I was that girl and now, woman, on whose work space or Facebook wall you will find several inspirational quotes. Ever since I could remember, I have searched out inspiration in the lives great people have lived (e.g. Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Gandhi…just to name a few) as a means to encourage greatness in my own life. I am the idealist that believes in the powerful potential of each individual. I used to look up at those thoughtful quotes on tattered pieces of paper to remind myself of the love, friendship, human potential, and life that exist in the world when I didn’t feel or see them in my own life.
Although I still love a great idea or inspirational quote, there has been a massive shift in my life in the last year that has forever changed my understanding of the source self-esteem and confidence. Hopefully wherever you are in life, be you. A young girl still in school, a young man in college, or someone facing life’s big choices (marriage, children, career, etcetera…). This life lesson that took me 43 years to learn will help you navigate the sometimes rocky seas of self-worth. The lesson is this, no amount of outside influence – parent’s love or acceptance, academic success, financial stability, over abundance of friends and community support will ever trump self-love. Duh?
What I hope to impart is the knowledge that believing in the magic that is you does not come from ANYWHERE but you! The good news for all of us is that nobody can take our self-worth away but us. Self-worth is the value YOU put on yourself. When our self-worth is soaring, we love the way we look, talk, act and love. We love ourselves. Unfortunately, nobody can feel this way all the time, and sometimes we must strive just to feel good about ourselves 50% of the time.
Self-worth and self-esteem are the journey not destinations. You will have great days where there is nothing you can do wrong because you feel so good about who you are and who you are striving to be. There will be days, more often than not, that it feels like there is nothing you can do right and why the heck did you get out of bed? All I ask you to know is that everything you are meant to be is already within you. As you learn your life lessons and make mistakes, if you are patient with yourself, you will discover what that lesson or mistake was meant to teach you about yourself.
What I ask you to do today is find one thing that you love about yourself. Do you have a great smile? Are you good at math? Are you good with animals? Just find one thing about yourself that you love (or several if you are having one of those amazing self-esteem days) and write it on a piece of paper. Now, take that piece of paper and tape it on your bathroom mirror or on your phone or bedroom wall, somewhere you are going to see it a lot. Remind yourself what you love about you and plant the first seed of self-esteem. This is where self-esteem begins and when the world is testing our view of our self-worth, and ourselves we come back to this place to remember what truly matters…the love we have for ourselves.