I was told by a friend to share my experiences on finding my cultural identity as an Afro American-Caribbean British female. I had many positive and negative experiences but continued to persevere for myself. In my youth, I spent continuous summers in Barbados. Despite being from America my parents weren’t. Now reflecting on those memories, it was a way for my parents to help me stay grounded and connected to not only their culture but mine. I continue to connect and embrace my family from both the Caribbean and British side and it has been sweet!
One of my experiences…
At a young age, I had a very hard time balancing my identity. With certain groups of people, I was only seen as an African-American. To them, I was nothing more regardless of my background or my parent’s dialect. To some people, it was more believable to be Caribbean than British because of my dark skin. This is an ignorant and thoughtless comment because it was far from the truth. Like America, people from other nationalities come in different shades.
In High School, I mostly listened to rock music. A dark skin girl listening to rock music didn’t fit their view of being “black”. It was always one thing after the other for them. I didn’t pay attention to the comments because not only was I happy but I was comfortable. I hung out with people that had the same music taste yet to many it was odd. Till this day we don’t fit the “norm” but we continue to unapologetically live our lives.
In conclusion, people should try to learn more about a person than just their appearance. Sadly, ignorance will always exist but you must continue to feel comfortable with yourself. Ignore those who rather judge you than get to know you.
Many of us question our value when surrounded by family, friends, partner or coworkers. We question ourselves because we don’t feel appreciated. Lack of appreciation in a casual or romantic relationship affects our productivity.
Why is self-worth important?
The need to seek for approval or appreciation is common but should be analyzed. The feeling of appreciation is exclusive and some are reluctant or impotent to provide it. This is why self-worth is important! Self-worth is the ability to think of yourself in a positive light regardless of the ones around you. You wouldn’t need validation. This attitude can set you for professional, relational and academic success. To have self-worth is to have confidence. You must put yourself on a high pedestal! This new found confidence will be observed by many.
How to build or increase your self worth?
Take action if you’re feeling underappreciated or lost your self worth. Change the environment by remembering your accomplishments and the emotions connected to them. You can also talk about them but in ways that benefit those around you. However, to find, build or increase your self-worth takes time. It ‘s not easy but it can be obtained and improved. You also have to be consistent in building self-assurance and importance.
Think positive. Change the way you react to negative situations.
Observe and take notes. We all have thoughts that distract us from seeing the full picture. Rationalize them before getting emotionally involved. “Are their actions based on facts or are we overthinking the situation?”
Stop comparing yourself! You are unique! Constantly comparing yourself to people on social media or the people around you doesn’t help. People only display the best moments of their life on social media yet hide personal issues.
Forgive yourself. We all are human and we all make mistakes. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. It’s never too late for self-improvement.
Self-Care is a must.“The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson is a book that got me through rough times. It helped me to realize not all battles are worth fighting. We must be honest with ourselves in order to get the proper help we need. You can go for a jog, aim for a healthy diet, visit a spa, museum, a party or do something nice for someone! These are great examples of self-care. Treat yourself to a good time. Live your life to the fullest! To focus on the positives can tremendously change your physical, emotional and mental state for the better.
This approach also applies to romantic relationships. You must analyze the state and intensity of that relationship. You can talk about it with your significant other in hopes of resolving this issue. If you continue to feel underappreciated go to a couple counseling meeting(s) before moving on. A couple therapist will help you both to understand each other’s perspective. You can also plan dates or special events that both of you will appreciate.
In conclusion, to live happy and productive lives we must not let our problems hinder us. Try to have a positive outlook on life no matter the situation. Self worth and self respect always intersect. Think highly of yourself and remember, it’s never late for self-improvement.