Confidence. Self-esteem. Self-worth. Those are just a couple things that I lacked when I was growing up. I was shy, had trouble making friends, and felt like I was always on the outside looking in. As a kid, I couldn't understand why I was always by myself and why people didn't want to be my friend. Was something wrong with me? There had to be something wrong with me, right? I couldn't figure out what it was, so I came to the conclusion that I just wasn't good enough for people. That thought was engrained in my mind for most of my childhood and even teenage years. Not only did I apply this “not good enough” mindset to my friendships/relationships, I also applied it to my skills, my worth, and my ability to be a successful person.
We all have our own reasons as to why we lack confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. That reason may be bullying, trauma, neglect, or a disorder. But no matter the origin, it's still a stinky feeling when you don't believe in yourself and when you are unable to see all the great things that you have to offer this world. It's hard to see those things sometimes when other people and the world seem to just keep telling you you're not good enough. You're too skinny. You're too fat. You're too dumb. You're too ugly. You’re not good enough to get that job, go to that school, and live a successful and happy life. The list of negative things that people say to themselves could go on and on.
Was I able to get out of the whole "not good enough" mindset? Yes. Yes I was. How? Well, it took some time and it wasn’t easy, but at one point, I just decided to stop telling myself I wasn’t good enough and tried to focus on the good things. I got fed up with the way I felt about myself and I decided to make a change in order to feel better. I stopped comparing myself to others and just focused on what made me feel good. It was hard to ignore the negative thoughts that kept creeping back into my mind. However, even though it was hard, I knew that if I wanted to have the confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth that I knew I deserved, I had to try my best to focus only on the good and not the bad. I exposed myself to people, books, quotes, and activities that helped me grow into the person that I wanted to be, despite what was “popular” and despite the fact that I may still be by myself.
Because I was still being me and doing things that made me happy, being lonely started to not bother me as much. I realized that just because I was lonely every now and then, it didn’t mean that I was alone because I have such a great family that loved me. In fact, it wasn’t until I was able to see that I was good enough that I started to become less lonely. It wasn’t until then that I was able to do things that I never thought that I’d be good enough to do. When I was able to build up my confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth, I actually started to make friends. Looking back, I don’t think the increase in friendships and my successes were because I suddenly became good enough for people. I think the reason was because I finally realized that I was and have always been good enough.
Ever since then, I don’t allow others to make me feel anything less. That thought was now engrained in my head and I’ve just been a happier and better person. Sometimes the negativity does creep back in and I find it difficult to remember my worth. But that’s okay. After all, I am only human. But the key is to constantly remind ourselves that we are good enough and we are worthy.
To the readers of this article, I would like to tell you that despite what the world and other people may be telling you, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! Go for that job. Apply to that school. Talk to that person. Show this world what you’ve got and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t capable.