Inspirational Survival Story
Insecurity is one of the biggest killers of the human race. It kills your spirit, while holding you back from your dreams and your life purpose. Where does insecurity stem from? I believe that it comes from individuals who put you down, a dysfunctional upbringing, toxic relationships, or any hardship that dug deep at your self-esteem. I’m here to tell you these things do not define who you are and if you have let it control your life up to this point, let it go today!
Today, Tensie J. Taylor, motivational speaker, educator, author, and a red carpet host, shares hardships from her early life. Tensie shares how she dealt with and how she overcame her hardships, and how such times influenced her to become the person she is today. Tensie’s story is emotional, astonishing and will truly inspire you.
Meet beautiful and extraordinary soul: Tensie J Taylor!
“Big-eyed freak!” “Ugly!” “Sell-out!” “Goody-two-shoes!” “GEICO Direct!” “Shorty-by-nature!” “Light bright damned near white!” “Squirrel!” These are names that echo vividly in my mind as I remember the students who called me these demeaning names. For years, I struggled with my confidence, and even though I came from a loving family with parents who complimented me on a regular basis, I was met with meanness and cruelty by several peers at school. To hear students call me these names and to hear them make fun of me for my physical appearance—something that I could not control—I began to have low self-esteem and started detesting my appearance. I became so self-conscious about my eyes that I placed a photograph of my sister each night under my pillow, and I fervently prayed to God to make my eyes “normal” like hers. I was so self-conscious about my big eyes that I walked around with my head held low and my eyes squinted. I did anything I possibly could to not bring attention to them because students unmercifully picked on me and said that I looked like a frog. Some even commented that they were afraid to look at me because my eyes were so big that they scared them. I became so desperate for a reprieve from students’ comments that I contemplated getting reconstructive eye surgery when I was 18 years old. I hated the way I looked.
To add even more insult, guys made comments about my body, saying that I was skinny and looked anorexic. They asked me insensitive questions, such as “Do you eat?” “Why don’t you have a shape?” and they said that I was part of the Itty bitty titty committee. Trying not to draw more attention to myself, I laughed it off and did my best to ignore their remarks, but I was crying inside. Little did people know just how self-conscious I was, and every time someone made a remark about my physical appearance, I hated myself that much more. It took years, and years, and years for me to regain my confidence.
It was not until I was 18 years old, moving into my dorm room as a freshman at North Carolina State University that a guy told me, “You have such beautiful eyes!” It took everything within me not to cry at that moment because I had never heard those words echoed before. My Mom and Dad told me this, but no one outside of my family ever told me that my eyes were beautiful. All I heard was negativity, but on that day when I received the compliment from the gentleman, my confidence slowly began to improve.
When I became a freshman in college, I gave myself a pep talk, and told myself that if I wanted to be remembered in this world, I had to stop being so shy and I had to improve my self-esteem. If I were shy and continued to let people’s insecurities affect me, I was not going to go as far in life as I could. Therefore, to boost my confidence, I wrote a list of five things that I liked about myself, and I looked at it daily. In addition, I began to feel proud of my eyes. Instead of hiding them or squinting when I talked to people, I proudly looked at people in the face. I became proud of my slender physique and told myself that it was nothing wrong with being naturally small. I knew I was not anorexic, and surprisingly, I have a huge appetite. Yet, because my metabolism is so high, it is hard for me to gain weight (tough problem to have right?).
Once I began to focus on the positive elements about myself, my self-esteem and confidence improved. Also, people in college were much nicer to me than the students I went to grade school with. But the most important aspect is that I learned not to care what others thought of me and to surround myself with positive minded people. Those individuals who gossiped or were mean to other people or said cruel things to me, I did not associate with nor did I want to be in their presence. Sometimes, I had to be by myself which was fine, because I would rather be alone than to be around insecure individuals.
I started to love myself and I loved the person I was becoming. I still struggled with a few insecurities, but the girl who was shy for so many years was now blossoming and becoming a social butterfly. The message I told myself when I was 18 that shyness does not get one as far in life, I have held true to this day. At 28 years old, my personality, southern hospitality, manner in which I treat people, and charm have afforded me many opportunities. When I attend networking events, I am not shy and go up and introduce myself to people. I treat all persons, whether (s)he is a street sweeper, a custodial staff, or the President of a college, with the utmost dignity and respect. I compliment people and help them. I am no longer timid. My ebullient and vivacious personality has landed me on more than 175 red carpets in Hollywood, and I have had the opportunity to meet and interview more than 300 celebrities.
Anything is possible once you believe in yourself and start surrounding yourself with the right people. Once I recognized this, my confidence soared, and my opportunities changed. Being shy is okay at times, but if you really want go after your dreams, goals, and aspirations, open up and make yourself known. After someone has met you, you want that person to remember you in a good way. Know that you are beautiful, no matter what standards society has placed. Realize that God created you , and He did not make a mistake. You are a wonderful and worthwhile human being. Drown out the negativity from society and focus on those who are positive and uplift you. Once you realize your worth and how special you are, I guarantee that your confidence will begin to exude! I was once shy and afraid to look people in the eye. Now, I am confident, proud of my appearance, and one of the most loquacious people you will meet. If I can do it, you can too!
To learn more about my story, please purchase my memoir BULLIED From Terror to Triumph, My Survival Story on Amazon. You will be inspired.
I can also relate to Tensie. I dealt with bullying within my own family. From elementary to middle school, some of my family members would make fun of my clothes because they were not flashy or name brand. They also made fun of my dark complexion and the way I talked (they claimed I spoke white) because I spoke proper. The constant teasing brought a lot of insecurities and made me feel bad about how I looked and who I was as human being. At that particular time, I disliked the tone of my skin. Anytime I went around them I felt uncomfortable and out of place. Today, I’m happy to say the self-love and confidence that I have for myself is through the roof. I love the person I am and the person that I’m becoming.
I give some credit to my mother. During those tough times, she reminded me of my inner and outer beauty. My mom always told me to think highly of myself and that I hold the key to my castle. She continued to bestow wisdom on me everyday. I’m so delighted that I created this blog to help others become happy with themselves and I’m excited learn about you all! Remember, if you love yourself, everything else will fall into place!
Did this story inspired you, if so, how?
What questions do you have for Tensie?
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