The pain of feeling unappreciated. 

Unappreciated and overburdened. 

There is nothing worse than going out of your way for someone and when a similar situation arises, they don’t do the same for you or they don’t say thank you.  While you shouldn’t do things for others in expectation of receiving something in return; it’s still painful to know that,  that person wouldn’t and doesn’t appreciate you or your time. There are so many people who do not have the same heart as you and do not have good intentions for you, which sets you up for many disappointments along the road. Don’t get me wrong, there are good appreciative people in the world and if you find them, keep them close but there are plenty of users too. The person reading this may or may not be a user too, but only on self-reflection can you answer this question. When this happens to me, I try to remind myself that God will reward me for doing things out of the kindness of my heart, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

When you feel unappreciated you have three options:

  1. Say how you feel 

  1. Distance yourself

  1. Don’t go out of your way for them again

Speaking about your feelings –  If you’re like me, you probably hate speaking about your feelings out of fear of overreacting or saying something offensive because you’re undiplomatic, or you expect everyone to have a certain level of respect/common sense/unselfishness and most importantly to avoid conflict. You have to stop biting your tongue to avoid hurting someone who is hurting you, I mean, how else would they know how you feel? Depending on the situation is and how angry I am, I get my point across by writing down how I feel then speaking to the person later so I don’t forget the important points and to make sure I’m not over-reacting and to avoid saying something hurtful.

Distancing yourself – Self-explanatory. I avoid that person and situations where I would feel inclined to go out of my way for them, this could be late replies to texts and decreasing my availability.  If you feel unappreciated by everyone around you, take some timeout to enjoy your own company, but don’t overdo this as it can be unhealthy.

Don’t go out of your way for them again – This is hard when you have a giving spirit and you like helping others but you can’t let people exploit you and your kindness. Remember you’re not a doormat, so put your foot down. If I feel like I’m going out of my way for someone (based on our level of friendship and our past) I will stop and ask myself would they do the same for me and if that answer is “no” I don’t do stuff for them because I have boundaries to set. Setting up boundaries around unappreciative people takes some time, but it’s worth it and you won’t regret it because when people get comfortable they think they are entitled to your time and resources when they’re not. You have the strength to say no or refer them to other people when you’re asked for things, as there’s no point doing things for people who will just take and take and take until you’re left empty, you need to look after yourself.

See my previous post: “The Power of Saying “No” 

To conclude, being unappreciated hurts but remember that you always have options when it happens. 

Self-doubt & how I deal with it

Self-doubt steals more joy and dreams than failure ever will.

Today I want to talk about  self-doubt because it is a destructive trait. There’s no way to sugar-coat it or dress it up.  It’s the epicentre of negativity and fear to me.  

Self-doubt is the lack of confidence about one’s own abilities and actions.

Examples of self doubt:

  1. “What if I’m not good enough?”
  2. “What if I don’t succeed?”
  3. “I’m too old to be starting something new anyway”
  4. “It’s never going to work”
  5. “Things never work for me”
  6. “I’ve done something similar before and failed, why would it be different now?”
  7. “I can’t do it.”

If I carried on writing, you would be reading this forever.

Self-doubt stops you from seizing opportunities because you fear you’re not good enough and feel inadequate to the task. Sometimes, it prevents you from even starting a task because you fear failure and think trying is a waste of time. At times you’ll be happy and motivated while working towards something then your critical inner voice kicks in and  the doubt starts speaking. 

So a few weeks ago,  I was thinking about one of the goals I set myself and I was happy and motivated, until the self-doubt kicked in. “Can you really do this? Is it even achievable ?  You’ve failed at something similar before, why would it work now? Am I good enough?” after this array of questions  I started  questioning myself and my abilities, wondering if  I was right. “The odds are stacked up against me so why would it be different now ?”  So I stopped working towards it for a while which was counterproductive. I was genuinely sad and stressed for a while, doing nothing and wasting my time as the self doubt grew and grew, until I spoke to my mum, re-read my accountability and consistency posts.  This reminded me what exactly I wanted and the actions I had to take to get there so I started working again.

