There are so many things in life that can get us down, and yet it seems we are the ones who tear ourselves down the most.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Do you ever feel inferior? Do you ever wake up on a Monday morning and wonder – am I good enough?
This happens to me more than I care to admit. Especially when you decide to put yourself out there, try your hardest, and give your life everything you’ve got – there are moments when you just wonder if it’s going to work.
There are times when you wonder if you can really do what you set out to do. There are times when you wonder if you have what it takes.
We all need a little reminder. And while there is almost nothing better than having a person in your life who gives you that encouragement when you need it, we cannot rely on others for our self-esteem. It is too fragile that way.
I watched the movie The Help (based on my favorite book by Kathryn Stockett) this weekend for the second time, and the same moment made me cry. It is the moment at the end when the maid Aibileen tells the little girl she’s practically raised “you is smart, you is kind, you is important” one last time before she leaves (after being fired). Aibileen says earlier in the movie that in her work she learned how to “help little children feel proud of theyselves.”
And when she tells that little girl those three phrases for the last time it hits me right in the gut. Because I think about how many people grow up never hearing that they are kind, smart, and important. I think about how many people walk through their lives feeling like they’re not good enough.
Do you ever feel that way?
It’s not an easy thing to fix, but it is something you can control.
So the next time you are feeling like you just aren’t good enough for whatever it is you are trying to achieve in your life, look yourself in the mirror and say “You are kind. You are smart. You are important.” Try it right now. It feels good.
And then be kind today. Find things to do that make you feel smart - the things that you’re best at. Act like you are important even when you don’t feel like it.
And I’m not talking about the kind of entitled importance that those with the lowest self-esteem try to fake. I’m talking about the kind of importance that allows you to put others before yourself, to encourage others often, and to be more focused on making others feel important than worrying about yourself.
But it must start with you. Look in that mirror this morning and tell yourself that you are kind, you are smart, you are important. Keep saying it until you believe it.
Because if more people truly believed that about themselves, we would have a lot less problems in our world.
And if anything, know that I believe it of you.
You are kind. You are smart. And you are important.