In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, I felt it necessary to compile a series of convincing and accurate reasons as to why you are more than enough for this world, in your own skin, because we all need to be reminded of our worth at times. If anything, you made the effort to scroll onto this post, or peer your eyes towards a newspaper stand, so that counts for something, whatever this may mean to you.
Now, what I want you to do most is stop recounting everything that you have been convinced is wrong or off about yourself over the years, because it is not true. Your truth rests within; do not let people revise it.
I repeat: stop over-criticizing yourself. In my own writing to you, my lovely readers, I will also be reminding myself of my worth and further healing myself of the negativities I often recycle, but must throw out for good. I’m all for saving the environment, but in this my focus is to save you and all the qualities and imperfections that make you, you.
10. You are a bright and beautiful badass. You’ve made it this far: a ka-trillion different, spontaneous things could have stalled you from reaching this very second in your life, but you’ve successfully surpassed all the untrue images that may have resurfaced and burdened your mind and body, like the unwanted pieces of lint that eventually become a trademark of your leggings. You try to remove it, but you can’t, entirely.
In this, I encourage you to invest $6 in a lint roller from Target, but even more in your process of self-love and attentiveness personally delivered to yourself. It’s essential to learn to deal with these bothersome fabric leeches, because they became a part of you at some point in your daily routine, but that’s no reason to stop in mid-motion. I want you to strut through life and say “I’m a badass,” because you are. Your future is bright and beautiful, like yourself. That lint has nothing on you, I promise.
9. You possess power over your responses. You don’t need to feed into those leeches, disguised as negative people, who suck positive energy from you. You possess power over how you respond to every person and situation in your life. Don’t let their nasty visions dictate how you progress forward. Set in stone that you are ambitious and powerful, not easily resituated and controllable.
8. Some people are meant to leave you. There is a common saying that people either enter your life as a lesson or a blessing, which is why you shouldn’t blame nor discourage yourself when this happens. I’ve had friends, who I thought would be life-long, vanish from my presence, as though our friendship had taken the form of a forgetful ghost with commitment issues. At first, I wasn’t even that angry at these people, but at myself, because I thought that I had done something wrong.
I heavily reflected upon my appearance and personality. Was I too fat? Was my laugh too loud in the backseat of a midnight trip to go get snacks? I once questioned this, but I’ve since realized I shouldn’t have been hypercritical of myself in the first place. I wasn’t the problem, and these decisions belonged to them, not me.
We both need to work on this, but just know that not every person is supposed to hold a permanent position within your life. We all grow and change, but that’s not a bad thing, so stop telling yourself that it is. Allow yourself to blossom without fear of pricking others with thorns, because in your constant fear of hurting others, you are unknowingly bruising yourself.
7. You’re a star. As Taylor Swift encourages in her song “Ours” from her album Speak Now, “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things at shine.” As this lyric powerfully suggests, there are going to be people who try to halt your successes, simply because they are jealous and feel deflated in their own lives–but you absolutely should not let this stop you, ever. They can’t tear away whatever you wish to make yours.
6. You are gifted, my child. Maybe you wanted to be a singer or actress while growing up, but you were not too talented nor passionate about it to continue on with this goal. This doesn’t mean that you are terrible or mediocre at everything in this life. There has to be something you are good at. Make a physical list of your strengths to refer back to whenever you doubt your natural qualities. Maybe you’re kind-hearted and generous, or perhaps you’re a kickass volleyball star. No matter what you rock at, it’s something you own and that no one can take from you. Chances are, you’ve been gifted with more than one talent, so there is no reason to feel incompetent compared to the rest of society. Some people are just better at different things than others, but that doesn’t mean your worth weighs less than theirs. Stop striking your individuality over to the negative side of the net, especially since I’m right here to volley it right back to you–and it is my mission to win. I’m very competitive.
