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Listen up. Your whole life will be filled with people who will judge you.
They will judge you silently and out loud. Behind your back and to your face.
You get to decide how you’re going to react.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to fit in with all the other girls. I silently wished my first name was Michelle because Melissa wasn’t popular at the time. I looked at my friends who had two-parent households and wished my life could be like that. I wished we had more money so I could have nice clothes and shoes.
In junior high, I got really tall and it was awkward. I was taller than most of the boys. My body was changing and I just wished it would stop. I just wanted to fade into the background like everyone else.
High school came and although I was out of the “awkward” phase, I still didn’t really feel like I fit in anywhere. I wasn’t cool enough for the popular kids, and I wasn’t smart enough for the nerdy crowd. I just kind of floated in and out of all of the groups, never quite fitting in.
What took me most of my adult life to finally figure out is that no matter what, people are going to judge you. If you are different or like everyone else, they will judge you. If you are popular, they will judge you. If you are skinny, fat, short, or tall, people will judge you. If you are pretty or ugly, blonde or brunette, people will judge you. If you are broke or make a lot of money, people will judge you.
The most amazing thing is the realization that what everyone else thinks about you does not matter. The only thing that matters is what you think of yourself—how you judge yourself.
Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business. Someone else’s opinion of you doesn’t determine your worth as a person—only you get to decide that.
It took a lot of self-reflection to get to this point in my life—this place where I accept myself completely for who and what I am. It’s been the most freeing experience of my life. Finally learning that I determine my worth was like waking up after being asleep for a long time.
I invite you to get to know yourself. Get to know who you are as a person. Learn what contributions you make to the world to make it a better place. Accept yourself for who you are right now, in this moment. Recognize the things that you want to change and take action.
I invite you to give up those feelings of inadequacy and embrace everything you are. I bet it will be one of the most freeing experiences of your life.
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