Life Lessons: Rebuilding Internal Perception After External Success

By: Shanita Brown

I am one of the many successful black women who struggle with self-appreciation and value, which has caused me to put up with a lot of unnecessary things from unnecessary people, and subjected myself to unnecessary situations. If you can find a woman on this planet that is so confident in herself that she has absolutely no insecurities, I’d love to meet her……………but I don’t think she exists AT ALL!

I think we all to a certain degree have some type of feelings about ourselves that others don’t see or understand when they are looking at us. No matter how small the insecurity may be or what area in our lives we feel it, it is there and we work so hard to deal with it so that it doesn’t take control over our lives.

I’ve never been a person to think too much of myself. I’ve always been too busy trying to accomplish my personal goals and I think that’s why I never truly cultivated the type of self-esteem that some women have in my situation. Great job, multiple degrees, beautiful home, nice car, amazing son, etc. I have to look around and pinch myself sometimes because even I don’t believe where I’ve gotten to in my life (despite what may be out of alignment in my personal opinion).

My beginnings were very humble so I wanted to make sure my life was comfortable both myself and my son. That drove me and pushed me, so that was where I focused. If I wasn’t working, I was in school or I was being a parent and that began to more so shape the woman I was growing into and how I viewed myself. It definitely wasn’t the best approach because at some point I forgot about me, and the investment I needed to make in myself.

Unfortunately my head was down and I was pushing forward like so many of us black women do. Though succeeding in some areas with the approach, I wasn’t doing what it took to ensure I appreciated and understood what my COMPLETE worth was and not just what I was accomplishing in the world. I didn’t feel I necessarily had time for the other things that seemed insignificant at the time but really weren’t.

As I got older and started evaluating my personal perception of myself, I knew that some of the value I should have had in myself were lacking and it was evident through the types of individuals I had been attracting. They were never loyal to me (in romantic relationships I’m speaking). There was always someone else they seemed to want to talk to or date or text or email or whatever else they were doing with them. I don’t think I have ever had one man in my life that didn’t wander about outside of our relationship and fail to truly commit himself to what we had.

Some would argue that monogamy is not natural! Lol……….I laugh at that. Because when you truly love someone, it IS natural and you have no desire to look outside of your relationship, but I never seemed to attract that type of man. That CRUSHED my self-esteem in a very dramatic way. If I can give my all to another person and they still walk out, for whatever reason, then clearly something was wrong with me. Right? And with that being said it’s clear I didn’t have the right idea about myself.

I didn’t truly see me. Don’t get me wrong! It’s not that I don’t know I’m Fabulous, Fiery and Fierce, but there have been many times in my life where again, I wasn’t personally cultivating positive energy into myself. Because of that, when dealing with certain situations, it took away from something I really didn’t have to begin with. That left me to grow from a place of loss. When we come from a place of lack, and we don’t invest in building those areas, it creates some different situations for us.

For example… we don’t always make the best choices for ourselves and we definitely accept more than what we should. Even today with who I am, all I’ve accomplished, the great things people say about me, I still don’t necessarily see it from their perspective and often times sell myself short…………which is absolutely absurd.

Life has had a way of forcing me to look at myself and begin to respect Shanita on a higher level. You only begin to truly live when you begin to see yourself through the same lenses that God sees you. You also begin to truly live life in a state of happiness and self-awareness when you sincerely accept your imperfections no matter what they are.

I don’t say this to insinuate that you don’t need to continue to grow and change, I myself am still a work in progress, but we don’t have to hold ourselves captive to our flaws, because everyone has them. Everyone. Everyone lives with something about themselves that they would change. But God makes us just the way we are and it’s freeing to appreciate his design.

I think life has a funny way of teaching us things and I say that all the time. No matter what is happening around you, what you do or don’t do for someone, what you give or don’t give, their level of appreciation for you and your actions should never be your validator. You’ve got to learn to appreciate yourself. Self-worth. Self-love. Self-respect. We hear people talking about these things all the time and we consistently agree we need to have them.

We post on our social media pages all about them. We shout to the world that we have them. And many of us use them as the themes to our mantras and/or affirmations because deep down we hope… better yet NEED to believe them. My best advice is to keep doing that until you do. You must adopt the principle of loving yourselves, and only allowing people to bring into your space what you deserve. Rejecting what you don’t.

No matter what you hope to attain through the hope and faith you want in the things around you. You above all, must always have your best interest at heart. You deserve nothing but the best and no matter what others may possess that is of a desire to you, what you have is cherishable because there is only one you.

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2 Comments on "Life Lessons: Rebuilding Internal Perception After External Success"

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4 years 11 months ago

Awesome read and So needed in today’s times. For women and girls of all ages. Self worth, Self Respect and Self Love are what I am instilling in my 12 year old daughter on a daily basis.

4 years 11 months ago

This an excellent introspection to help us all accept and embrace the less forgiving parts of ourselves. Despite what the perception is, it’s all ok. Great read!