You Are Good Enough

You Are Good Enough

You are and always have been.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: The Sleuth Journal

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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Don't Focus on What You Bring to the table, Focus on Bringing the Table

Handcraft your table, add all your special touches to it. Pour your heart and energy into your table and do not stop until your table is as beautiful and sturdy as you dream to make it.

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My dad and I had a conversation the day I moved back home for the summer that really opened my eyes and broadened my perspective on success and raising the bar.

This is what he told me, "You know the phrase "what you bring to the table," one day I realized it is a load of crap. It is not a matter of what you bring to the table, you have to bring the table itself."

Initially, I was a little confused and missed his point completely. What does it even mean to bring the table? Why would I want to do that? After he elaborated, things became clear and his words grew on me and left a lasting impact.

Bringing the table means never throwing out your values and what is most important to you for anyone for any reason.

It means to set the bar as high as you possibly can, or simply as high as you would like it to be. That part is completely up to you.

If you are content with setting the bar low, settling, and making lots of compromises - set the bar low. If you want to set the bar as high as possible and live a life you are proud of and always dreamed of, set it high and never settle for less than you know you deserve in all aspects of life.

Sometimes I doubt myself and my abilities if I do not receive any approval from others. Sometimes I wonder if I am good enough for a certain guy or if a certain guy is good enough for me. Sometimes I wonder if I am creative enough and good enough at art to be in the School of Art and Visual Studies at Kentucky or if I should pursue something more inside the box.

What I learned from my dad is that it is normal to doubt yourself and forget what you deserve. It is okay when you feel as if you are not living the life you want to be living. You cannot get there overnight.

Dreams are not instantaneous. Often times dreams are drawn out and require a lot of work, many successes and failures, and times of doubt and uncertainty before the end goal is reached.

That being said, do not worry if you feel you derailed and got off track. It is okay if you are not with the man/woman of your dreams yet. It is okay if you are feeling unsuccessful in your pursuits knowing you have this big goal and dream in the back of your mind. It is okay if you are unsure if the career you are pursuing is best for you.

Feeling a little lost is normal but you have to focus on bringing the table and making a mental note of what you deserve, what you are capable of and what you are not willing to compromise and stick to it! Do not give up and settle for less just because you are not receiving the approval, praise, recognition, or a physical manifestation of the work you are putting in.

Even if you are putting in no work at all, relax. Some point soon you will, and you will take baby steps. Do not compare yourself and your journey to that of those who seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of you.

We all begin our journey at different times and even restart a time or two, so no worries on that end if you are not "there" yet.

Be patient and focus on what you want to become rather than whether or not you and 'what you have to bring to the table' is enough. Know that all that you 'bring' is enough, but it is important to push yourself to strive for better and resist settling no matter how tempting or hard it may be.

Handcraft your table, add all your special touches to it. Pour your heart and energy into your table and do not stop until your table is as beautiful and sturdy as you dream to make it.

Cover Image Credit:

Nik MacMillan

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