From a psychological standpoint, this is referred to as the negative bias – where people gravitate towards negative information even if something positive is equally or more present. Eventually, these words evolve into internal voices that induce doubt, anxiety, panic, and other unpleasant emotions that keep a person from living her most authentic self.
While having negative thoughts circling the mind is natural, it also tends to erode one’s own self-esteem, eventually affecting one’s ability to function properly. Acknowledging them when they surface is an ideal first step towards shutting them down.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, here’s a list of the most common intrusive thoughts that most women deal with:
|Photo credit: Artem Kovalev on Unsplash.|
1. I don’t fit here!
Growing up has people searching for the best social circle to fit in, but sometimes there are children who seem to have their own personal problems and suddenly decide that other kids are not up to their standards. They end up teasing their peers for their physical characteristics, mannerisms, what they brought to lunch, or whatever minute detail that comes to mind. This social trauma often manifests later in adulthood which makes one avoid meeting new people for fear of being judged or simply not fitting in. This is not your voice; it’s from that childhood bully.
2. I can’t do it!
Remember in your younger years when you wanted to try out for the school varsity, and your guardian immediately said no, because you’re just a girl? That memory may later manifest into hesitation to try out experiences and assert oneself, especially in activities that are traditionally dominated by men. Having the need for validation to do something can pull you from exploring what life has to offer. This is not your voice, it’s from that guardian.
|Photo credit: Morgan Petroski on Unsplash.|
3. I am not enough!
It’s hard enough to juggle relationships, family, and personal goals, more so if you’re a woman. You encounter voices from all fronts, telling you you’re not enough as a mom, not enough as a wife. This is more prevalent at work, with voices telling you you’re not enough as an employee – pushing you to work harder than your male counterparts. When others disregard your efforts in whatever you do, it lowers your sense of accomplishments, more especially if it’s being done in a team setting. This is not your voice, it’s from those colleagues
4. I’m too fat/too thin!
While some family gatherings present an opportunity to reconnect with relatives, there’s always that one nosy relative who always has an opinion on your personal life—most especially how much weight you have lost or gained. Regardless of whether it is true or not, the tumataba ka comment is something most women dread because it’s pointing out something that a woman already knows but can’t change in a snap. Soon, this turns into an insecurity, affecting how she carries herself. This is not your voice, it’s from that tita.
|Photo credit: Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash.|
5. I can’t be happy on my own!
Ending a romantic relationship unravels a whole lot of emotions. Sometimes it’s best for both people involved, especially if there are irreconcilable differences. Unfortunately, there are exes who are so full of themselves that they will say you can’t be happy without them; that being alone will get to you eventually. Being single or in a relationship should have nothing to do with a woman’s self-love. And when someone tells you that being alone will damage you more, don’t listen to that. This is not your voice, it’s from that ex.
I Do Me
Whenever these voices cloud your thoughts, it pays to remember that these voices are not yours—they are from those whose opinions should not have any bearing on your worth.
Avon celebrates International Women’s Day by reminding women that they always have the power to silence these intrusive voices and when they do, they can find their own voice – the one that will make her love herself and empower her to achieve greatness.
As the brand that continues to stand for women for over 135 years, Avon encourages women to build their confidence and say “Let me be. You do you and I’ll do me”.
Nothing should hold you back from achieving your full potential—not society, not your social media feed, and most especially not what these voices might say.
Avon as a brand and through its products, encourages women to silence the negativity to grow and flourish. Because women owe it to themselves to bloom where they are planted.