I had a great childhood but it was not without struggle. Full of self-doubt and unkind words said to me by me that left little painful pockmarks on my ego and my mindset that I never really had to deal with until my adult years when they’d present themselves again and totally derail me.
I was temped to frame this as a “thigs to say to my younger self” type article, but I can’t actually speak to my younger self so it seems redundant. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised so living in the here and now is all we’ve really got to work with.
To make the very best of that simple truth, here are 7 things I believe we need to tell ourselves far more often.
- You don’t Owe Anyone ANYTHING
That’s right, unless they’ve paid you for a service that you’re obligated to render or you gave birth to them to or you took them into your home and promised to care for them until they were able to do it for themselves, you don’t owe anyone a single thing.
Maybe you love to serve others, I know I definitely do. I also know that it’s pretty easy to become totally burned out trying to serve way beyond your time available. The fun part is that you get to decide how much service is enough and you and you alone get to say when that limit is hit with zero guilt.
- You are exactly enough always
Comparison is the enemy of progress and we live in an era that makes comparison to others very easy to do. One quick trip through Instagram and we can be covered in feelings of inadequacy.
The trouble is, this comparison is incomplete and unjustified. When we compare ourselves to others, we neglect their backstory and all the other things they have going on as well as the burdens they carry that we may have no interest in carrying for ourselves.
There’s only one you and guess what? You are the very best in the entire universe at being you. Nobody else can even come close.
- You can’t fully love others until you learn to fully love yourself
I won’t sit here and pretend I’m great at this one but it’s a giant focus for me. I’ve come to discover that to live with a view of myself that’s less than excellent is to short change those that I’d serve and pour into. Said differently, we won’t make a difference in the world if we show up as a lesser version of ourselves.
Now please don’t take that as a chance to view yourself as “less than”, that’s not the point here. The idea here is to admit we’re awesome and fully capable as we are and we can choose to throw aside the self-doubt and just thrive as we are. Everyone around us will be better for it.
- We’re unstoppable
Death aside, there’s really very little or maybe even nothing that can stop us and I think we forget that a little too easily. When the 2009 recession hit and I lost my job, I was sure it was all over for me. Truth is that it was nothing more than a blip on my journey through this incredible life. Losing a job, having a relationship or marriage end, getting bad news or suffering a setback are all terrible things to experience, but they’re not the end.
This point is not designed to make us flippant like we can just throw all common sense aside and do whatever we want of course, it’s just to keep us grounded in the fact that there’s not a whole lot out there that can truly stop us.
- We’re all equal
This is an extension to the part about us being exactly enough. Our world currently has and has had for a very long time, far too much division. It’s unhealthy and unnecessary and I feel like more of know it than not.
I like to imagine a whole bunch of new born babies lying in a nursery. Ignoring the homes they’re from and the social economic status of their parents make it very easy to view them all as equal. Sure, some may be slightly longer or shorter than others and some may weigh a few ounces more or less than others and they might even have a different shade of skin, hair or eyes, but none of that matters.
It seems like taking this childlike ignorance to how we view or treat each other might actually go a long way to the progress we need to make in treating each other equally.
- Your worst day will be someone else’s best day
We all have bad days but it can be to easy to let a bad moment become a bad hour which becomes a bad morning which becomes a bad day…that was all based on an experience another person could only dream of having.
- YOU are the catalyst to someone’s dreams
You’ve been created with a unique set of gifts, talents and abilities. Over the years you’ve built on those gifts with life experiences, education and interactions with other people. All of this has crafted you into the incredible person you are today.
Somewhere out there in the big wide world is someone, or maybe many someone’s, that absolutely adore you and admire you. They need to hear what you have to say and your thoughts and gifts could change their life.
Be the catalyst for change and be constantly seeking that person out. You’ll know when you find them or they find you. The feeling will be magical.