Before I started this blog I would have had to force myself to start doing things again because life doesn’t stop for me, shocking I know. Other ways I tried to stop self-doubt are:

  • When self-doubt comes I try to disrupt and distract the thought pattern by thinking of something that makes me happy e.g a holiday, what I’m going to eat for dinner or when I’m next going to see my family.
  • I questioned my doubt and asked myself what am I genuinely afraid of, why I am so insecure about this?
  • I asked my loved ones for advice and told them how I was feeling.
  • I tried to stop seeing things as insurmountable because other people have achieved the same things I wanted to but they didn’t have two heads so why should I be worried?
  • I stopped letting doubt stop me from starting things because I realized it was counter-productive. There’s no harm in trying, there is harm in not trying at all.
  • I had to remind myself why I was doing things and the benefits of it, not how I was going to achieve it because that’s when I started questioning myself. Obviously you need to know the steps of what you want to do (assuming it’s been done before) but when I started thinking about how I was going to do these things (when I already knew the steps) I somehow talked myself out of doing them. “How will this work? How long will it take?” etc . etc
  • I stopped thinking “Can I?” and changed it to “I CAN!” It sounds really cheesy but positive thinking does wonders for your mental health and how you perceive yourself.
  • I focused on the past success in my life, the times that truly made me happy because obviously I did something right there which helped me believe in myself more.

Everyone questions themselves from time to time it’s normal. However, what’s not normal is when your doubt stops you from doing most things because you’re scared of the outcome. Just remember self-belief is more powerful than your doubt will ever be.

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If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy at all ages. I say all ages because remember how it made you feel as a child when your parents compared you to your best friend who was very smart or your well behaved cousin or one of your friends who they thought was an angel but you knew otherwise… Yeah? It’s still unhealthy now as it was back then but this time you’re doing it to yourself.

When you compare yourself to others,  you start pointing out your flaws,  all the things you haven’t done compared to them and how much “better” other people are  compared to you which is very destructive behaviour.

Comparison is the death of joy – Theodore Roosevelt

Continuous comparisons can make you forget the good things you have in your life, this leads to: envy, low self-confidence, resentment and general unhappiness. None of these feelings have helped anyone achieve anything but it’s been happening since the beginning of time. Due to the rise of social media, we think we see every aspect of people’s lives, in reality, we really don’t as social media is a faux representation of life. Remember, people only show you the good parts of their lives so you shouldn’t compare yourself or feel bad  for not having what they  have. You don’t see the struggles they’ve had, all the times they have wanted to give up and what they did to get there. You only see what they want you to see The same way you compare yourself to others, is probably the same way someone is comparing themselves to you; see how crazy that sounds? So instead of comparing, you should focus on yourself  and turn those negative feelings into motivation to do better for yourself.

Why I stopped comparing myself to others:
As time has gone on, I have learnt to focus on me and not compare my journey to anyone else because it is futile and stops me from celebrating the most important person in my life, myself.  I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and my time will come as long as I work hard and focus.  Great things take time and no one has achieved success overnight (unless they’ve won the EuroMillions but then again that’s luck not an achievement) so I keep working on myself.  For example  if I decided to compare myself with other bloggers or even Youtubers who get loads of traffic on their websites and have thousands of followers, getting 1000 views per day etc then my 1000 views in my last post  would feel meaningless, it would turn into something negative and I would be upset that I wasn’t at their ‘level.’

Regardless of how things look on social media and in everyday life, no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and  has their down-days which I don’t see. Over the years I have become more appreciative of myself and grateful for what I have which has helped me want to celebrate me more because if you can’t celebrate yourself who is going to celebrate you? Lastly I find inspiration from looking at others instead of being jealous because jealousy has never helped anyone achieve anything ever. So what’s the point of me wasting my time?

As I said in the title,  If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare. Sometimes we’re our harshest critics, this can limit our perception of ourselves and makes us put others on an undeserved pedestal which is why comparisons are so detrimental. So stop comparing and focus on the most important person in your life, yourself. 


 Photo taken by me in Miami, Florida – September 2016.