The Turn It Around Project is a new campaign that was created by Abbe Dembowitz, who built her project on a simple idea: Write a negative thought on your back and write a positive thought on your front, and then take a photo.

The final images have been shared on social media to bring awareness to self-esteem and embracing imperfections. When I saw the campaign, I immediately had a flashback to high school and middle school me.

In middle and high school, I definitely felt pressure to be perfect. On the surface, I was really outgoing. I got straight A’s, did sports, was on student council and took all AP classes. I was always planning my future out, and people saw me as a role model. I tried so hard to be good at everything all at once, and it prevented me from growing as a person.

I never truly felt happy with where I was in my life at the time because there was a part of me that was holding back. I was so afraid of what people thought of me and making mistakes, that I wasn’t living for me. I was letting my insecurities get in the way.

It wasn’t until college that I started accepting myself for who I truly was. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I’m going to just accept myself. It was a simple series of putting myself out there more, which allowed me to become more confident. I started going outside of my comfort zone, and it allowed me to discover what I was good at and what I wasn’t good at. And for once, I didn’t try hiding those insecurities. I was starting to embrace them.

I can talk over people a lot. Sometimes I lack common sense. I hate working out. I curse a lot. I suffer from major FOMO, fear of missing out. Yeah, I have a lot of insecurities.

But I also have a lot of things that I love about myself. I’m a good storyteller. I happen to think I’m pretty funny. I’m a great writer. I make amazing guacamole. I’m boss at playing poker.

So instead of selling yourself short, give yourself a compliment— even if you struggle to come up with one. We’re our own biggest critics. Stop trying to erase all your insecurities, and start writing them on your metaphoric back. And don’t forget to focus on the positive moving forward.

Email at Kavita Singh at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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