Hello, You're Beautiful And Important

Hello, You're Beautiful And Important

I don’t have a single reason not to love who I am.
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I think I hold myself back sometimes. I hold myself back when it comes to getting what I want or achieving my goals. I don’t think I’m good enough or smart enough. Many people do this — self doubt eats at confidence and you become unhappy with yourself. I also let people take advantage of me in small ways, like not paying me back for the pizza I bought and we all ate or not saying how I feel when someone hurts my feelings. I don’t think this is okay and I want to be less like this. A girl I met at the beginning of college used to tell me, “you’re a college b*tch now, you don’t have to take anyone’s sh*t.” This is true and I should’ve never took anyone’s sh*t.

There are many times when I think back to friendships I’ve had where I didn’t stand up for myself. At the time, I didn’t think it was a matter of my confidence. I still really don’t know if it is. I do know one thing — the older you get, the less bullsh*t you put up with. Confidence is a process and I don’t think I will wake up one day and just be one hundred percent happy with myself, but, right now, I am trying.

My family always showed me love no matter what, even when I went through those angsty years (when my family was uncool and everything my parents had to say I had a counterargument for). My mom’s friends always talk about how great I am, my friends are always complimenting me and there are times where I feel like I’m the coolest gal ever. I want to know every person I meet and I love talking to people. One of my professors called me Miss Personality, but I still struggle sometimes when I have to give a presentation in front of an entire class. There are so many times where I take a step back from the struggles of everyday life and I think about loving myself and being confident in who I am — and I realize that I don’t have a single reason not to love who I am. Feeling happy with yourself and your life is a journey, but I’m thankful for all the people in my life who love me no matter what. Self doubt holds you back. We are all just people trying to make it through a crazy life (and it’s probably cheesy), but no matter what you believe in, having hope and believing in yourself can make the rough times so much happier.
Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Ocock

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7 Mental Notes We Should All Keep In Mind

You got today and every day.
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Some days we wake up with no motivation or reason. It is important to make notes for yourself so you continue to value each and every day. Making notes to yourself gives you reasons to wake up and start your day. Here are just a few to keep in mind when going through your day.

1. Today is another day you can improve yourself

2. Make sure to point out at least one positive thing from your day

It is easy to point out all the negatives and things that went wrong with your day, but always try to point out at least one good thing. It could be as simple as that good coffee you had this morning. Bring positivity to your days.

3. You're in control

You control if you will allow someone else to ruin your day. You are in control of your actions. The thing you don't control are the actions of others, but you can not let that affect you. You are in control of your happiness.

4. Don't forget to smile

5. Be kind to yourself

Some days will be harder than others and that's just that. You can not tear yourself down for mistakes you've made or pick at yourself for all the things that are wrong. Be kind to yourself and show yourself some mercy.

6. Don't live your day pleasing others

As a matter of fact, don't live your life that way. Please your damn self.

7. Choose YOU

Choose to live today. Choose to be yourself today. Choose all the things that make you happy. Choose to make this and everyday yours.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Gil

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When The Helpers Learned To Help Themselves

Why helpers and leaders need to take care of themselves, too
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I've been a helper and a leader for as long as I can remember.

From kindergarten when I made my first friend by helping another kid up at recess, to being the person in high school that many friends came to with their problems, to leading the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and then helping lead a Bible study in my undergraduate years, that has been my station. With exceptions, of course, I would say it is a station in which I have performed well.

And yet, there are some ways in which I haven't.

I love to help other people, but sometimes I forget to help myself.

That statement is true for me, and I've known it to be true for many others in positions of leadership or with passion for care. So often our hearts are so big that we feel we can give endlessly, until nothing is left for ourselves.

It's an understandable predicament, and a common one at that. We become familiar with such phrases as "he needs help more than I do," or "I have to be the rock, I can't show weakness." It's not always so easy to deal with, either.

Both from personal experience and the stories of others, I know that leading and helping can leave us isolated. Sometimes we become close to the people for whom we are strong, but more often than not (and typically with good reason) we are a helper/leader more than a friend. We are the person contacted when someone is in crisis, when they need a major opinion, when they don't want to be alone.

I think I speak for most leaders and helpers when I say that our roles can become draining. By nature of our empathy and concern, we spend much of our time either being supportive or looking for someone who needs support.

Even so, many of us feel that we can and should be strong enough to carry on. Much of my life I spent without close friends, and late in high school/early in college I lived with some depression and even suicidal thoughts. But I was a helper and a leader, and I felt deep down that the difference I could make would be limited if I showed weakness.

But I was weak; we all are, really. I just wasn't willing to face it for fear that it would limit my ability to help.

I moved past my depression, but then I covered up my further struggles. Rather than looking at ways I could strengthen or care for myself, I dove into my role as a supporter, as a leader.

Some people say that if you don't take care of yourself you can't make a difference, but I beg to differ. It's not true for everyone, but there are many people (such as myself) that have the ability to cover up their feelings quite well. The thought is often that the pain of others is more important than our own.

Some give all of their time to help and to lead, and for those things they lose sleep, miss meals, and see their social life suffer.

Being so inclined to help and to sacrifice is not bad; on the contrary, it can be a beautiful thing. But there is danger in trying to lead people down paths we have not traveled. When we've faced our own issues, we have stories that we can share to not only give advice with people, but also to truly connect and relate with them.

And then there is the danger of hurting others from our own ignorance of self. As most car owners (hopefully) know, when the warning light comes on and we refuse to look under the hood we risk breaking down in the middle of the road and causing a wreck. If we don't look at our own negative feelings and struggles, they will eventually catch up with us no matter how powerful the engine. In our roles as helpers and leaders, there are many people on the road following us – if we don't check on ourselves and break down in the middle of the road, it's not that surprising to expect some fallout.

We help others, or at least I do, because we love it. I find it fulfilling. But if I tie my worth to other people and lose sight of my worth in Christ, as I sometimes do, I burn out quickly. When I trust in Him, find ways beyond just helping to have fun, and take care of myself physically (working out, eating, getting good sleep, etc.), that love is alive and well.

I still love helping people. But I also take the time to breathe, to enjoy my life, because it's something I hope to see others do too.

Cover Image Credit: Wilson R. Harvey

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