Have you ever been told you are too sensitive? Have you heard from others that you need to toughen up? Perhaps you have heard that you are too emotional or dramatic. Or maybe you have been defeated by words telling you that you are weak and won’t amount to anything in life. I have heard some hurtful words in my lifetime. And let me tell you, it does nothing for the self-esteem when you give weight to this kind of feedback. Sometimes we need a reminder that we are awesome, just the way we are. You are smart. Intuitive. Wise. Creative. Resourceful. Kind. And you are strong, stronger than you think.
If you feel weak, less than, inferior or feel like you are too much, too needy, or not enough, then I am here to tell you this is simply not true. I don’t care if you have a mental illness, addiction, chronic health issue, disability, or any other ‘limitation.’ You are enough. Just simply you, for who you are. You are supremely wonderful.
Why We Doubt Ourselves
Now before I get all Tony Robbins on you, lets look at why we get so down on ourselves. First, in American society, there is often minimal amounts of training and education that go into bringing up healthy and confident youth. At least when I was in school. We find mixed messages everywhere about what is important (ie money, wealth, power, success) and then feel less than if we miss the mark on certain aspects of the American Dream.
We have all taken on messages that have been passed on for generations in our families. Messages about hate, about acceptable behavior, about values and beliefs. Some of these messages have helped us grow into contented and joyful adult human beings. But for most of us, there is some level of the damage from the poison we have been given. Poison, albeit often unintentional, given by those that may have failed to provide a stable, loving backdrop for self-discovery and self-esteem.
Putting pressure on youth to perform in school, get good grades, work hard, and bring no shame to their family sounds admirable yet can influence the way we feel about ourselves. What if the feedback we receive has been given in a harsh and unloving manner? What if shame becomes are go-to response to failure? That certainly won’t help us to feel confident in who we are as individuals.
Doubting ourselves is different that experiencing moments of doubt. There may be reason to pause and give second thought to what we are doing or saying. But doubting ourselves can place limitations on our full expression of the core of our being. Doubt can leads us to question our strength and durability as humans. Even though at the core, we are pure gold. Neil Young needn’t look further. Our truest nature is vibrant, powerful, and pure. Don’t doubt that for one single second.
Why You Are Stronger Than You Think
1. You have been beaten down more times than many could handle.
Some people in life seem like they have been served the most privileged of circumstances, enduring little if not any hardship. Not you, my friend. You have been through a lot, no doubt. Whether from childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood, the scars you bear are that of strength and valor. And I’m not talking about the scars you get from war.
The strength it takes to endure and continue on after turmoil is profound. If you have endured abuse, experienced deep grief and loss, overcame illness, attempted to end your life, or have been shunned or hated by others, the pain cuts deep. Many people you consider “strong” could not have handled what you have been dealt. Perhaps you need to give yourself more credit where credit is due.
2. You are uniquely comprised of softness and grit.
Fortunately, the world is not black and white. It is a bountiful combination of colors and shades of gray. You are neither all vulnerable or all tough. You have both the tendency to feel, care, and emote and the tendency to be resilient, determined, and resourceful. The Ying and the Yang. Masculine and Feminine. Thus, you are incredibly powerful in all sorts of contexts. If we were all one or the other, we would be out of balance. But you, my dear, are one of the good ones. A unique blend of strength in all forms, both tender and hardy.
3. Your worth is underrated.
Knowing that within us is pure gold, why then do we ever feel not good enough? Our worth, at times, can be undermined or lost. Compromised and covered with guilt, shame, or doubt. But truly, you are worth far more than you know. The world may not always reward you. Your friends and family may not always acknowledge it.
There is a story of a statue of Buddha that was found in an old Budddhist temple. The statue, a rough clay exterior, aged with time, had been there for centuries. An archaeology team was moving it when they accidentally knocked it over and it broke apart. When the excavator went to recover the pieces, he found hidden underneath the shattered clay shell the same Buddha statue made of pure gold.
So too are you. Your spirit and heart a hidden treasure. No one might even know it until they uncover the gold underneath.
4. You have grown like a magic beanstalk.
Working towards progress and evolution is no small feat. Only the strongest of the strong are willing and able to grow and make change in their lives. You have tackled challenge after challenge, learning and growing and becoming an even better version of yourself. Likewise, you are willing to accept that there is still room to learn. You see growth and change as a life long adventure. And you strive to continue to weed out a dying garden to make room for a new seed that may grow taller than anyone could imagine. This is another reason why you are stronger than you think.
5. Your wishes and inner most desires could earn you a noble prize.
There are many deep desires within us that we do nothing to express. Many of them truly admirable. Not that we need the admiration, but if you took a moment and wrote down your truest wishes and hopes for the world, what would you find? Probably something like “world peace, end hunger, global consciousness, love,” etc., right? You don’t have to be a world renowned scientists or a Mother Teresa to have high aspirations or strong convictions. Your care for humanity, starting with yourself, makes you a stronger human being.
Now go on with your bad self. Flex those muscles and roar. You are awesome. And you are stronger than you think.