by Tricia Brouk · 03 Aug 2020 · 6 min read
You walk into an upscale networking event that you've been itching to go to. You were ready to make some higher quality connections, but suddenly you find yourself in full-out comparison mode. Is your outfit up to snuff? Are you too old? Too young? Do you have enough credentials to do what you are doing? Why does this always happen? You're precisely where you want to be, yet you can't control that constant self-doubt.
I have been bullied both at school and at work, and I know of others who have suffered the same plight. It is not fun! Bullying makes people feel bad about themselves, leading to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and even physical symptoms. The repercussions of bullying can cause people to miss school or work as well as countless other negative side effects.
I was born in a small country off the west coast of Africa called Cape Verde. Growing up, I was raised to speak Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese. But at 7 years old, my family and I immigrated to the United States. At the time, I didn't really understand what that even meant. All I knew was that when I arrived the culture, way of life, and language were all absolutely foreign to me in every way. Eventually, I learned English and even Spanish. But learning the languages weren't nearly as hard as accepting myself for who I am as an immigrant.
Today, the armchair psychologist is tackling some major philsophical issues (and a relationship #struggle).
Growing up, my parents (particularly my mom) expected greatness. This helped me do well in school but it also had a negative side effect: I became a perfectionist. I think perfectionism is tied to pleasing others and trying to make sure people like us. If we are perfect, you have to love us right? We feel like we aren't good enough as is, so if we are perfect, it will make up for it.
This is the advice I'd love to give to my younger self. Maybe it can help you, now.