve learned to truly open my heart to the godliness of my existence and this in turn has also enabled me to seethe godliness in other people. The older I get , the less judgmental I am and I realize too that it’s because of living myself I am able to deeply love others.

Crystal Morris
Guest
Crystal Morris

I needed this this morning..thank you

Shweta
Member

You did a great job.god give best role to each.stay happy.

Shweta
Member

Great .you are doing great job.b e kind.you guided us lot.tc.faith infos.he gives best role to each one.

Christy Campbell
Guest
Christy Campbell

I can relate to this article on so many levels!!! First, I could have written the very same words!!! That is how close it represents my own life!!! I had to learn to love myself first before anyone ever had a chance to love me back!!! When I was stuck in my former style of ‘love/hate/perfectionism, I didn’t leave any room for other’s to love me!!! Some tried, but I felt I wasn’t worthy!!! I had to learn to love myself first!!! Accept who I was and change my whole thought process about what was making me so introverted!!! I am still very much an introvert, but I can accept help from others now without feeling like they are trying to take over my life!!! If I start to feel overwhelmed, I need to let someone close know how I am feeling so that I can either back away or help make adjustments so that the atmosphere around me isn’t as stressful!!! It’s not easy and still is difficult for me to speak up!!! But when I do let someone become aware of how I am being affected by the situation(s) at hand, life gets to rolling on such a smoother road!!! More often than not, someone else has voiced their appreciation for my speaking up!!! I have also found that if I can do something small for another person, I am more than blessed!!! More so when I can remain anonymous!!! I prefer to help people without them knowing it was me that did whatever was done to help them through a difficult time or just encourage them to keep trying!!!
I still have a long way to go to feel really settled and at ease with myself, but I have convinced my inner self that critiques my own doings so harshly, to back off and let myself be less than ‘perfect’ more than once in awhile!!! A little ‘dirt’ makes my life seem more ‘human’!!!
I haven’t stopped listening to other’s opinions, I just listen and evaluate what they are telling me. Sometimes another opinion is a good thing!!! You (I) have to be open and accepting of those around us!!! That is how we (I) learn!!!

Mir Ehetesham
Guest
Mir Ehetesham

Life means struggle it mean you part of society. Anything echive not means you win the race but it is a small part of life. Next level it maintain you echivment and take part society as positive person and serve as long they give you time limit.
Thanks

jacqui
Guest
jacqui

I recently came out of a toxic relationship were i ended it for health reasons. I am struggling to get confidence back as i keep blaming myself for everything that went wrong. Its only been 2wks but i have up and down days feeling really lost.

Catherine B. Roy
Member

What a beautiful article, Akiroq! I lived the same. We all deserve our own love and it will make us a creators not only followers of life. Thank you for sharing. Sending you tons of love.

SarahPederson
Member

Thank you! I can relate to so much of this, especially the birth of perfectionism. Sadly, I can also see a lot of this in my teenager. Criticism redefined as encouragement by those providing it is a very difficult thing to navigate even for a savvy adult, let alone children. Discomfort accepting authentic praise and encouragement is the part that’s so hard to watch.
Bless you!

Julia Kinandu
Member

Lovely insight. Thanks

Bernard
Guest
Bernard

I try speaking to myself in kindness but society and family stress me up and irritated me everyday. I start to say negative things and i find it hard to change.

chell
Member

It’s amazing with the right kind of self love how much we can grow everything above was how I used to be aswell at my lowest point now im stronger wiser braver and more knowledgeable I have amazing friends and family around me and finally getting our justice in court soon our lives are moving forward

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