This summer, I think I grew up quite a bit. Before, if asked to describe myself, I would probably name an entire list of negatives before getting to a single positive thought. While I still lack the confidence I wish I had, I’ve learned to love myself and appreciate what I have to offer. If you read my article from last week, you’ll remember that I told a certain guy that I had been crushing on him. When things didn’t work out, it became such a natural intuition for me to think so negatively on myself for why he couldn’t and wouldn’t like me back. I sold myself short.

I have a friend who I have seen the same conflict in recently. While it is something I knew she always struggled with, this year, it has become so blatantly obvious that I can’t sit back and watch anymore. If you asked me to describe her, here is what I would say: pretty, doesn’t need makeup, winning personality, kind heart, honest, intelligent, and the list continues. Now, here are some things I have heard her mention about herself: big, large legs, bad morals/ways, introverted. Guess what? She is selling herself short.

Are you catching onto the pattern here? I sure hope so.

For you gentlemen out there reading this, I will throw in an example from one of my best guy friends. Recently, he has struggled with his own inner conflicts. Some of the ways he would describe himself include: awkward, lanky, not-so-muscular, mean, blunt, not relatable, over-talkative. Here’s how I see him: generous, loving, listening, knowledgeable, funny, friendly, inviting, and honestly, I could go on forever.

The truth is, we don’t think so highly of ourselves sometimes. Think of yourself as a shirt in a store. Say your price tag is $100. After an hour, you are still sitting on the rack while the neighboring shirts have been picked over. Eventually, you are taken to the sale rack and degraded to maybe $20. Sometimes we treat ourselves like that. We think we aren’t worth as much as we truly are, so we sell ourselves short and take what we can get.

To the friends I have mentioned and to anyone else out there facing this problem, know your worth. Otherwise, we find ourselves in situations we don’t want to be in. We find ourselves at parties we didn’t want to come to, but we wanted to have friends for a night. We try alcohol and drugs and we have sex because we want to fit in, feel admired and be loved by someone. We know in our minds that the affection we feel at that moment is not the same affection we will feel in the morning, but we do it anyways as a passage to escape our own insecurities.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“When you realize how much you are worth, you will stop giving people discounts.”

This is so true. Start figuring out what kind of people and things you want to be around and do it. If you don’t like drinking, don’t drink. Honestly, my roommate and I like to celebrate Friday nights with games and pizza that we can’t afford. Do what you like and be okay with it. If you don’t like what someone else is doing, you don’t need to do it to be accepted. In all honesty, you are just trying to be accepted into a crowd that you weren’t meant to be in. It is okay to be different, and it is okay to stand up and be who you really are without social approval.

Stop selling yourself short, because you are incredible.