If you are anything like me, you unintentionally allow self-doubt to cloud your vision. I constantly ask myself questions such as: “why am I not smarter?”, “why am I not prettier?”, “why am I not more outgoing?”. I allow these questions to overtake my mind until they gradually begin to dim the light from inside me. These thoughts erase the vibrant colors from the unique masterpiece that is “me.”
Throughout middle school and high school, I became more critical of myself. I compared myself to others, building them up as I tore myself down. I looked at the pretty, skinny girls with envy. I have always fought with my weight and being known as the “chubby” girl was my MO. I never felt beautiful. I thought the only way a boy would like me was if I lost weight. And that soon became my obsession.
From the end of my sophomore year to my junior year of high school, I was obsessed with losing weight. I began to eat less and run more. I ran from my problems, from my hunger, from the vision of the chubby girl I used to be. I kept running. My life soon revolved around food, in an unhealthy way. I didn’t realize how out of hand my obsession became until my father pulled me into his office, sat me down at his desk, pulled something up on his computer, and left the room. The words on the screen were as follows: “Understanding Eating Disorders.”
This is when it truly clicked for me. For the longest time I thought I was stronger than eating disorders. I thought I could never allow myself to let something so meaningless control my life. But there I sat. In front of this article that perfectly described the person I became. I allowed my self-doubt to control me when I thought I was controlling it.
It is scary how easy it can be to lose yourself; to lose the beauty of who you are to fit into the standards of society. And to this day, I repeatedly tell myself that I am not good enough until I truly start to believe it…and I need to STOP IT! We all need to stop doing this to ourselves!
If we spent less time dwelling on our flaws and put more energy into actually doing something to accept them or improve them, we would be so much better off. We would become stronger, happier, and healthier women. We would gradually begin to reveal the light that is within.
This light is critical because this light is the beauty within you. This light is all your strengths and talents making their appearance to the world around. We need this light not only so we can begin to find and cherish our true selves, but also so we can empower other women to do the same. We must support each other and surround ourselves with those who bring the light out from within us. We need to be the flashlight that helps others to find their way out of the dark.
As a student in the rehabilitation science field, there is a key principle that we stick to and it is one that really opened my eyes. This principle states that we must not focus on what a person cannot do; rather we must focus on what they CAN DO. We must find their strengths and use them to promote success.
Now think about it. Isn’t this a lesson that can be carried over into our own lives? We need to start spending more time focusing on our strengths, instead of allowing ourselves to get discouraged by our weaknesses. Because once we do this, the world will truly be a canvas full of uniquely vibrant colors.
So my message to you is this, find your strengths, cherish them, and use them. Do not allow yourself to be dimmed by this world. Channel your inner light and let it shine baby, because you are beautiful the way you are. And you are loved with a love greater than your own understanding.