November 30, 2016

To Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Not Good Enough

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What is the issue?
Pham Khoai
Pham Khoai

I won’t sugarcoat it and tell you that it gets easier. Quite the opposite, actually. There will always be millions of ways for people to tell you how to be. There will be millions of ways that others will tell you to be this instead of that. There will be tons of other ways they’ll make you feel like you must change. But just because you’re struggling, and just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you won’t get through it. You could. And you would.

Reality—despite how movies paint it out be—can be kind, yet it can also be cruel even to the people who least deserve it. There are guidebooks which exist, telling you exactly how to behave, how to look and act to be accepted. You don’t have to look far to see just how many articles exist that will explicitly dictate what it takes to be beautiful, popular and double-take worthy. And the thing is, plenty of people have learned to be tricked into following what society tells them as “cool”, “Important” and “worthy”. But you are not something to be molded into a single ideal; you are not something to be quantified—whether by your money, friends, grades, places you’ve travelled or how many likes you get.

You do not have to prove that you matter; you do not have to be successful to be important. You are more than a rank on a list. You are more than a number on a scale. You are worth more than the amount of money you have in your wallet and you are more than just your physical appearance. All that you are—with your kindness, hope, potential and fears—is too great to be reduced to a single number or adjective. You are more. So much more. And you are worth more than what you’ve been conditioned to believe.

I hope you know that you are important—-not because of your most recent achievement, not because of what you did, what you bought or what you became, but because you always were. You’ve mattered even before people told you that you were pretty or smart or rich. You matter just as you are.

No matter what you look like or the passions you pursue, there will always be people who will disapprove. But you don’t need their validation or their approval to be good enough. Because your worth is not diminished based on what others think of you.

You are not a failure or undeserving of respect just because there are those who have failed to give you the love that you deserve. Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone else’s inability to see your worth.

I hope you understand that your thoughts matter, your voice matters, you matter—- with or without others’ validation. Your feelings are significant regardless of your wounds, your mishaps or your past. Let go of their judgment about what you “should be” or “could be” because your inherent value is not something to be reduced by an arbitrary cultural stereotype of beauty, intelligence or worth.

It may take a while for you to not care about what others think, and that’s okay. Trust in your own pace and trust in the process that will help you realize that your inner voice pushing you to “show more, prove more, and be more” is a distraction from the truth that you alone are enough and you have nothing you need to prove to anyone.

You are not ‘less than’ and you are not your mistakes. You are not hard to love. You don’t have to change or shrink yourself to fit into someone’s idea of a “worthwhile” being. You don’t always have to conform.

It’s a good thing to know your worth is recognized. It’s a good thing to be accepted. But what’s even better? When you discover that no amount of validation can eclipse the realization that, regardless of what others might say, being you—as uninhibited, free and wonderful as you are—is simply more than enough. TC mark

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