I recently uncovered this video of an old band of mine (face-palmingly titled Drew Mantia Band) from December 11th, 2009 looking for cheesy #TBT material. What I found here wasn't cheesy to me. I actually quite dig it. I've rewatched it a few times and I found it interesting where it sent me.

I found myself thinking "we sound good!" "My vocals don't sound that bad." "Hey that duel guitar sounds nice!." "I kinda like my guitar tone here."

How is there anything profound about those statements? For me there is. Hindsight helped me identify a shift in mindset. Here's where my mind was at the time:

I hated that guy.

The me you see in that video, I despised him. Is he that different from the me now? Yes but fundamentally no. I'm the same person but with a greatly improved perspective. I was unable to enjoy anything about myself or what I did. I thought my vocals were terrible. They needed a lot of work and are still one my biggest vulnerabilities, but it was listenable back then. I thought my guitar playing was garbage and my guitar tone was weak. I played the same guitar and same amp the other day and liked what I heard. I like what I hear now in the video. 

The band you see in the above video, in my opinion, had the talent and sometimes the momentum to make an impact. We could've stuck it out, gotten better, gotten smarter. Why couldn't we? Because I couldn't. Why couldn't I? Reason No. 1 is self-hatred. Lack of confidence would've been an improvement. I hated myself so much that I lost respect for people that liked me because, why would they like me? That showed error in judgement in my mind. I wanted to die sometimes but was just too much of a scared pussy to die.

It's a story for another day how I turned it around. If you ever feel this way about yourself, know you're not alone. Also know, without beating yourself up, that loving yourself is important and should become priority number one in your life. Everything depends on it.