Overcoming “I Am Not Good Enough”
I remember the day I received an anonymous note that both broke my heart and thickened my skin.
A lot people used to call me things like ‘Harry Potter Girl’ and ‘Teacher’s Pet’… as I grew older, the names became cleverer and harsher. I had braces for five years, spent every recess reading books in the library, and was often made fun of for having a big forehead, frizzy hair, unshaven legs and arms… It’s pretty safe to say that I spent a lot time during my teenage years worried and feeling ultimately distraught over what others thought of me. My make-shift solution was to roll with it – when people would say things about me that made me upset or uncomfortable, I would laugh along with them. Especially when it hurt the most.
I was in high school. I was going through the regular motions – fussing over my makeup every morning, trying to avoid embarrassing moments, over-studying for the next math test… but the afternoon I opened this crinkled piece of notebook paper addressed to me, none of that seemed important anymore.
The note was cruel. It was detailed. It was highly specific. And it was long. It talked about my appearance, my personality, my family, and it was diatribe of exactly how much the writer disliked everything about me. I remember sitting there reading it over and over and over again, trying to hold back tears. How could someone write these kinds of things about anyone? !
I didn’t tell anyone about the letter. I never found out who wrote it. But something changed inside of me after I tore it up in threw it away. I decided, just like I was throwing the letter in the garbage, I would throw away the negative thinking I directed at myself. Even if I never met the writer, I would prove them wrong. I would force myself to change my thinking and full-heartedly believe that I was the complete opposite of what that note said. I would make sure to exemplify it in every possible way I could.
I knew from that point on that whatever came my way, I could take it.
I started to make the conscious decision to really like the person I really am. I realized that I need to hold myself to a standard of grace, not to the impossible standards set by people around me. When I began to realize this truth, I started to get to know myself better.
I realized that if I wanted things to change, I had to start by changing how I viewed myself.
Misery & ugliness rear their heads when you allow them to. I was as sad and lonely as I was permitting myself to be. I learned that if I wanted things to change, I needed to start with myself. Once I began to make the changes, I was able to fully embrace the person I was inside, and learn to love all of the unique things God put together when He created me.
The point? You are worthy of love. No matter what any bully says to you or does to you. You are an uniquely important individual. You are here for a reason and your life is meant to be purpose-driven. So be kind to yourself!
Instead of laughing along with the people who hurt you and asking yourself, “why be a kill-joy? Why confront others after a remark made at my expense?”
Let me tell you why: because YOU are worth sticking up for.
Every single day, wake up and make that decision.
– Jenni xoxoxo