For years I've struggled with not feeling good about myself. I'm too fat, too ugly, not smart enough ...
I kept telling myself I'll work on my self-esteem and when I feel better I will do all the things I want to do. When I've "calmed" my inner critic I will be more social and will join fun groups. When I feel better about myself I will stand up for myself, I will start the exercise program, I will try new and scary things.
So I kept going to therapy, attending support groups, reading self-help books ... I just knew if I could "believe" I was good enough then nothing could stop me. But to quote Mark Manson, "It turns out that merely feeling good about yourself doesn't really mean anything unless you have a good reason to feel good about yourself. It turns out that adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong minded and successful adults". (THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK, p. 43-44)
I'm reminded over and over again that its in the doing that we grow, change and learn to accept ourselves and learn who we really are and what brings us joy and life contentment.
Are you waiting to feel better about your body in order to join the gym? Are you waiting to like yourself before you join the social group, are you waiting to feel smarter before you take a class? Don't make the mistake that I've made for years and wait to do things.
Go and do ... you'll probably find that its in joining the gym that you will gain respect for your courage and feel good about taking care of yourself. In joining a social group you will find that you have things to share and people who want to be with you. And if you choose to take a class you'll learn to appreciate your ability to keep learning along with meeting new people.
Fear and voices of not good enough say pull back and don't do ... be safe from rejection or feelings of embarrassment.
I'm here to support you and me in that feelings are just feelings - as tough as some of them are they are not facts. Yes, I have felt embarrassment along the way but the more I've put myself out in the world the better I have come to feel about myself.
So for today, just take one tiny step toward something you want to do, notice the voices in your head that want to tell you to stop, notice them, thank your brain for them and take one tiny step toward something that you want to do. There is much freedom in the doing!!!!!!