As the youngest of three boys I always idolised my bigger brothers. They were my heroes in many ways, I wanted to be just like them, but in return, I felt like I was nothing more than an irritation, an invasion of their space. Subconsciously I grew up feeling like I wasn’t worthy, that I had to prove my worth to be liked. By the time I was a teenager this had set in deep, in lacking self belief I stripped myself of authenticity and instead just tried to fit in, it was an empty way of being. In a bid for external validation, the gym gave me the chance to change how I appeared, but internally I still struggled with how I felt about myself. Having worked hard on my mindset and becoming more proud of who I am, I’ve come to understand that real confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking I’m better than everyone else, it’s walking in not worrying what anyone thinks of me. So now, when I face challenges and my inner voice still tries to tell me “you’re not good enough”, I know not to listen. That frees me to be me, and that’s when I feel truly alive.
Submission by Ben @thenakedprofessor