5. Your future path is yours to stumble upon and strut along. Like me, maybe you are an English major, which would indicate you have great enthusiasm and skills in reading, writing and communicating your thoughts; however, this means you’ve been questioned more about what you plan to do with such a degree than the number of words you’ve read throughout your life. Hint: you don’t need to have literally everything figured out right now.
If we received a dollar for the number of times we have been drilled about our choice in major, then we wouldn’t even have to worry about finding jobs after college, to be perfectly honest. If you are a STEM major, chances are you haven’t been drilled as severely about your plans for the future, so consider yourself lucky in this respect.
No matter your major or plans, you are able to take control of whatever you want for your life, so strut down that path towards freedom and always defend your own honor. English majors have many future opportunities, let the record show.
4. You beat the rest of the sperm. Yep, I said it. You swam past anyone else who could have potentially filled your space in this world, and you did so with great might and determination. So, the next time you groan when you think about going to the gym to get your workout on, just remember that you were invincible and untouchable before you were even born. If you can race without any human appendages, then you can do so with even just the teensiest bit of ambition. Also, cardio releases endorphins, natural stress-relievers, so do yourself an honor by exercising!
3. Because I say so. If you are so willing to believe whatever nonsense people spew about you, then why won’t you believe me in my claiming this? Overall, your opinion of yourself is what matters most, but if you are so eager to apply rude remarks to your character, then you should be even more ecstatic to apply positive ones. Think about it: everything we are told throughout life eventually molds into our minds, and we eventually begin to believe it. This is my encouraging you not to let negative thoughts surpass your mindset. Trust me, I deal with anxiety and have endured severe depression before, but I am now learning to love who I am, even though some insults may, at times, break the beautiful, badass barrier I have built for myself.
2. Because you say so. It’s important to remind yourself that you are more than enough, especially because the more you repeat this saying, the likelier you are to believe in its essential essence. We tend to say cruel things to ourselves, because we are so used to our beings by now (I mean, we’ve known ourselves since birth. I’d assume that’s a pretty long time for many of us). Taylor Swift once said: “If you think about human nature, our favorite pair of shoes are the ones we bought yesterday, our favorite thing is the newest thing that we have…and the thing we’ve seen the most and for the longest period of time is our reflection in the mirror, so obviously that’s going to be our least favorite thing.” It’s up to you to craft your own image of beauty; don’t give any cruel person permission to. You are beautiful, and your progress in this life should be one of your favorite things (alongside, say, seeing someone walking a dog on your path, or caramel cold brew to pair with your essay). Wake up in that mirror and repeat: I am beautiful. I am capable. I am like no other.
1. There is no one like you. Your uniquely crafted presence on this earth is irreplaceable. I am not as well-versed on scientific facts and statistics as I am on Taylor Swift lyrics and proper spelling and grammar, but what I do know is that your loved ones’ equators would be off-centered without your greatness. To someone–even if that’s yourself–you are the world. Take your inner strength and expand it, yell as energetic and shrill as a steaming teapot and declare to sea from shining sea that you are more than what people may conceive. Please remember to love and take time for you. You are your own beautiful and unique self in the way you were designed to be.
Say it with me: I am more than enough. I am myself. I will make it.
You have exceeded your own expectations in life some way or another, and whether small or large, it was still an accomplishment. If you can’t think of one, you’ve just read this entire article (at least, I hope), so you now own these pieces of advice to hold onto in the crafting of yourself.
More than 40 million adults in the United States suffer with mental illnesses. If you happen to be experiencing suicidal thoughts, or know someone who is, please call 1-800-273-8255. Please know that you are not alone, and that you are incredibly loved, by those who surround you and your inner self.
We all deserve to feel healthy in a happiness that is reachable; first, start by lifting your hands to all the possibilities that you are capable of achieving and remember that you are worth much more than nonsense remarks that are made in selfish attempts to dull your spirit. Second, keep going, and grab onto my hand if you need someone. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help.
You know yourself better than anyone. Don’t let anyone take that from you.
I have full faith that we will make it.