This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion. Read the first post here
If I had listened I wouldn’t have been able to find happiness and confidence within myself to truly love who I am.
I am my biggest cheerleader but I am also my worst enemy.
There are so many factors in society that contribute to my marginalization. I am a woman, I am from Jamaica, I am of mixed race.
Throughout my life, I have faced discrimination for all the above characteristics, all of which have thrown me off kilter, beat down my confidence, made me questions my identity and made me seriously doubt who I am.
I had times that were so dark and lonely that, unfortunately, only my damaged mind and broken heart were there to keep me company.
It wasn’t until I was able to work on myself, with help, that I was able to realize that it was the constant negative self-talk festering in my mind that was making me crumble into nothingness.
It took a really long time for me to accept that I had the power to be my biggest fan even if I were being my biggest roadblock.
I used to resent the people closest to me for not meeting my expectations and not being there to save me from my mind. But choosing to be in charge of my own outcomes and happiness as opposed to relying on others was the biggest contributing factor to reaching the self-acceptance and happiness that I am working towards today.
I know that I will always be a work in progress and I totally accept that. However, I have now found beauty in my flaws and in my growth. I have stopped listening to the side of myself that constantly wants to hold me back from evolving as the beautiful human I am and I now place the ride or die version of Nathanielle at the forefront.