These Three Things

These Three Things

A few months ago a friend asked me to speak to a group of middle school girls.  Although my friend gave me some topic suggestions, I wanted to speak on something relevant to the girls. I didn’t want to get in front of them with the same talking points–get your education, stay in school, look how great my life is–as everyone else.  True to who I am, I wanted whatever I left them with to be impactful and plant seeds to nurture and grow.  So, I asked one of my favorite teenagers what she would want to know.

Her answer hit me in my soul and had me meditating on it for a good week.  She said that she would want someone to talk about how you deal with self-image, being okay with how you look and who you are.  The crazy, sad, ugly truth is that there are grown women all over the world in every income and social bracket who are looking for that same answer. It’s the reason every diet gimmick makes big money. It’s the reason people take out a loan to get plastic surgery.  It’s the reason people stay in unhealthy relationships. It’s the reason people sit on the sidelines instead of going for their dreams.

What pitfalls could these girls avoid if they are equipped with the right tools? What great things could they accomplish if they knew the power they hold within themselves?

As I meditated on those questions, a lot of things came to the surface.  I thought about some experiences from my past. I thought about the experiences of friends and family.  And I thought about what made the difference. What did I learn from all those experiences?

The three things that rose to the top and, in my experience, lead all others are:

  • Know yourself– When you know who you are and what’s important to you, it’s like following a North Star.
  • Love yourself – The way others see and treat you is a reflection of what you are putting out there. Show others how to love you by loving yourself.
  • Grow yourself – You were designed to grow and evolve! Take the lessons life provides you and use them to grow into your best self, continually.

If you are able to do those three things, you will be less likely to accept the story that others scribe for you.  You will be less likely to fall into victimhood.  You will be less likely to settle for less than you deserve from yourself and from others. You will be more likely to look in the mirror and see a person you love, respect, and cherish–whether it’s a good hair day or not, whether you’re in your skinny jeans or stretchy yoga pants, whether he asks you out or not.

These three things are the building blocks to discovering and appreciating YOU.