Chloe Kepner's Anxiety Story

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I am overly self conscious.

Everything I say, write, do, etc., makes me anxious. Because what if it wasn't good enough? What if there's someone secretly laughing at me? I think throughout our lives, ALL of us have experiences that hurt our self confidence. I was always a sensitive kid and nothing has changed. I can remember in the 8th grade, I had a girl tell me that my eyes were weirdly shaped and not the same size. For about six years, in every picture I saw of myself, that was all I noticed. Those 'misshapen eyes'. Some of us have dealt with bullies, ridicule, and criticism. Trust me, I know it's hard. But there's something beautiful about opening up about it all.

When you're being open about your fears, hopes, struggles, dreams, goals, and experiences, you are subjecting yourself to haters. But you know what? You're also subjecting yourself to millions of people that have felt  just like you. Is that not the coolest thing ever? If I just sit back and think of all the people in the world that deal with being super self conscious, everything feels lighter, because I know it's not just me. Whenever you feel self conscious, shake it off. Don't doubt yourself. You've got this.

Being self conscious affects every minute of my every day... if I let it. Yeah, sometimes I really feel disgusted about the way my mascara turned out, and sometimes I'm feeling extra pudgy, but how many other people around the globe have been there before? (Raise your hand)... I guess what I am really trying to say is, we are all just human beings. We have insanely rad potential, and amazing ideas, and stellar personalities. But we are so caught up in this disease of feeling like we have to be perfect. We're so caught up in that tangled web, and we think everyone else is doing so much better, but hey! They're not! They are struggling too. We're here to lift each other up. I knew this would all turn into a word blurb, but being real, and raw, and genuine, and authentic, is beautiful. Actually, it's wonderful. There are too many people trying to be fake and forced. I have been there and I know it's miserable. Be yourself! Forget what anyone has said about you in the past, and just live your life the way you want to.

Am I self conscious about everything, even down to the pictures in this post? Yes. To be real, I am. But this is what's beautiful about being bonafide... I'm posting this anyway. The message that you have burning inside you, that you want to share... that's what matters. Anyone who says you're not strong enough, is not a person you should associate with.

Don't look at the perfectly posed photos on social media and compare yourself to those people. Like I said before, we're all just humans.

I am self conscious. I am messy, and unorganized, anxious, and silly. But I am ME. And I think I've got a pretty cool gig with that.

We don't need to be self conscious about what other people think. We don't need to be so hard on ourselves. Let's get real.