Note to Self—Look Me in the Eye and Tell Me I’m Good Enough

 Dear Self,

Let me clear the air right now—I’ve been so hard on you, and I’m sorry. I know that almost as long as I can remember I’ve told you in my thoughts, often subconsciously, that you weren’t good enough, perfect enough, pretty enough, socially adept enough, [fill-in-the-blank-here] enough.

Even though I’ve accomplished so much—graduating from high school and college with honors, scraping together the funds to go to London like I’d always wanted, serving a mission, doing what I thought I could never do and seeing incredible miracles, and meeting great people and making wonderful friends over the years—it was never enough. Never enough to measure up to this impossible standard I had set for myself. Never perfect enough, I’ve realized, to feel worthy of love and belonging.

Well guess what. I’ve been wrong about you. I’ve been told for years by people who love and care about me that I AM enough, that I AM loved, that I AM beautiful, and that I have tremendous potential, and sometimes I believed that I was. But in the back of my mind, those thoughts of self-doubt would always seem to creep in again. Sometimes they felt overwhelming, almost like they came of their own accord, and I realize that I kind of shrugged my shoulders and resigned myself to the fact that they would always be there.

So Self, the other night, I tried an experiment—one that I had heard about a million times before (but never really believed would actually work). I looked you in the eye in the mirror and told you that you are GOOD, that you are BEAUTIFUL, and that you are worthy of love and belonging. And I didn’t stop, even when I felt a little ridiculous.

And then, something happened. I saw a tear come into your eye, and a smile spread across your face. Because you knew what I was saying was true. And in that moment, I realized that even though others have told me those things over and over, in all these years you had never seen and heard ME say it. And when you heard me say it, I saw in your eyes that you believed it too.

Self, a lot of people have said, “You’re your own worst critic.” And many times, that has been true. But Self, I don’t want to be your worst critic anymore. I want to be your best friend. I think I forget sometimes that when those negative thoughts come into my mind, I have the power to defend you against them. And not only defend against them, but triumph over them by speaking words of truth. Because, Self, YOU are a daughter of God. And you have the power to overcome any challenge that comes your way.

And let me tell you, Self—it feels so good to be on my own side.

Sincerely,

Your better self,

Ariel

P.S. You ROCKED that pink hair for Halloween. Just sayin’.

4 Comments

  1. Well, I just read your article in Deseret News and I can tell you that you truly are an incredible young woman. I hesitate to use the word “special” because that has a funny connotation in our LDS culture, but special you are, in the very best sense of that word.

  2. SWEET AND PRETTY ARIEL!
    PLEASE MOVE FROM UTAH TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA
    OR JOIN THE PEACE CORPS. I DID AND IT WORKED!
    LOVE AND HUGS!
    DAVID WEBB

  3. I enjoyed this post and your article in Deseret News a great deal. I just broke the bank travelling to London so I know the feeling haha. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 And feel free to drop me a line if you ever visit Las Vegas. 😉

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