I have taken my driving test three times.
Correction: I have failed three times.
I want to say that my consistent failing could be blamed on someone or something else. The first time I blamed it on the examiner. It was his fault for being so stern and abrasive for my mistakes.
In reality, it was my fault. I was the one behind the wheel.
Every time I held my failing scoresheet in my hands and stepped out of the car to meet the eyes of my driving instructor, I felt shame.
“You’re so capable.” He would say on the drive back to my house.
My whole life I have never truly accepted that I was capable of doing anything. Sure, I succeeded in passing my exams, getting into university and even graduating with great grades, but I never believed it. I thought it was just luck. I never connected the hard work I did with the positive outcome because some part of me always believed at my core I was a failure.
The thought process was this: Yes, I did a good job, but it was fake. I didn’t deserve the success or achievement. Whenever I failed, it reaffirmed that I was a failure at my core.
When I revealed this to a close friend, she was surprised. I come off as confident and I am always there to uplift others because at the end of the day, all we have is other people. To my friend, it was shocking to find out someone who was so concerned with being positive for others couldn’t find the energy to do that for themselves.
This negative thought process is why I failed my driving test a third time. As I stepped out of the car this time, I realized the only reason I had failed was because I had decided five minutes into the test that I had failed. Convincing myself that I had failed before even letting the examiner tell me what I had done wrong was my downfall.
My brain can convince me that I am the worst person who has ever existed. It is truly my worst enemy because I never let myself enjoy a single achievement with what I thought was modesty but is actually self-disrespect. I am disrespecting myself by refusing to acknowledge my achievements and strengths.
I work hard, I am capable but when it comes down to it, my brain tricks me into thinking I am an imposter. But here’s the thing I’m not. This mental spiral I end up in is not reality. It’s my perception of the world but it is not how things actually are. When I realized that I was doing this to myself, I was furious. I had to remind myself that if I wouldn’t say it to a friend then I really shouldn’t say to myself.
Learning to love myself isn’t a simple path of self-care and affirmations. It’s a journey of constantly trying to detach myself from all these thoughts and realize my full potential without listening to other people and just absorbing any negativity that is out there!
I now know it’s time to see things as they are instead of letting myself twist reality into a nightmare. It is what it is.
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