For a long time I had an aggressive mentality, it got me through high school and got me working hard… Too hard. You see, I would criticize myself and push myself too much so I could do more because then I thought that would mean I would deserve more but nothing I ever did was good enough for me, I was always comparing myself to others especially on YouTube. I deleted my old channel because “it wasn’t as good as others” and I was always thinking “why can’t you be more like them?” I was like a critical parent and while this attitude did make me more productive it destroyed me emotionally.
I had a friend who was the same, I remember him being angry at himself for not having a job and he said he wouldn’t go on benefits because he was “better than that” me and my family were on benefits (not by choice!) But instead of defending myself telling him why he was wrong for thinking like that I started to get angry at myself for not having a job and being on benefits
I remember asking my mum if I could get a job working in college and she said no because then I wouldn’t get the funds needed for my studies, I was really furious about that but in hindsight it was a good thing I didn’t get the job because I was struggling enough as it was. I blamed my emotional distress on not having a job or working. I thought if I work and earn money then I’ll be contributing more and be more worthy.
I was stuck with this mentality for months. Always thinking “my mental health and self esteem will get better if I have a job”
After leaving college due to severe depression I didn’t give myself a break, I didn’t think I deserved one for being “lazy” a “quitter” and a “failure” instead I went straight into an internship that lasted roughly 6 months.
I thought it would be easy to get a job after that… It wasn’t. I grew frustrated with myself as I attached my self worth to whether or not I had a job. I was growing desperate. My ex friend signed me up to work at McDonald’s as a joke but honestly at that point if they wanted me I would have taken it because it was better than nothing. If you work at McDonald’s by the way I admire you, fast food seems like a difficult job and you deserve more credit and pay. Even if you don’t have a job and are on benefits that’s okay as well just don’t beat yourself up about it, my friends just had a really unhealthy attitude towards work like I used to.
Anyway I got desperate enough that I found myself working in a restaurant with a manager who liked to exploit her staff. Making them work nearly 9 hours without a break. Making them do things and not paying them for their work. I hated it, I felt like crying the entire time I was there but I was desperate so stayed another day. I trialed 2 days but left when I realised just how much I was compromising myself just for money. I was tired, depressed and lied to impress the people there so they would like me ( (I hate lying) I left after the second day and cried my eyes out in a church because I felt like a failure.
I felt like it was hopeless but I wasn’t going to give up so I tried a different approach. I tried positive affirmations, giving myself compliments and imagining the best outcome in my job applications. I spent an entire afternoon fantasizing about having my dream job which was to be a bookseller, I recited positive affirmations like they were lines from a script. Guess what? I got a job interview with my favourite bookshop! I continued my positive work for the interview and while I did nearly have a panic attack I repeated to myself “I can do this” and I did it and guess what? I GOT THE JOB!!!
My dream job and I didn’t get it by hating myself I got it by practicing kindness on myself, it made me feel better and confident which must have come across in my interview. I’m so happy. It wasn’t easy though as, when you’ve been stuck with a negative mentality for years its hard to break out of that pattern so it really takes practice to think and feel better.
I recommend reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and The Power by Rhonda Byrne as they really helped me but I’ll also link some videos that helped as well 🙂
Thanks for reading
much love ❤