How often have we all said that we want to be like somebody else when we grow up? I was listening to a child at church yesterday, and she commented that she wanted to be a supermodel when she grew up. She wanted to be famous and have her name in light. Her parents laughed it off, and as most parents said, it was a good dream, but it would take a lot of work to achieve that goal. But sometimes, when I look at the kids and other folks, it makes me wonder how many people wonder if they’re enough. There’s a difference between being enough for yourself and pushing yourself to continue to grow. That little girl reminded me that dreams are worth attaining, but living our best lives is something we all need to do for ourselves.
I’ve made so many mistakes over the years. I’ve compared myself to too many people and put myself down before others even had the chance. I’ve convinced myself that I wasn’t worth healthy relationships. It took me a long time to understand that I am enough. When I changed my mindset, everything started to change. My confidence level grew, and so did my social circle. The opportunities that I strive to do continuously expand. I learned that not only was I enough, but if somebody couldn’t accept me for who I was, they weren’t somebody I needed to involve myself in the long run. I’m intelligent, funny, stubborn, determined, and a great friend.
I convinced myself that I was only worth a certain amount of money. For years I lived in that shadow, but over time I’ve learned that not only am I worth much more professionally and personally but that investing in myself has been one of the most innovative things I could have done. If I’ve learned anything about relationships, you either accept the person for the way they are or lose a lot along the way if you try to change them. If you try to change yourself for that person, you’re living a lie. You have to be OK with who you are before sharing your life with someone else.
I have a friend who called me over the Christmas break and has problems with a man in her life. She admitted she didn’t want to be alone. She has gone from relationship to relationship and is scared to be alone on significant holidays. In her mind, it’s not enough for her to be on her own. She wants these men that she gets involved with to be a certain way and doesn’t want to change herself. She hasn’t learned to accept accountability for her actions. She will never see what problem she’s bringing to relationships, but instead, she complains about others. I tried to explain to her that she was enough, but she only talked over me. If someone can’t see that they are enough, it won’t matter what relationship they get in because it’s doomed to fail.
I’ve always heard the sentiment to come as I am, and people would either accept me or not. I suppose that’s true in some circles, but I’ve found overall that it’s not. People like to criticize and judge. At times, we all have tendencies to make our minds up about somebody, like if they’re good to associate with or not, and we make no apologies for those actions. Sometimes we are right about those folks, but it’s not funny that we often are so far off base. The days of tattoos being taboo are over. More people have ink on them now than those who don’t. It’s a rarity not to have a tattoo on your body.
So many of us see what other people accomplish, and we feel intimidated or challenged. Many things depend on our mindsets. If we allow ourselves to wallow in fear and self-loathing, we are less of a threat to those who are confident, self-assured, and driven. It’s OK to fail. What isn’t OK is to think that you aren’t worth anything. You make a difference in many ways to different people. Some of those folks include your families, friends, and colleagues. Other people see your actions and look at you as a mentor even if you don’t recognize yourself as one.
Each of you brings unique perspectives and changes. What’s hard for all of us at times is when the world feels like it’s beating us down, it’s hard to see things in a positive light. When that happens, that’s when it helps to have a strong network of peers that can help you put the negative things in perspective. If you don’t have a strong network, consider doing some volunteer work. It can help to see other people’s problems are more significant than ours. The best thing about seeing others who struggle is that it puts what is essential in life. Sometimes life can throw monkey wrenches at us and make us feel inferior, but when we get that moment in time where things go right, it’s incredible at the changes we think. All of a sudden, the world gets a little brighter, and there’s a spring in our step. It’s that moment where we realize we are enough.
This coming New Year, my wish for all of you is if you struggle with self-confidence, I hope you understand the importance you have on all those around you. Confidence can be challenging at times, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Know your value and worth. If you feel like you aren’t worth anything, that’s how you convey yourself to others. You’ve got this. You don’t have to be what everyone else wants or thinks. You have to find a way to be yourself and be comfortable in your skin. If you already exude confidence, maybe you’d consider taking someone under your wing that you see struggling. It never hurts to pay it forward. Have a great day, everyone.