I know I said I wanted this to be all about cosplay and how to make everyone that reads this into a better cosplayer, but I also want that to translate into being a better person. I have an uncanny ability to give great advice. Mostly due to being through several abusive relationships, romantic or otherwise. And over the last few days, I have spent probably the better part of those helping people cope with their depression and anxiety. I am a protector, for those that care or think it matters, I am an INFJ. My duty in life is to protect and teach. I want to help teach you, reader, and protect my friends. I would probably kill for them if the circumstances were right. And I know that's really dark and probably unnecessary, but that's how highly I think of my friends. The whole point of this article is to help you think higher of yourself, so that you can help build others higher as well.
Everyone doubts. They doubt their relationships, their job, their cosplays, everything. Everyone feels this way, and it is completely natural. It's what you do with those emotions that can make or break that aspect you are doubting. In relationships, it is a bajillion percent critical that you communicate with your partner. If something they did upset you, but they aren't sure what they did wrong? Talk to them. Obviously, if you need a second to calm down, take it before you talk to them, but don't take too much time that the moment has passed and you come off as off-kilter. Speak on those doubts and hear out the other side. It's the same thing with friendships. If they do something that upsets you, speak to them. And if they come to you about something you did or said, hear them out as well. Relationships are a two way street.
You are your own worst enemy. There are handfuls of songs about it, thousands about self-loathing, and it's heartbreaking. But those songs being out there, mean you aren't alone. Reach out to those that you trust. I do this all the time with my friends when I am not sure if my illness is getting the best of me, and my paranoia is speaking a little too loudly, I will let them know my worries and hear their feedback about what I should do and whether my feelings have a solid base in that doubt or if it's my demons getting the best of me. But at the end of the day, I'll talk to the person most upsetting me and talk out our problems. If you have doubts in your job, maybe it's time for a change. (I'm not super versed on job stuff, so I won't talk about that this article.)
Especially in cosplay, everyone tries to compare their work against others. Stop that. Everyone starts at a different spot, and everyone has different talents. You yourself have so many talents that only few have. But your experiences are what make it unique. Yes, you may be a painter, but you are no Van Gogh, or Picasso, or Monet. But that's okay. You don't have to be. You are amazing in your own rights and ways and I really want you to see that. As a cosplayer, I have 20 years of sewing experience, and 11 years of cosplay experience. I may not be super great at armor making or wig styling, but that doesn't mean I can't work at it. But where I lack, others thrive. I look up to them as inspiration for my next build. I don't know how long they've been doing this, but that's okay! I don't have to know how long to know that they are great and should be praised. When you build others up, you build yourself up. When you tear others down, you can destroy yourself.
Comparing yourself to other cosplayers can be detrimental to yourself as well as the cosplayers you compare. When you allow negative thoughts like, "She's not the 'right' size," or "He only does sexy cosplays," you push that negative energy out into the world and keep yourself open to negativity. I'm not saying having those thoughts are bad, it's how you act on them. You can think you don't like how they look, but when you comment, you are the jerk. Be better than that. If you don't like a person's content, unfollow them. When you only put out positive feelings, you will notice that your receive less negativity. When I was really hard on myself, I noticed that I was treated worse than what I allow now. I have no hesitation to cut out people in my life. If they cannot add positivity into your life, remove them. That being said though, don't cut out friends that have a bad day or two. I mostly mean the people who are always negative about themselves and do nothing to change it.
Now that I don't take all that negativity and toxicity, I have had so many supporters. And I'm absolutely blown away by the support that I have received. With my work, my website, and just things happening in my life. While I do still receive less than nice comments occasionally, I have noticed an amazingly drastic change to a happier, healthier way of commenting. And I have amazing supporters that will come to my aid as well to help educate those that may not understand. And I want to give back that positivity to create a great environment for everyone in the cosplay community. And if you doubt that you have supporters, look around and see that you do have a support system. I am here for you, and I truly mean that. You are not a burden for reaching out. You are not a bad person or weak for needing help sometimes. It's okay to cry and to be sad, as long as you don't let those consume your being. You are strong and amazing, and I hope all your dreams come true. I really, truly, absolutely, do.