1. I am not enough.

“Enough” is a matter of perception. It’s incredibly easy to believe that the rest of the world is surpassing us, that everyone else has this mysterious, intangible “it factor” that propels them to success while we remain stuck in the dust. However, no matter how often we feel that our presence is too small or our actions will never spark change, our feelings of inadequacy don’t dictate our worth.

I feel like I will never measure up, but I am just as worthy as anyone else, and I don’t need to be anything other than who I am in this moment.

2. I don’t deserve love.

It doesn’t matter if we’re secret slobs, love cats more than people, or are absolutely obsessed with the history of serial killers — we all deserve love. We may have been conditioned to believe that our bodies, minds, habits, or interests automatically strip us of our worth or our ability to let love in, but our quirks should never prevent us from experiencing the blissful high of sharing our hearts with another. We each will find the person we deserve — someone who will help us clean our messes, cuddle our kitties, or research all the grotesque details of Jeffrey Dahmer’s life with us.

I’m no exception — I am worthy of the opportunity to fall deeply in love with someone who will accept me for all that I am.

3. I’m an inherently terrible person.

We all occasionally slip up, say things we don’t mean (or abruptly spit out truths that no one wants to hear), and reveal those imperfect pieces of ourselves we’d rather keep private. We often use our mistakes as undeniable proof that we were born awful, we will remain awful, and a slithering trail of “awful” will follow us until we die. However, our occasional harsh word or workplace gaffe proves nothing other than the fact that we are inherently good people who occasionally do things we’re not proud of. (Trust John Locke on this one!)

I’m human, too, and I make mistakes, but those occasional mess-ups don’t detract from my natural propensity for warmth and kindness.

4. I’m incapable.

In a world where everyone is looking to climb the corporate ladder, make a name for themselves, and hustle their way through life in the pursuit of success, it’s easy to feel like our skills will never measure up. We focus on the areas in which we believe we are lacking instead of celebrating our wealth of strengths. The truth is, we all possess talents that will take us far in life — we just need to learn how to harness them for the greater good.

No matter how often I convince myself otherwise, I’m just like everyone else — a capable person seeking to use my strengths to better the world.

5. He’s too good for me.

We all have those nagging fears that maybe our partners are too impressive, too successful, or too attractive to be with us. The truth is, though, that they consciously choose us every day because they notice a spark in us that we may not be able to see in ourselves — kindness, warmth, beauty, or talent. No matter how many letters follow their names or how closely they resemble Greek gods, our partners will always believe that we are enough to capture their hearts.

My boyfriend may be caring, thoughtful, romantic, and successful, but I’m warm, empathetic, and impressive in my own right. We choose each other because we are perfect in each other’s eyes.

6. I’m ugly.

In a world of Instagram influencers, filtered pictures, and Photoshop, we may believe that our scarred, love-handled, acne-ridden bodies are lacking or undesirable. The truth is, though, every body is beautiful, even in its perceived imperfections. The freckles we try so hard to cover up, the scars from that surgery we’d rather not speak of, and that way one of our arms hangs slightly lower than the other doesn’t detract from our sparkling eyes, soft hair, and radiant skin. As a matter of fact, those traits that bring us so much shame make us who we are, and being ourselves is beautiful.

I, too, have features I’d rather hide, but they simply reflect the challenges I’ve conquered and the wondrous diversity of humanity. My perceived flaws are beautiful because they’re mine.

7. Everyone is going to leave me.

It’s easy to fear that maybe, if we live authentically and speak our truths, everyone we know will leave us behind. We worry that they will no longer be attracted to the “flawed” versions of ourselves we hope to project. The truth we need to remember, though, is that anyone who would leave us because of who we really are isn’t someone we need to keep in our lives. Besides, when we vulnerably, honestly share ourselves with the world, people are drawn to our raw, open relatability. Our candor may actually forge deeper, richer connections with those who choose to join us on our journeys.

I often fear that it’s only a matter of time before everyone leaves me, but as long as I continue sharing my heart, the right people will stay and hold my hand along the way.

8. The world would be better off without me.

In our lowest moments, we often wonder whether or not anyone truly cares about our presence. We may ruminate over our contributions to the world and worry that we’re falling short. The reality is, though, that each one of us brings our own set of talents, strengths, and capabilities to the table, and without our unmatched brands of personality and aptitude, the world would be a much darker place. We change the world for the better simply by living, loving, and seeking to improve every day.

On my darkest days, I struggle to recognize my value to the world, but once I remember that I am loved and give unconditional love in return, I know that I have an irreplaceable role in this life. I belong in this world, and here I will stay. TC mark


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