July 18, 2015

The Power of Self-Esteem and the Quote That Changed My Life




Do you ever have days when you wake up feeling less than? 

We all have bad hair days or days when we feel like our makeup won't cooperate, but what about the days that you feel less than--

Less than cute?
Less than smart?
Less than confident?

Yeah, those days are the worst. 

Growing up, my self-esteem was literally all over the place. As a child born with a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, I quickly learned that while I could do almost anything with a little modification, there were plenty of people who were going to tell me I couldn't. There were going to be people who said mean things, who make fun of or reject me for things that I had not one ounce of control over, and people who were flat out jealous.

Like most kids, I was a pretty happy-go-lucky girl that with neighborhood friends. I was very smart and extremely talkative. I made friends easily and got along fine in everyday life, wearing braces on both legs until middle school.  Well, everyday for several months, I was heckled in the lunch room while returning my lunch tray. I knew exactly who was doing it and I tried my best to ignore it. Inside, it really broke me down.

We all know how hard middle school can be for a young girl. The place is a breeding ground for self-esteem issues. Being 13 literally takes a toll on you. I didn't like myself. I felt isolated and ugly and unworthy of any of the positive attention that I received. I remember talking to one of my favorite teachers about the situation. She told me this:

"You have a choice about whether you believe what people say about you. If someone's words affect your attitude, you must partially believe them to be true. How you react defines who you are."

When I finally got up the nerve to confront my bullies, while they didn't exactly stop picking on me, I learned something very important:

If you choose to talk bad about someone, your character suffers so much more than my self-worth ever will. If the best you can do to bring me down is talk about something that I can't change, it shows that you don't know anything about me. Not to mention, it makes you look like a not-so-good person. 

Years later, I still carry that lesson with me as I aim to share the power of believing in your personal beauty.   Remember, ladies,
You are as beautiful or as ugly as you believe you are. You define your beauty. That is NOT a power that anyone can have over you.

This quote has changed my life immensely.  It is absolutely necessary that women learn to define terms for themselves. What is beautiful? What is ugly? Words and thoughts only have power if we allow them. Do not give anyone the power to define how you feel about yourself.

-Someone dislikes your red /blue/green/yellow lipstick? <shrug> You like it, that's all that matters.

-Oprah's style team things that plus-sized women shouldn't wear crop tops. Instagram has dedicated a hashtag to the rebellion. #RockTheCrop if you want to.

-Do you prefer loose tees and jeans to dresses and heels? Do you, boo!

And by the way, disabilities, visible or not do not define a person. We can do what we want!

 We are what and who we believe we are.  Be bold. Be beautiful and most of all, be you! You are nothing less than amazing.

Well, that's all I have for you today, my loves. Do you have a favorite quote that you live by? Tell me about it in the comments section!
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